Latin industrial design... in Colombia... you should come

Most of the people when they think about industrial design and a place to go and study the excellent carreer they think of ITALY… or maybe USA… but just a few people think about LATIN AMERICA… and its sweet design, design with style, culture and taste!!

This post its just to invite people that are looking for a University to study industrial design to come here and do it… in Colombia there are more that 15 universities with an industrial design program… a 5 year program.

I really recomend Universidad ICESI (ICESI University) ( !!! this is the best I think!.. in Cali, Colombia…

or if you dont like hot weather and you prefer Cold weather in a more than 7 million people city… come to Bogotá, Colombia… the capital city… and look for Universidad JAVERIANA ( or Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano (

I can tell you something for sure… if you come here you will never want to come back to your country… ask any international student!!! great over here! :sunglasses:

check this site out… some universties (

I think we just got telemarketed!!

Girls, Girls, Girls!!!

hhehehe well, yeah sure I´m kinda marketing… but someone has to do it!

I haven’t had a chance to read and compare much of the schools you have listed and the schools here (usa) but I am thinking that something that you might not see so clear in the stats from one school to another is just the influences of being in another country/ and being around a new culture.

from what I have heard from friends of mine that went abroad it was some of there best memories and changed there life. I am guessing not many freshman are looking into going abroad from the states because they are scared of what to expect else where and probably the largest reason is that the schools in the states for them has that reputation they believe in and I guess the comfort factor also plays a role. many people dont like change so starting school/ college/ being on your own/ etc and then above that going to another country might be too much for them/ I see a larger population maybe possible in transfers? coming from the states to then study abroad.

I think its great to open up peoples minds to other schools. Esp. when we are always reading about the same 5 schools in this students section.

i might be a lil biased to go to south america. (half my family is mexican)

thanks for posting-

(maybe for an “announcement” for this section we could have something on abroad schools?)


I am a German design professor who taught in Bogotá for a while in the eighties. I have the fondest memories of Colombia, her friendly and positive people, the incredible variety of music, the magnificent scenery…

I have ever since dreamt of the possibility to establish a student exchange and cooperation with a Colombian design school. But while I never hesitate to visit Colombia by myself, I was reluctant to bring students to a country where kidnappings and violence are a fact of daily life.

More recently it seems that under the Uribe government things have changed for the better. The first thing I did was get in touch with the design department of U. Javeriana, and now we will already be “swapping” our first pair of students this April.

I just hope the peace process will continue and that the situation your country is in will keep improving.

A crucial measure of success is this: Why not even native Colombians used to travel their own country by car or bus (out of fear of kidnapping and robbery), traveling the country by car or bus is a big portion of the beauty of the Colombia experience. Staying in the cities, not being able to hike in the mounains or to stay in beautiful Parque Tayrona on the Carribbean takes away so much that without it you don’t get the picture of the maginificence. Travel with military escorts is not quite the thing if you wish to explore the Andes, the Amazon, Ciudad Perdida, or San Agostin on your own.

All this seems to be improving.

Now, when I do exchange with Colombia, I want my students to have access to the country’s true situation. I want to see how design can deal with issues of health, education, food conservation, water precurement etc. in a tropical country with limited resources. The social mission at U. Javeriana provides me with that kind of access. How about Cali? What is the focus of the projects at your university?
Can you tell us more about the different universities in your country and what they do?


Hello prof.

Thanks for the time to write your post.
I know that back in the 80s when you came here our situation were kinda “bad” and people were afraid to travel by car (wich is the most beautiful way to travel in Colombia, no conutry has the enviroment colombia has)… now the situation is a lot different, not just because of the Uribe Goverment, but for the past goverments too… I travel by car more than 4 times a year, from Cali to Bogota wich is an 8 hour trip… from Cali to Medellin (8 hours too)… From Cali to Armenia (4 hours) and from Bogotá to Villavicencio (2 hours) and I know a lot of people whom travel all the time to the San Juaquin, Tayrona Park (wich is amazing)… Cartagena (the most beautiful city ever) and to all the cities in my country… I can not deny that there are some places where you CAN NOT go… it is true… by the moment it is difficutl to go to the amazonas by car… i dont recommend it, but still you can travel about the 70% of the country by car with no worries… The thing is that all the bad news about a country is what other countries watch on tv… if you know what I mean… the good news they never go out… CNN doesnt show them…

Is the same when we hear about U.S.A. what you watch on tv here is not that great about north america, but I´ve gone sometimes and it is really different, I like it over there and it is not that dangerous as the news shows all the time…

I´m glad that you are “exchanging” the first students on april with Univerisidad Javeriana…

In my city, Cali… I went to Universidad ICESI and more than 5 international students per semester go there, but not for industrial design… they are in the economics field the most… so it would be really nice to have some industrial designers from germany and some other places around the world in ICESI… it is a great university, I can say (sorry for this) that in industrial design ICESI has better program than Javeriana… and better workshops and stuff (even in ICESI this carreer is only 7 years old).

