Which School would you choose?

Just finished my final year of high school, I’m looking at the following universities for either Product or Industrial Design.
Which one, and why would you choose if you were in my position?

Pratt Institute, New York.
Central Saint Martins, London
Florence Design Academy, Florence
Northumbria University, England
Queensland University of Technology, Australia
Brunel University, England
Nottingham Trent University, England
Loughborough Design School, England

Thanks, t

Central Saint Martins. It was featured in the Businessweek best D-School list has great reputation, but it is pretty costly.

Pratt was another one featured in the list

Think about what the design community is like at those universities and in the general area, not just the academic program.

Northumbria, Brunel and Loughbourgh all seem to reliably churn out good quality graduates. Brunel used to require a Maths A level so I guess that the course there is quite technical. Loughbourgh has a reputation for sports and I was recomended not to go there by my director of sixth form who said “don’t go there you wont like the people” but when I’ve met Loughbourgh grads they all seemed ok, although a lot of their final projects did tend to lead towards sports. If you have just finished school I would recomend that you take a foundation couse somewhere, this will teach you all the key skills (sketching, model making etc) that you will expected to already know when you start uni. I went straight to uni from school without taking a foundation course and always regret it as I believe a foundation course would have meant that I was better prepared for uni, and some of my skills are still not where I would like them to be as I have never been taught the basics.

What are you going to put into it? It is your opportunity to take and lern everything you can. The community is more important then the setting. Most schools have pretty okay facilities, but what you want is the community. Are you in North America or the UK? All the schools you listed are good. If you are in the States then I’d look at a few schools that are in large university’s and a few other schools too: College for Creative Study, Cleveland Institute of Art, Parsons, Kendall College, Art Center, SCAD. The benefit of a large university is that it is large. You will be with a wider more diverse collection of people and have access to more things and classes.

Simon is right and the new design capital is Finland, better start looking north my friend. There are some great schools up there. In the states go to Utah for ID.

Syracuse U (my alma mater) is #3 on the Design Intelligence list.

I would choose the one that is best suited to myself, not to other people.

The best ID school out there is SCAD. Why? Because I personally went to SCAD. I didn’t go to Pratt, Brunel, etc, so I can’t tell you how living there and educationally for 4-years compare to SCAD.

You need to do your own research on the college and the city (you will be living there for 4+ years after all). Then narrow your selection down and visit your favorite three (or more) schools, making your decision after you visit. You will be spending quite a bit of money and quite a bit of time, this is an investment in your future and your life. Even if you do this, you may end up changing schools to go to the “better one”.

It would be the same as going to a car forum and saying…
“What car is best for me? Honda Civic? Toyota Camry? MINI Cooper? HUMMER H1? BMW M3? Ford Taurus? SAAB 9-5?..”
They’re all so different, for different people who live different lives, for very different reasons and purposes.

Sorry to be so blunt, but that is the truth.

Syracuse is #1 on the sh*tty weather list that I made up. Yeah, even worse than RIT. Factor that into your decision too. :laughing:

I’ll admit… the warm weather, massive live oaks, hanging Spanish moss, the beach only a ten minute drive away, and beautiful architecture/city of Savannah helped me to choose SCAD, along with their top-notch ID program.

I’m originally from Pennsylvania, and was happy to get out of the cold winters. I don’t regret my decision whatsoever to choose SCAD/Savannah for 5 years of my life (studied abroad twice, and earned a minor). It all depends on what your priorities are. It is a tough choice that only you can make!

There is no such thing as the best school, it’s always greener in the other side of the fence. The most important thing is to go to a reputable design school. There are lazy students/teachers in the best school, and the most determined students/teachers in a not-so-great school. It’s what you make it out to be. Personally since I love to build, I’d look for one with a good workshop that has great tools and good access hours, but not everyone will be using the workshop space so may not be important to some. Facilities aside; price of tuition, cost of living, and transportation would be in the priority list. Look at their class requirements, some are more focused on hand drawing skills, others more into CAD. Look at their subject, you more inclined in furniture vs ceramics, not all places offer all fields or may not even specializes in any.

Bottom line, it’s what you make out of it. Don’t expect to learn or be taught everything, art/design is subjective since there is no right or wrong answer (ehh… technically speaking). School is an experience (an important one by that), it’s up to us to continue and pursue what we want to focus more during and after school. School just forces us to do those projects, we learn most by doing it (the experience), and not so much as the projects itself (the end product result). But most important, do all project as if it’s a portfolio piece, even the minor intro projects.

nicanor is correct. School is what you make of it in terms of education. The only real benefit of any school is their connections. What kind of a job do you want when you graduate is the question school connections can answer.

That said, I’d go to Florence. I like Florence.

I would definitely say to go for Pratt. Very well known institution, as well as a good education level in both undergraduate and graduate programs. And it it’s in NYC , which is the place to be and to develop for a young designer.

This is an impossible question to even begin to answer without knowing who you are and what your goals are.

School is about finding the right environment for you to learn in. What is great for one person may not work for another. I highly recommend you visit as many schools as possible, talk to students, sit in on classes. Go with the school that feels right.

I think if I were you I would list the top 5 companies you would love to work for and see which school they hire from the most, how good is their Alumni organization, and the salary range you can expect after graduation.

Why the emphasis on European versus American? Since you’ve only one place on the list for an American school, how did you choose Pratt? Do you know it well already? Just wondering, no value judgement on any of them . . .

My vote is for Stout. :smiley: