The Master of Design (MDes) in Automotives is a postgraduate-level degree in the field of design, awarded by higher education institutions around the world. The field of design is of course constantly changing, and careers in car design typically call for a combination of personal creativity with professional skills such as project management.
Completing a Master of Design in car designing program can help you develop in-depth knowledge of the significance of vehicle design in the modern world. Automotive design affects not only the way we travel but also connects to us in a cultural, emotional and social level.
Moreover, Automotive and transportation design courses will allow you to collaborate with other creative types, such as fine artists or filmmakers. You will also have the opportunity to amplify your portfolio and extend your network in the industry.
M.Des in car design has a strong focus on the application of artistic and computer-aided design skills to the interpretation of commercial and technical information for the public. Compared to design courses at the undergraduate level, this graduate qualification offers the opportunity to focus on more complex Car design principles and the processes that bring them to life.
Graduates with a Master of Design should be well-equipped to interpret cultural, emotional and societal needs and trends, in order to develop the most appropriate formats, designs and multimedia to achieve a desired sensation or function to the car.
Although opportunities in India for car designers is increasing day by day, still studying abroad is preferred by many. There are a plethora of colleges outside India that provide some of the highest quality education in the field of Car design.
Here are some colleges that may be the best for your requirement:
Royal College of Art, as the name implies, is indeed a prestigious institution that has an acceptance rate of just 16%, which makes it one of the toughest design schools to get into.
It is located in London, England, UK and offers only Master and Research programs in Design. Among the long list of notable alumni, Ian Callum, the current Director of Design for Jaguar Cars and Peter Stevens, UK’s best-known vehicle designer stand high and unique. Mr Pratap Bose, Head of Design, Tata Motors is also an alumnus of this college.
Located in Pasadena, California, United States, Art Center College of Design has probably made it to every Top 10 list as such. The school has an acceptance rate of 63%, offers Graduate and Undergraduate programs in Design and ensures to provide some kind of financial aid to most of its students. Chris Bangle, former Chief of Design for BMW and Dilip Chhabria, famed Indian transportation designer are few of the notable alumni of this private institution.
Coming back to the United States, College for Creative Studies is a private, fully accredited design school located in Detroit, Michigan, US. This design institute has an acceptance rating of 42%, thus making it another design school in this list that’s really hard to get into.
It offers Bachelor and Master programs in Design and is known for its beneficial financial aids for both domestic and international students. Ralph Gilles, known for his designs at Chrysler is a notable alumnus of this design school.
The Istituto Europeo di Design (IED) is a private design school in Italy founded in 1966 by Francesco Morelli. The school is organized into four disciplines: Design, Fashion, Visual Communication and Management.
It is spread over nine cities—Milan, Turin, Venice, Cagliari, Florence, Rome, Barcelona, Madrid and São Paulo—and thirteen locations which occupy more than 50,000 square meters of space. It offers 29 different courses of three-year duration, in several languages: English, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. These courses are attended by about 10,000 students every year, totalling to more than 90,000 students, for the Institute’s forty-year history
Pforzheim University is one of the biggest public universities of applied science in Germany. Located in Pforzheim, it was created to meet the demand for specialists in the jewellery industry and science, before it grew to become one of the most important and research-oriented universities of applied sciences in Germany.
The main buildings of the campus are located in the southern part of the city (Tiefenbronner Straße), with affiliated institutes scattered around the city Pforzheim. The Pforzheim University Business School is one of only nine institutions in Germany to have received the AACSB accreditation.
IAAD – Istituto di Arte Applicata e Design (Turin, Italy)
Starting in 2013, the year of the opening of the new headquarters in the Aurora district of Turin, the IAAD post-graduate three-year degree courses are officially accredited by the Ministry of Education, University and Research as first-level academic degrees. In 2017 the university inaugurated a new office in Bologna.
The Academy of Art University, formerly Academy of Art College, is a privately owned for-profit art school in San Francisco, California, in the United States. It was founded as the Academy of Advertising Art by Richard S. Stephens in 1929.