You can write to Juan Salamanca, he is the coordinator of the Design Department in ICESI… his email address is and you can tell him that German Salamanca (Mancho) told you about ICESI…

Be sure your students will have the best (and safe) time.

Good luck with everything prof.

German Salamanca

don’t you have to be able to speak spanish???

I honestly don’t get why columbia should be superiour to other countries in south america! Networking is key to a successfull career within design and I guess that’s why metropolitan cities in west are so popular, that’s where the money is!

It’s nice, I am sure but Mancho, you are working way to hard to sell it…

hey mancho as i read thru this I am thinking your are trying to sell yur school and is not a bad idea but schools as big companies worldwide needs a well-known name in international sight and I am sure your school doesn’t.

Why don’t check soem of the most well-known ID universities and they have a well partnership with companies of their latitude soemthing that I know never happens in Columbia since design as industrial is only focus to POP and office spaces but not to real porudcts that make the difference in Columbian Society, apart of violence that it only comes up in far away regions in Columbia schools and companies don’t have a scalfolding tht allows to recent grads to get the ebough tools to compete in real design ambience in most cases so that’s why is necessary to look for other horizons out of Columbian boundaries.

it was a good tried but first is necessary to make a good education revolution in most columbian schools in order to reach at leat Brazil and not only think about POP or simple boxes to make an exhibition design is more than that

Hi tropikal.

Your right man, universitis need a name to be competitive in the worlwide design industry, but that name doesn come alone… i mean, people need to really know the university and the country´s school level to talk about it (no ofense)… I can tell you for sure (cause I studied in USA) that the education in Colombia is a lot better, but you are sooo right in one thing, the industry here is not as rich as in USA or europe… we are kinda just beggining to produce real products as you call them, it really sucks that industrial design here is just POP and furniture… thats true, but soon we will be producing a lot of productos.

an example is that I have a lot of known people that studied industrial design in colombia, in my city and in bogota… now they are in italy, new york, california, miami… and the industry is sooo sooo happy with them… why?? because what we learned in univesity here in the US takes a lot more time…

Thanks for the comments because is something is true… but trust me, our education level is really high, not the industry of curse… but if we go outside and work, industry can see what I am telling you, and if international students come to colombia to study a year of their carreer or a whole carreer they will see what I am talking about.

Ciao!!! and yes… I am trying to sell my univesity and my country!! OF CURSE!! I love it!


I tried to look at the gallery of projects in your school’s website, but there seems to be a bug in the programming (at least with Mac/Safari). I would like to see what kind of projects the students at ICESI do.

It is completely okay to be proud of one’s school and one’s country.


you’re also right about those many bright Colombian designers who became successful designers in Europe and the U.S. For example, one of my former U.J. graduates is now a big designer at Philips. Others got their PhD.'s in Germany and elsewhere. While I do understand their motifs, I dislike the idea that all this is Colombian money spent on education that does not benefit Colombia herself.
What do you think?

Hi… I agree with you… all the money spent on education should benefit colombia, industrial designers in colombia have a lot to do, we have to proof to the industry that we are an excelent investment for their bussiness, and we have to start making products that can be produce (make… how do you say that???) here in Colombia, the good thing is that I´ve seen a lot, a lot and I really mean it, a lot of progress in our industry, now you see 100% colombian design products in the market and thats a good thing…

P.O.P and stands, furniture are the biggest markets for industrial designers in colombia, even if you find great thing on that here (things that can be exported, and some colombian companies design stands and P.O.P for all around the world) now the market is expanding… now you see product design, enviromental design, urban design, and a lot more…

I hope all those colombian designers that had to go out to some other country to work there can come back here and find a good place to do great work… I hope I dont have leave!!!


about my university´s industrial design web page… it is broken, and it has been broken for a long time! I hope they update it and fix it soon!! I dont know where else you can find some work made in the university, in Cali, my city we have a showroom once or twice a year with the best of the work… and we participate in expodiseño wich is the most important design show in the country… also there is a book call “diseño en colombia 2” by prodesign… and there are a few pages with my university´s work… including one project that I made.

and you should check this out:

latin american design network… it is leaded by colombia I really think so, but I am not really sure.

Hey… I Know its kind of late, to post in this topic, but when y read the post of this this German Professor… I couldn’t hold myself!.. I know him! he is a great person I can´t believe he writes here, I tried to make an exchange in germany with him in the well known academic institution where he is professor, but sadly the things didn’t work out… (he tried to help me in all the ways he could), now… is always nice to know people outside colombia that are aware of the good design of Colombia and willing to help to make it better.

Saludos Hartmut!