what makes an ID school GOOD/GREAT/EXCELLENT?

I just posted a reply about DAE and the disappointment I am feeling about the program, and am really wondering now, what makes an ID school excellent in your experience as a (current or former) industrial design student? What do you feel are the most important skills you learned? Do you think that even though it may be an “art” school that intellectual stimulation is just as important as drawing and learning modelmaking skills? How and why do you think your favorite teacher’s method of teaching is successful? What kind of knowledge did you learn as a student that you would not have been able to learn if you were thrown out there in the ID world on your own? Things like that…

I know there was an excellent thread down there somewhere about the most valuable lessons former industrial design students learned during their school days, but as current and / or former students, what do you feel are the most valuable things that are being taught at your school?

to get work placements and lots abd lots of experience

Generaly, you get out of the school what you put into it. Though some schools are better than others, even these schools put out mediocore designers.

But I do agree that the better schools require entrance portfolios, exit portfolios, sponsored projects, at least two co-ops or internships required, colaberative projects with engineering and marketing students, etc. And most important is that the have focused studios, where students work, and exchange ideas. Students who are totally private, do their work in their dorm room, and never colaborate with others are detrimental to their development as well as all around them.

Personally I feel the IDSA needs to step up and force schools to revamp the educational system. Pesonally I would like to see Mecanical engineering, Marketing, Branding, Industrial Design, and manufactruing Technology degrees being offered from a joint “School of Buisness Innovation”. This would allow all disiplines to be more readily available to each other, for coloaborative projects. I would like to see the curiculum changed to a 5yr and/or 6 yr process allowing for more indepth study, real-world internships, and sponsored projects.

As mentioned above, experiance is the key to knowlege in this field.

School wise:

Freedom of thinking, ideation and concepts. You need an encouraging environment for good concepts and its developement.
Strong emphasis on visual presentation skills including sketching and rendering.
Strong emphasis on modeling skills, where CAD or physical models.
You need an organized and efficient department admin to get things running smoothly.
Facilities and its availability to students is extremely important too. That includes studio rooms, comp labs and model shops.

Quality of instructors is obviously one of the most important factors. Famous designers doesnt necessary make good teachers. Don’t be fooled by their big names. Teachers who have been teaching for many years will have the experience in communication between him/herself and the students.

Quality of students is important too. Quality meaning positive attitude towards work and fellow classmates, puts in 100% into his work and constructive feedback to classmates to generate a positive learning and working environment.

I think no matter how many years you stay in school, the experience will never get you prepared to be a full industrial designer. Most of it comes from post grad employment experience. So I don’t think it’s necessary to go to 6th year. A 5 year course will be nice.

Let me clearify, my 6 yr plan would include formal matterial, manufacturing, ME, and marketing classes, as well as two semesters of all sponsered team projects working together with students from ME, manufacturing tech, and marketing. Perhapse even a project were the team developes an idea for a new product based on colaborativly conducted market/consumer research, and take it all the way through concept ideation, refinement, cost estimations, branding, packaging design, marketing collaterol, mechanical engineerin, presentation/semi functional models, and final consumer validation. Just like you would in the real world. This would prepare them all for graduation.

Faculty is the key. You need a mixture of full time faculty and part time working professionals teaching. This is the core of a good department. With that in place, sponsored projects, competitions and internships fall into place. A reputation, placement figures and portfolio entrance requirements are not that good without the right faculty.