It has 283 full-time teachers and 1154 part-time teaching staff, and about 11,000 students; it claims to be the largest privately-owned art and design school in the United States.
The school has open admissions and an admission acceptance rate of 100%. In 2016, its accreditor expressed concern over low graduation rates; approximately 7% of students then completed a four-year degree within the allotted time.
As of 2015, the school has not published job placement rates since 2006 and disagrees with the US Department of Education over whether it is required to do so.
The school is one of the largest property owners in San Francisco, with the main campus located on New Montgomery Street in the South of Market district
College for Creative Studies (CCS) is a private college in Detroit, Michigan. The college enrols more than 1,400 students and focuses on arts education. The college is also active in offering art education to children through its Community Arts Partnerships program and its Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies.
The CCS is authorized by the Michigan Education Department to grant Bachelor’s and master’s degrees. CCS is also accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design and the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools,
The college offers Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in 13 majors. The college also offers the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree.
The Scuola Politecnica di Design (SPD) is a Milan-based postgraduate training institution focused on project disciplines in the areas of design and visual communication.
The postgrad offering of SPD includes yearly masters in industrial design, interior design, transportation and car design, visual design, “Web Design and Multimedia”. Teaching is organized in intensive workshops, labs, theoretical study, seminars and activities in the field; courses end with a professional internship.
Coventry University is a public research university in Coventry, England. The origins of Coventry University can be traced back to the founding of the Coventry School of Design in 1843. It was known as Lanchester Polytechnic until 1987, and then as Coventry Polytechnic until the Further and Higher Education Act 1992 afforded it university status that year and the name was changed to Coventry University.
Key course benefits: – Links with universities in Europe, Asia, China, North and South America provide opportunities to study abroad and gain an international perspective.
Extensive facilities include state of the art laser cutting, rapid prototyping, desktop CNC milling, 3D printing facilities, paint spraying, scanners, two large block material workshops, large scale painting facilities, styling clay workshops and handwork shops. –
Specialist design studios with presentation equipment and ample display and pin-up spaces, break out areas for small group work, wireless internet access in all areas, supported by a dedicated print bureau for 2D outputs up to A0 size and several art supplies shops.
The regular speaker programme makes use of our extensive links with specialists and current practitioners – with presentations from industry leaders of various disciplines covering design and other areas relevant to our student’s development and understanding of professional activities. – Past graduates include Christopher Svensson, Design Director – The Americas at Ford Motor Company; William Thorogood.
Senior Creative Director at LEGO System A/S; Mark Fetherston, lead designer for Mercedes-Benz; Matt Weaver, Design Director of Infiniti Europe; and leading F1 aerodynamicist John Iley. –
Computing suites offer current modelling, animation and analysis software, as well as graphic, modelling and visualisation packages, including Alias, Maya, Adobe Creative Suite, Rhino, Vector works, Showcase, VRED and SRAMSIS and Jack ergonomics software. Our frequently updated software packages are compatible with those currently being used in the industry.
The Umeå Institute of Design, UID, is an institute within Umeå University. UID opened in 1989 and is designed and equipped solely for the teaching of industrial design, transportation design, and interaction design. The Umeå Institute of Design is situated between the main Campus and Umeå city centre, as a part of the Umeå Arts Campus.
UID is the only Scandinavian school to have been listed on BusinessWeek’s top 60 list of design schools in the world in all of the three listings (2006, 2007 and 2009), and has also been named as one of the world’s 18 excellent designs schools in 2010.
2011 UID was ranked as the second-best design education in the region “Europa & the Americas” by red dot institute and 2012 UID advanced to first place. In 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018 it got ranked first as well.
