Online / Distance Learning Design schools

I did a few quick searches and could not find a thread on this topic (maybe my keywords were off). I was wondering if anyone knew of any online / distance learning design schools and if so, how effective were they. I know that learning remotely is never as good as having a teacher right there, but it is better than trying to learn from a book and hoping for the best.

check out Academy of Art University

I don’t feel that design would be a good fit for distance learning. the majority of learning in a design school comes from working with your peers.

while I understand that distance learning isn’t optimal for design, I guess the question comes down to who would you trust to design a better product, someone who at least received some mentoring, albeit online, or the person who just relied on forums and books.

While the best situation possible would be to move to where the design schools are, sometimes that is not an option (if I said pick up and move in the next three months, could you?) so the distance learning at least helps shape the growth of a designer.

I have found the art institute online as well as the one recommended, anone have any other options?

I did, several times over. Seems like a small price to pay for a dream coming true.

you are very lucky in that.

I unfortunately can’t break lease, leave the woman who is in her dream school (phd), or leave a job that has at least given me the flexibility to persue this option.

I am trying to work in those constraints. Again, I am not touting online over traditional. I would love to go to CMU to study and would be happy (despite the financial burden) to do so, but that is currently not an option, and I want to use the time I have to the best of my abilities :slight_smile:

Thanks for the feedback though. Maybe I will be badgering you to judge how well I am coming along while I wait for an opening to seize my dreams :smiley:

Yo is right and gave you good advice. You will be waisting you time on distance learning – designers grow by learning and working with their peers.

again, while I don’t discount the advantages of a traditional design school, I am stating my current situations doesn’t support moving to one of the design schools of my choice. I definitely understand the need to have peer review and the lessons that are learned from a hands on cirriculum. Please don’t let my insistence on distance learning make you think i don’t understand (I was an architecture student once, so I know the joys and love of studio quite well).

The issue, and the reason for my initial post was that when learning a new field it’s usually easy (with the internet and technology) to find the answers to questions you have, but the rub is in finding out the QUESTIONS you wouldn’t know to ask. This is where a structured learning environment would come in hand. I am sure I could possibly find an ad-hoc / informal design group in my area, or even use peer resources here to critique my drawing and design ideas and my understanding of the concept. But I will never know what questions I am missing unless someone who has been there and done that point out those questions to me.

So, my situation is that I support my fiance at her dream school in her dream phd until she is complete, then it’s my choice on the move. Yes, I have a list of “real” grad schools i would like to attend when moving is a possibility, but I find it incredibly hard to believe that in this day and age I have to twiddle my thumbs until I get into a brick and mortar school for me to learn about design. I can do research on my own, I can sketch to high heaven, but with the wealth of resources that are available over the internet, the only way for me to ever really learn anything is to sit in class?

Again, I am not saying an online program, certificate program, “bootcamp” seminar are better than the time invested in studio, class, and on a supportive campus where you get peer review. I have been there I know the effect those lessons have on development. I am simply asking if there ids a way from me to not have to idly dream of perusing a career until I can get there. Is there really no way to get structured learning outside of the classroom?

There are a lot of technical skills you can pick up with online or remote resources. You can pick up drawing and 3-d skills. What you will miss are the critics and debates, that’s where you really learn/understand design. The rest is potentially monkey work which, although good to know/mandatory in todays age, isn’t the biggest benefit you get from school. There are a lot of good technicians that don’t have good design sensibilities, and they’re easy to spot out. That normally comes from too much focus on the “learnable” skills. Also as others have mentioned, networking and meeting others from different backgrounds and majors. And really important are the facilities you won’t have on your own- wood/metal/model-making shops and computer programs worth $$$ that schools have.

Assuming you have good design sensibilities, than you can pick up the more “learnable” skills if you’re good at teaching yourself things from directions. Check out the scott robertson gnomon vids for sketching skills. Dimontegroup tutorials for solidworks, plenty of online rhino and rendering tutorials. There’s a buttload of info here in core, you could theoretically do your remote training here. Plenty of photoshop, other program tutorials, plus critics of peoples work which is good to see and analyze, like this for example: Referee flashdrive Also productdesignforums has lots of good tutorials on sketchbook pro and solidworks which seem to be the big items over there. CG talk for examples of good pro renderings. Don’t forget your online design mags too, search the boards for them.

These resources could easily keep you busy teaching yourself for the next 2-3 yrs at least. Good luck!

thanks skinny, I think you hit the nail on the head. I wasn’t being clear enough. I know there are a lot of “technical” elements to design that I can learn through online and self taught… this is what I was looking for when advocating for an online school. I come from a completely technical background, so self learnable skills are the norm for most of my education. I understand, though, that the growth in understanding the nuances of design can only happen in a social environment (traditional school). I just wanted to be able to cover some part of the overall education while I went through this process in my life.

I will check out the resources that you provide. If anyone else has any more pointers to “technical” elements of a design education through online or print media, let me know. I am sure I am not the only person in a “self taught” only situation! :smiley:

I would definitely recommend the gnomon series.