highschool design camp

hello everyone. I am a sophomore in highschool and product design has been my passion for a couple years now, and I am positive that is what I want to do as a career. I am more interested in the engineering aspect of design, which is why I’d like to do product design instead of industrial design. For colleges (yes, I know, a little early to be thinking about college, but oh well) I want to go to Stanford as my first choice, and RPI as my second, as those are the only two good engineering-based design programs that I could find. I know getting into Stanford is next to impossible, but I’m working my butt off to get in. I’m currently teaching myself programs such as photoshop, illustruator, and I’m about to get started on CAD.

Now here is my question: do any of you know of any good product design or industrial design camps for highschoolers? I know of one at NC State University, but I’m not having much luck finding others. I want to go to a design camp next summer because my highschool only has mostly basic core classes, and I can only go so far teaching myself design. I am eager for knowledge, and quite frankly, I don’t want to wait for college to get some knowledge!

So, if you could help me, that’d be great!


Pratt has a Summer program for high school level people. It has an Industrial Design + Architecture program that was really good all those years ago…

thanks. i’ll look into that. any other suggestions would be appreciated!

RISD also has a program but I believe it is more fine arts based… still, I think a great adventure huge portfolio building opportunity and learning experience any way you go…

First things first, Product Design = Industrial Design

Any Theory & Development of Form class will help out. Check out your area for Colleges or Universities that have programs that teach these basic classes. They may let you join the class. I would also look into design competitions on the web. These will help you develope your design skills.

everywhere I go, i hear different definitions of product design vs industrial design. some people say its the same thing, and others say that industrial design is more focused on the artistic aspect, and product design is like the bridge that connects id and mechanical engineering, so i really don’t know whose definition to take anymore.

thanks for everyones’ suggestions! i appreciate them!


I don’t want to get your thread off track, but here is a link to another thread about Industrial Design vs Product Design: Difference between Product Design and Industrial Design

Here are two Wiki definitions:

  1. Industrial design - Wikipedia

  2. Product design - Wikipedia

I hope this helps you out.

Some food for thought, both Brett_nyc and yo have had great experience. I would take their suggestions. I would also look into that camp at N.C. State. Any of those camps are better than no camp at all.

Good luck,

thanks for those links eco.iD. since the terms are used so interchangebly, i guess i’ll just say i’d like to do product/industrial design with a focus on mech engineering.

thanks for the suggestions that you guys gave. i looked into the pratt program a bit, but my parents aren’t too fond of the idea of me going to the city without them (‘:roll:’) (i live about an hour and a half away. maybe in a year or two i’ll be allowed). the risd program looks very interesting, but i’m not old enough yet (i’m a bit young for my grade). i’ll definitely look into those programs in the future though. i have some family right near nc state, so there’s a good chance that is the program i’ll end up doing. as for eco.iD, i’ll start checking out my nearby colleges’ art classes. i’m trying to enroll in art classes in my school too, but they just decreased the day to 7 periods, so i might not be able to take any this year (‘:(’). once i get good enough, i’ll start entering competitions to build up my portfolio and develop my skills (and maybe even come away with an award. that’d be awesome).

any more suggestions are welcome, whether they have to do with design camps you know of or tips that’ll help me become a better designer.


If you haven’t been nosing around the forums here are a couple other suggestions.

If you have some extra money lying around buy a couple design sketching books. They will help you better understand the process of design sketching and be valuable resources when you need them. I suggest this one:http://www.designsketching.com/ it’s the newest book of it’s kind. I love it.

Also check out the drawing videos from The Gnomon Workshop. These are some instructors that focus on Industrial Design in the 2D skills.

Harald Belker http://www.thegnomonworkshop.com/dvds/groups/instructors/2d/belker_g.html
Ryan Church http://www.thegnomonworkshop.com/dvds/groups/instructors/2d/church_g.html
Scott Robertson http://www.thegnomonworkshop.com/dvds/groups/instructors/2d/robertson_g.html

If you don’t make it to any camps these will help you out and you can blow away the rest of the class when you make it to ID school with your drawing skills.

Also check out some ID studios online. They’ll explain the process of their design. The Internet is you oyster. Have fun!

thanks eco.iD. that design sketching book you recommended looks AWESOME. i’ll ask for it for my birthday. i’m teaching myself how to draw right now using another book (i’ve always been okay at drawing, but would like to get better). my skills are coming along pretty well. by the time i’m off to college, i hope to have experience in drawing, sketching, cad, rendering, etc. (i have been told that the stanford pd program doesn’t emphasize aesthetics, so i might as well teach it to myself now). i am not happy that my school doesn’t have many classes related to design (other than fashion design), so i guess i’m on this journey alone (but hopefully i’ll go to a camp that’ll help me out).

so thanks for your suggestions! and i could always use more suggestions, so any tips from anybody are welcome!