There is a whole lot more college to explore than what is mentioned above. Access the top 10 colleges to study M.Des in car design here
All colleges have pretty much the same criteria for selection, with a major emphasis given on the portfolio of the student. Following steps are the pre-requisites to admission in any of the above-mentioned colleges :
Bachelors in Arts degree
Proficiency in English: TOFEL or IELTS or C1/C2 Advanced (USA) or PTE(UK)
UG degree in design or any other parallel degree.
Letter Of Recommendation (LOR)
Studying abroad may seem expensive but it’s totally worth it. Moreover, scholarships and student loan facilities often take care of the financials. Here is a list of somewhat average expenditure for abroad studies:
United Kingdoms(UK) – $15,000 – $30,240
United States of America (USA) – $10,000 – $25,000
Canada – $9000 – $19,000
All through its totally up to you to pick and choose what and how you wish to pursue your career in Car design, we have some suggestions that might help you :
Build a strong portfolio. You can join online diploma courses to hone your abilities and guarantee your admission in top colleges abroad.
Showcase your designing abilities and gain feedback.
Masters in Design For automobile has seen a dramatic increase in demand since the last few decades. This is pretty much bound to keep on increasing over the coming years, as automobile & Transportation design has changed its face, from being a luxury demand to a necessity.
Love Cars? Interested in Car Design? We have a course just right to fuel your interests! Learn more about our Diploma in Car Design online course!
You have probably ridden in one of his many creations over the year. Even the renowned footballer ‘Lionel Andrés Messi’ advertised one of the most interesting cars to come out of the TATA motor’s garage in 2018.
Mr Bose is well heard of personality when it comes to automotive designing. Born in Mumbai, Mr Pratap is an alumnus of the National Institute of Design, India which he graduated in 1998. Bose also received a scholarship from the INLAKE FOUNDATION to join Royal College of Art, the UK between 2001 and 2003.
For the first five years of his career, he had lent his services to the global automakers such as Piaggio & C.SpA, Pontedera, Italian Motorcycle Co. as a designer between 1999 and 2001. After graduating RCA, he was hired by Daimler Chrysler, Japan till 2007. The real challenge as a designer and manager for Mr Bose was given by Tata Motor in 2007. He has been promoted to the current position of Head of Design since 2011.
Bose is responsible for the design of several passenger cars and commercial vehicles including the likes of TATA Bolt, Tiago, Zest and Nexon. He has led the design of many multiple award-winning cars and commercial vehicles. It won’t be wrong to say that Mr.Pratap has brought a company that was known to manufacture taxi cars to the status of a company that manufactures cars that people love to own.
He has worked across TATA’s three in-house design centres – Pune in India, Turin in Italy, and TMETC (Tata Motor European Technical Center) in Coventry, the UK. His design team headcount is around 200 staff in combined three locations, 120 in India, 50 in TMETC, and 35 staff in Italy. The number of staff increased from 40 to 200 in the last 4 years. UK team started from 4 to 50 in the last 7 years or so.
He has been instrumental for the implementation of Tata Motor’s new design language IMPACT Design 2.0. Tata Motors now rank among top five carmakers in the country and new design language played the crucial role. After being appointed as the head of design of TATA motors in 2011, he has aggressively advertised the role of Design in their cars.
Under his visionary guidance and leadership, TATA motors design studios were able to roll out cars like Racemo, Pixel and MegaPixel Concepts. These concepts earned praises in the Indian as well as international markets. This success has given way to fresher and more contemporary designs of the TATA cars nowadays
Talking about his personal life, Pratap loves cooking, aeroplanes, painting, learning languages and is a terrible amateur drummer. Pratap is also the Visiting Professor at the Vehicle Design department in Royal College of Art.
Advice to aspiring designers:
Every now and then certain personalaties emerge,who knows how to hit the right strings and create music, Mr Bose is exactly that to TATA motors. His success story only gets us more and more excited to anticiate what we might have in store for the future TATA vehicles.
It’s on the screen you’re reading this on. The touchscreen or trackpad (or a keyboard/mouse) you’re using to navigate this page.
It’s in the pen on your desk and the book beside it. The mug you sip your coffee from.
