Grad School ID Portfolios


I am intending to apply to various Graduate ID and Product Design programs around the country in a few months. I do not have a design background (Industrial Engineer) but have a working portfolio with 4 projects that are process heavy. To refine my visual communication and core ID skills, I am taking Art Center at Night courses. I will be taking Visual Communication, Intro to Interaction Design, and am trying to decide between Intermediate Product Design: Retail (Dice Yamaguchi) or Rapid Problem Solving (Grant Delgatty).

I’m having a tough time deciding between these two classes because of the nature of them. Retail Product Design will be a 14 week course that meets every two weeks with online check ins on off weeks. You are to design one large project during that time where Dice will go in depth and help you complete a very polished portfolio piece. A lot fo time is spent returning to early stages of the design process as well. However, he wouldn’t be able to teach me too many skills rather than provide guidance. He seems to be a really nice, helpful guy.

Rapid Problem Solving is more of a rapid ideation course where you work on similar projects but more of them, with less detail. I would probably be able to complete 3 projects during this 14 week, weekly course, but obviously they would not end up being as polished.

For someone in my position who has applications due soon, should I take the opportunity to complete a larger quantity of projects or take a class where I would focus on solely on one project but making sure it is very in depth. It’s a question of should my portfolio cover more projects with less detail or have fewer projects with more detail. I know lots of schools ask for 10-20 portfolio pieces but many of my projects are not just sketches or models but cover lots of areas like research, business, several rounds of iterations, etc.
I am also considering asking different school admissions departments what they think.

Thanks for your help.

There is merit to both courses and it is hard to know what might complete your portfolio better without see your other work.
Maybe you can post what you got so far?

Is retail design something you want to do? You shouldn’t take a course, solely based on the objective of getting you into grad school.
Ask yourself what you are most interested in and that is what will yield the best results.