Hi Mancho (again):
your question is too susceptible to that kind of stereotype blabbering that you get a lot of in those forums… You do have to get around and know a bit about some of those cultures you’re judging. That is awfully hard if all you read is your local paper and all you watch is your country’s TV and all you speak is your own language. I mean not you… talking in general.
You have forgotten Germany on your list, the country where design was invented. There was Bauhaus, there was the Ulm School of Design. We are not so very good at commercializing design as the Japanese are (except when it comes to the red dot and if awards), we are not quite as professional as the big firms in the U.S., and we don’t have the incredible economic power that China has these days (until the bubble bursts).
You have to mention the criteria by which you would want to have your question judged.
Many educational institutions around the world are highly structured. Many schools (and students) confuse structure with quality, and many students confuse flashy (automotive) renderings with good design.
The quality of design education depends in part on the quality of the incoming students and their intellectual capabilities. The U.S. have a wide spread - many extremely mediocre schools with mediocre students. They also have institutions like MIT.
In China there is a tremendous drive to add educational facilities paralleled with a dramatic lack of qualified teachers.
If you wish to work analytically together with extremely well-educated incoming students, you go to Europe, if they let you in. Here education is (mostly) free for the qualified, but schools are very selective (only 1 out of every 10 applicants are accepted into the design program in Germany, roughly).
I hope this doesn’t sound too arrogant, it’s just observations from several decades of studying and teaching in various places around the world, plus travelling a bit plus coordinating exchange with schools around the world.
So there is no “best” country, as long as you’re unable to define what is “good”. Or what is “design”…
Good luck, regards to Colombia (el paÃs mÃ¡s bello del mundo),
prof (from Berlin)