denver, product deisgn, and all.

hello everybody,
here i call for your help and your opinion… :wink:
here we go,
i am french product designer. studied 3 years in paris in one of the good national schools (for reference: Ecole nationale superieure d’art appliques et des metiers d’arts: ENSAAMA Oliviers de Serres) and got the french equivalent of a BA in ceramic design(well at least i think it is a BA although it is one year foundation course and 2 years diploma) i then left for london to do a BA in product design at Central st Martins college part of the london institute of arts
i am planning to come live in the us and i have few questiosn for you guys:
do you know of the design situation in denver ?
do you know denver as a town?
have you ever heard of any of the school i went to?
Appart from the obvious nyc-LA cities ,any town about the size of denver that might be more interesting design wise?
What is the overall reputation of european design… is my background going to be a good,a bad point or neither for me?
well i know all this is pretty vague but any comment is welcome.


Yes, those schools are quite well known in america. European design background is a big asset right now (from personal experience).

Denver is not exactly a design or art mecca.
I’ve lived ther for 2 years but never liked it that much- too much growth.

What is drawing you to Denver? Skiing? Do you want to be on the west coast?

Other cities are Seattle, Portland, SF, Chicago, Boston, NYC, Baltimore, Philidelphia, etc.

thnaks for your quick reply
well to be honnest i am moving to the usa for personnal reason and as well because the job opportunites for young designer in france are… well … not great… (to be nice)
We are thinking of denver because of the good size of the town(not too big not too small we goign towards compromise you see… :wink: ), and apparent good amount of stuff to do:retsaurants, movies…etc… and because of job opportunites that might me good for my fiance.
our first idea was to stay in minneapolis or move to boston, but i just can beart he -20 tempertature… as much as boston sounds nice though.
i have not really a good idea of the design scene in the usa as the obvious answer for everybody i talk to is go to new york… and i do not wish to go to new york…
but i have the idea that it is like anywhere else, appart from living in the big capitals you are more or less looking at it from far away… at least it is mostly like that in france and well in the uk , would i dare to say?

This person is right… Denver is not a design meca… you should consider the cities he or she has mentioned. There are plenty of good cities in the US with all the criteria you pointed out but have more to offer when it comes to Industrial Design. Do some research on the internet before you move to Denver.
Good Luck

I’m currently living in Calgary, Canada. Calgary and Denver are very similar to each other in terms of economy, size and weather. In terms of size and weather, I like both cities very much. In terms of economy, it is true that neither are “design meccas”


Denver is a great town… it depends if you are looking for a design economy oriented city or a generally great place to live.

There are many great websites that will point out the best quality of life cities, best nightlife, etc… Denver always ranks high and I have friends that love it there… very out doors oriented, pretty decent weather believe it or not, big but not too big, etc…

In regards to design oriented communities, think of it like this:

Tier 1 design cities: Boston, San Fran/Bay Area, Chicago, Detroit [auto industry], NYC [advertizing/art… not as much product]

Tier 2 design cities: Seattle, Portland, Austin, Columbus, Minneapolis

All of these places are good sized and offer different lifestyles… some more unique than others… do some research to find your thing.

The nice thing is you can work at several places for ID in any of these cities.
Why these cities… pretty easy - find the major consumer or tech manufacturures and where their located in proximity to the towns… there is usally a design hub for these companies that serve a small region… IE, Ausitn is the creative capital of the south. 2nd check out the consulting environment - size of firms, amount of IDers. 3rd find the education… areas of higher education and a ton of universities spawn investment money and developing technologies… all of these places will have an abundence and generallly a more educated population.

Find your orginal fit… don’t conform.

Indianapolis, Indiana

on the weather-

Denver can get mighty cold also. I’d say it’s on par with Boston (having lived in both.)

Indianapolis… a few good remote controls have been designed there. I does not have the numbers to warrent a tier though.

I buy the weather statement for a dollar… Minneapolis is brutal and Chicago & Columbus not far behind… Boston, Denver, and NY are much more tolerable… probably similar to Paris… although Denver has more sunny days.

Portland and Seattly forget the sun… Austin - you’ve got 3 months of Pheonix type weather… too hot. The other 9 though.

Austin - you’ve got 3 months of Pheonix type weather… too hot. The other 9 though.

dk, what do you mean " … the other 9 though." ???

A friend of mine wants to move to Austin to be near her daughter. She lives in CA and is used to the mild climate. How cold and for how long does Austin get?

Personnaly I think she’ll hate it. But then, I’ve never been there.

And a friend of mine wants to move to St.Louis, MO, but she´s not sure if there´s a lot of opportunities in graphic design jobs and/or industrial design jobs around there…anyone could answer me?



If your friend is from California, they’ll love Austin. Austin is not TX… It’s all democratic vs the rest of the state - springs, lakes, mountains, hiking, climbing, biking, urban life, more bars and DJ establishments that you’d ever want, and the entire downtown cooridor is free wirless. Looks a lot like SoCal with a NoCal lifestyle… but TX rent. The other 9 months are beautiful… coldest month is January… average high in the low 60’s. I live in Austin and was in Cali prior… oddly… all of my neighbors are from San Fran here. A lot of tech and media firms relocated here for equal talent and better rent… like me. You can have a great job, lifestyle, and be able to retire vs San Fran and NYC.

My wife is from Slouis… other than metaphase and a few ergo firms I know of nothing there other than the aerospace industry and some old school companies.

thanks dk,

my friend is from san luis obispo, ca and is considering the eastern side of Austin. mean temperature in SLO is around 58 degrees F. so it sounds like Austin is close.

does the east side sound like a reasonable place to you.

terrain-wise san luis obispo is hilly with micro-climates all over the area.

East side of austin… mmm - no, no imo

Austin lies on the Balcones fault line where east meets west literally. The east side of austin is flat and slopes towards the gulf of mexico - the soil is mostly clay. The plant life consists of oaks, pines, etc… the western most location for many of the plant species. East austin is also a bit down troden in the fact it is poverty stricken and the crime rate is much higher than the overall area. It is largly spanish speaking as well. The east side however is really cheap. A lot of chip [pcb] manufacturing is done of the east side so you see factories, etc. It is not built up nicely.

The west side of austin is made up of canyons, lakes, springs, clear streams, and small mountains going up to about 3K feet. The soil on this side of town is rocky… lots of boulders and exposed rock. The foliage is mainly mountain cedar and some oak… the eastern most range for mountain cedar. Most technology companies are located on the west side for natural beauty, and to be close to the affluent people. This part of town will remind you of the hills around San Diego or even parts of Aspen, CO in the summer.

I suggest living in the urban core if your friend can afford it… there are a lot of neighborhoods just west of the core from 8th st up to 45th st… also look at south ausitn - south congress for a little cheaper urban living. Possibly Hyde Park as well which is just north of the inner city. If anything else… go west imo.

I second any votes for Austin as a great place to live. I lived there for a coupla’ years, and loved every minute of it. The weather is great, as long as you can stand some hot summers…I’m talkin’ 100+ degrees for a bulk of the summer months. But there is an abundance of outdoor activities to make you forget about it. Great design community from ID, to graphics, to interactive. Great nightlife and music scene…the list goes on. The only real bummer is that you’re landlocked right smack dab in the middle of Texas.

And there are no mountains that rise to 3K ft like the previous poster stated. The highest point in Austin is Mt. Bonnell at 785ft.

check the elevation out for yourself… bearcat may be talking about in the city proper.