Most of the world’s top companies put design before anything else, and for a good reason. Apple, Nike, Coca-Cola and Tesla are all successful because of their design-led approach to tackle challenges.
That’s one of the major reasons why everyone wants to think like designers, even when the objective is not purely related to design. Design Thinking is at the core of building a sustainable and successful organization.
So, what exactly is Design Thinking?
Design Thinking places the user at the centre. It’s a human-centred design process.
The focus is not only on how the product looks or makes one feel but how it’s used practically in everyday life.
It was popularized by IDEO’s Tim Brown and David M. Kelley, and Roger Martin of the Rotman School.
Design Thinking focuses on finding a solution to complex problems by using direct observation, logic, intuition, imagination and reasoning. The desired outcome should ultimately benefit the end-user.
The same approach can be applied to systems, protocols, user experiences and even building an entire company.
The Design Thinking Process
Empathy is vital to know your users and care about them. It’s the foundation upon which you build everything else. If you don’t care about the end-user and how they’ll interact with your product or service, you might as well give it up now.
Empathising with your end-user will give you a fresh set of eyes which will help you learn more about them. It’ll also give you an idea about the context in which they’ll use your product or service.
How do you empathise with your end-user? You interview them and dig deeper into their lives. Observe, engage, watch and listen their every word and action. Pay attention particularly to the little details and try to look at everything they do from their point of view.
Once you’ve got this down, you have all the information you need to define the problem you’re solving.
Only when you frame the right problem in the right manner can you arrive at the right solution.
The Define mode helps you bring clarity and focus to your design problem.
You’ve collected all the information you need and have empathised with your user. It’s now time to capture your findings and define a meaningful and actionable problem statement.
The problem statement should be formulated such that it focuses on insights and needs of a particular user. In simple terms, the Define mode is about making sense of all the information that’s in front of you.
Once you’ve defined the specific challenge you’re taking on, you need to generate meaningful solutions to address that challenge.
If you’re stuck getting started, ask yourself “How-Might-We-….?” and then take it forward.
Brainstorming is one of the best ways to kick start idea generation. The group dynamics helps you build on others’ ideas to arrive at even better solutions.
In the Ideate mode, you try to come up with the broadest range of possibilities to tackle your challenge. Here, the goal is not to arrive at the final, best solution, but the only list down a wide variety of ideas. The more the number of ideas, the better.
This is where your imagination and creativity comes into play. Encourage everyone in your team to come up with new ideas. While ideating, make sure to defer judgements and keep your critic inside you, suppressed. You can examine the merits of the ideas generated later.
Ideation supplies the source material needed to build prototypes and innovate later on.
Some of the most popular ways to ideate are noting down your rational thoughts, simple prototyping, bodystorming, mind-mapping and sketching.
Bring multiple ideas from your ideation process into the Prototype mode. This is where you evaluate your ideas and filter down the best ones.
But how will you decide which ideas to choose and which ones to ignore? Select too many ideas and you’re left with a clutter. Leave out too many and you’re losing out on your innovation potential.
Choose a bunch of critical criteria to rate your ideas on and let your team decide which one’s are the best. Carry two or three ideas that get the most votes forward into the Prototyping stage.
You can also club a few ideas together if it’s possible. However, never forget about your insights gained during the Empathy mode and lose track of your end-user. It’s easy to get lost in your own ideas and grow an attachment towards them.
Once you and your team have agreed on the best ideas, it’s time to build a prototype. Your first prototype should be cheap and easy to make. Something which can elicit useful feedback. As your design challenge evolves with incoming inputs, the prototype can be refined too.
So, what exactly is a prototype? It can be anything that you can interact with. Post-it notes, a storyboard, a simple gadget or even an activity. Anything that brings out emotions and responses from the user is a good bet.
You should make sure that every prototype you consider can be tested against a particular criterion.
Prototyping helps you to fail quickly and cheaply while testing a wide range of ideas and possibilities. It helps you break down a large problem into manageable chunks, simplifying the design challenge considerably.
