Sketch/Ideation Class @ Design School

What should students expect, in way of formal sketching/ideation training at a good design program? My institution offers 2 foundational sketching/ideation classes. Is this typical of most product/ID programs?

We also have access to basic/intermediate digital design classes, as well as elective 3D modeling classes.


Without knowing too much about the rest of the curriculum that does sound like it’s on the low side compared to what I went through at DAAP and what I’ve heard about other programs.

It depends on how much sketching is enforced in your other classes. If it’s a big part of studio classes and is not treated as an after thought it might equal out in the end.

If you’re concerned about not getting enough formal sketching in, you can always start a thread here for motivation and feedback. At the end of the day there is no perfect design curriculum and there will aways be certain skill-sets that you will have to develop outside of class, regardless of where you go.

From my experience… Most of our sketching/ideation training was naturally part of an existing design or how things work class. The only standalone drawing classes we had were related to viscom and perspective.

At the Academy of Art we have the following:

Perspective: Half drafting, half sketching
Design Drawing 1: Focus on value and renderings in pencil/marker
Digital Imaging 1: Intro to Photoshop/Sketchbook Pro
Design Drawing 2: Quick sketching
Design Drawing 3: Emphasis is on form and detail development, page composition, and sketching techniques
Product Drawing: Digital sketching/rendering techniques in Photoshop/Sketchbook Pro
Transportation Drawing (Optional if you are able to sketch cars adequately: Digital sketching/rendering for trans
Digital Imaging 2: I can’t really tell you what happens… no one takes it.

In theory, we have eight drawing classes. Similar to Art Center in Pasadena ( I think they go to Viscom 1-7).

However, almost half of these classes are just not taught/structured well. I’ve been extremely fortunate that when I was taking these classes good instructors were teaching them (and then left in 1-2 semesters). The classes that are not useful typically are taught by instructors that either aren’t Industrial Designers at all, or aren’t active in the industry, which means they don’t know what employers want to see as far as sketching skills. Then there are the instructors that just don’t know how to give valuable feedback which is an entirely different and frustrating issue.

Like Choto said, if you are motivated to become good at sketching there is a plethora of resources which you can use. One of those being a sketching thread on these forums. There are also books, tutorials and much more.

Most importantly, find people that can give you valuable feedback on your sketches and go from there.

Thank you for the perspective(no pun intended). I don’t know enough yet, to know what I need to know(if that makes sense) and it’s helpful to get feedback from folks who’ve already been through the process.