Why did you choose your school?

I went to University of Washington in Seattle. I enrolled as pre-acrchitecture student first, and found ID in my sophmore year. I picked the school because I grew up in Seattle, and I was already living in the neighborhood.

I would attend the school for ID again if I was in the same situation, living in Seattle. If I was somewhere else, I would attend another local college.

Knowing what I know, and how it is out in the industry, I understand now that school isn’t everything. Unless you are getting into a nitch market like auto design, I think students can learn all they need to learn in any school.

I went to school in the 80’s. My parents had three kids going to college at the same time. NC State tuition was only $400 per semester for in-stste residence. Pretty much ended up being a no-brainer for me.

I went to school at MIAD simply because at the time, Brook Stevens (not the firm but Brooks himself) was a professor. He passed on to his students, how to be a designer and understand the business of design.

Very insightfull. To this day, I believe, business comes before design.


did you go to syracuse?

probably San Jose State Uni… judging by the user name

My junior high school son, who has been interested in car design since he was 2 years old, needs to choose a college. He is math challenged and an average student, who is talented at CAD and actual car design. We are thinking about Industrial Design as a major. Is that a good fit for his desires? What about graphic design? What is the difference for someone like him with his interests? Also what schools are the most desired for prrospective employers? Any of your actual experiences will be helpful to us novices. Thanks. Mo[/b]


I know exactly what you are going through. Our son is a senior in High School with the same passion. We have gone through this whole process and I can share with you what we have learned.

For starters this whole issue was already addressed by my post
“Concerned Dad - Career/school choices” - Concerned Dad - school/career choices

The Transportation Design Schools are:
(We have visited all, except ACCD)

ACCD - Art Center College of Design - Pasadena
The average student age is 23 and I understand that they rarely take in incoming freshman. Also they do not provide housing, so your kid is on his own

CCS - College for Creative Studies - Detroit MI
Great Design School in the Heart of Motor City. The problem is that you have to be accepted in the Transportation Design department in your Junior year. I understand that it is quite competitive - less than 20 out of 100 industrial design students make it.

CIA - Cleveland Art Institute - Cleveland OH
5 year program - 1st two years are on foundation studies

UC -DAAP University of Cincinnati - Cincinnati, OH
Great Co-op program with many students working at Auto Companies.
No portfolio needed for admissions. But Trans program is quite competitive academically - requires good SAT, GPA and class ranking of at least 10%

Pratt Institute - Brooklyn NY
Competitive portfolio required

Good luck! E-mail me if you have any questions.

For transportation design you are going to want to check out these links (BTW, graphics is a totally different field, it’s like the difference between a podiatrist, and a pediatrician, they’re both doctors, but not interchangable)

“So you want to be a car designer” article link below:

Licting of schools that offer specialized degrees in auto design

Various auto school senior shos:

Or even consider European schools for transportation design.

I think I differ from a lot of you on this. I went to school because I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I went a a pretty large university and fell in love with the campus. I declared 3 majors (computer science, mechanical engineering, and architecture) before ID. I didn’t even declare my major in ID until my sophomore year and then finished the program in 2 years (it was only 3 full years of ID courses and a little over a year of foundation courses… welcome to my old college insanity of 21 hours of studio classes a semester) When it was apparent to me that I wanted to study ID I just went to the same school I had already been at because they had a program for it. I knew nothing about its reputation, etc. etc. Looking back I don’t think I would change a thing. Every designer I know, no matter what school they went to, had to have the same thing when they graduated- a good portfolio and a great personality.

I thought I would chime in on this post, because this question was posed to me directly by Yo on another forum, and, here I see that, having wished i had gone to RISD, he wishes he had not. Design is so subjective that it is very difficult as a high school student to know what exactly to look for in a school that you want, and know what you want. This all comes down to hindsight, it would be great if design schools could have students or even grads spend time with perspective students to help them find out what they are looking for, and how and if that school could match what they dont know that they want. There is no science, and no school is perfect we change as people and designers during school, so be it as it may, we are who we are, good and bad thanks, in part, to our school.

Not a bad idea, though it’s equally prickly… I think there are very few people fresh out of high school whose wishes are the same four years down the line.

Ultimately, you’re right, it all comes down to hindsight. It’s times like these when it’s good to say: Everything happens for the best.

I guess it’s not so much that I wish I didn’t go to RISD, because it really worked out for me. I was one of those kids who could always draw like crazy, I needed the cerebral balance. I just wish it worked out for more of my classmates. About 45 of us graduated in my year in ID, and I would say 5-8 of us are doing product design professionally.

So I wouldn’t change a thing myself, I just wouldn’t recommend the program to so someone who didn’t have the basic skill set already.

I just wish it worked out for more of my classmates.

sounds like Purdue in the seventies… … . Papanek was a great influence, but didn’t provide much technical training for us. The placement rate wasn’t good. I’m sure things have changed.

I had a department manager back in the early eighties that was a RISD graduate. He couldn’t draw water, but he was one hell of an organizer.

My post above. … … . .

i feel the same way u do abaout italy, but i cant seem 2 find information about the schools and more important about the degree they give(or not give). im from israel and here all the good schools give B.design and i wont b able 2 work in israel without it…
if anyone could help me find information about those things i would be so greatfull!!!
thank u![/b]

I choose Pratt, cause it had an all around design program that would allow me to try a lilttle bit of everything… Also NY is a great place to a young designer, lots of resources and networking chances…


I chose the Pratt MID program for these reasons:

the size: accepting between 30-35 students which leads to many classes/professors/options/interests to chose from.

the fact that they accept people from all backgrounds- I will be taking technical classes with people a little more mature than if I were to go through an undergrad program.

the balance between art school “vision” and a more technical field seems to be evident. So many other schools were one or the other.


payment is per credit, so you can do many internships and spread out your time there a bit without paying more money (other than standard tuition increases).


Hang ups: some of the student work which i think is not of a high enough calliber, but both sides of the balance were represented and I have faith in myself and my abilities. And the second speed bump relates to the physical space and equipment to student ratio.

I begin this fall so we’ll see if I made the right choice! Personally, I think it is the right fit for ME.

forgot: the Pratt MID program typically takes 2 1/2 to 3 years- i didn’t want to rush through in 2 years, particularly when i can take internships and take advantage of my situation in 3.