Building a prototype needs some materials to get started. Post-its, tape, paper, cardboard, and any other unused material lying around is enough.
It’s wise not to spend a lot of time and money on building a single prototype. Let go of it once you’ve accomplished what you want and move on to the next prototype idea.
Make sure to identify what you’re testing with each prototype. Every prototype you build should answer a question when tested. However, don’t ignore other understandings you gain from each prototype. Tangential learnings help you refine your prototypes later.
That being said, always build the prototype with the end-user in mind. This will help you stay focused while creating the prototype.
Every prototype should be scrutinised and tested against the desired outcome. What those tests are and how to perform them with minimal errors is something that you should decide in advance, upon before building your prototype.
Test mode allows you to solicit feedback from your users and understand them better. It also lets you have another go at gaining empathy for the people you’re designing for.
Ask specific questions to your test users. If they like the prototype, ask them why they like it. If they don’t like it, ask them the same. This will help you gain insights about the person as well as develop potential solutions.
Here’s a quick tip: build your prototype assuming that it’s completely right, but test the prototype assuming that it’s totally wrong.
Once you’ve done testing, share your solutions and get feedback.
You haven’t completed the process yet. In fact, this is just the beginning. You have to iterate the whole process multiple times until you’ve narrowed down the best possible solution to the design challenge you defined earlier.
As you practice thinking like a designer, it’ll start to reflect in all your work, regardless of what you’re doing. Design Thinking will help you solve any challenge innovatively, efficiently and quickly.
In this article , Ian Cullam , Director of Design at Jaguar gives young students and professionals interested in car design some important tips to secure a job at jaguar in the design department. These tips are universal and would help any student of car design who is currently in the process of job hunt or preparation of portfolio.
Today a career in car design job is much more competitive than when I first started my automotive career. It’s critical that you stand out from the crowd. Here are my top tips when applying for a job here at Jaguar.
1. A killer portfolio is key
When I first arrived at Jaguar, I received a portfolio once every few months. Now we’re getting at least one a week, from all over the world. Portfolios say a lot; they are the first point of contact. Some of the books I get are beautifully made; they’re like coffee table books, but it’s the content that really counts. I can tell from four or five pages how good somebody is. It should show the thought process, with sketches and quick ideas, right through to a fully rendered car. Remember I don’t need to see your life story in drawings (although I do sometimes get it!).
2. Write a killer cover letter to go with it
Remember that your portfolio is going to land on my desk with lots of others. A cover letter is a must. This needs to be succinct, showing an understanding of Jaguar. Give me an indication of your genuine interest in not just being a designer, but being a Jaguar designer.
Before you go for an interview, you should find out about Jaguar. Find out about the person who will interview you. Who are they? What do they do? What are their interests? This gives you the advantage of knowing how to deal with them, because you deal with people according to their character. We all do.
Ian cullam sketch
3. Demonstrate creative thinking and drawing ability
I am often asked what qualities I look for in a designer. The most important mental skill is to be creative and to be able to think laterally. That’s the first thing I look for in any designer. The main physical skill I’m looking for is your ability to draw. Drawing is how we communicate.
4. Be yourself down to the last detail
First impressions are everything. I’m not necessarily expecting you to turn up in a three-piece-suit or a shirt and tie. People can present themselves in all sorts of different ways. You have to present your character as you really are. Designers look at details. I know a very famous entrepreneur who, when he sees people for the first time, looks at the heels of their shoes. Be aware that people are looking at these details. Don’t take the chance.
5. Be interesting and interested
Be prepared for what you want to say. You’ve got to be clear about what you want out of the job; not just financial benefit but real personal gain. The best candidates are interesting to talk to, and leave me wanting to know more. That’s always fascinating. However, I have interviewed people who just won’t stop talking. It’s nerves a lot of the time. Don’t be nervous, we’re all human. Be concise and listen.
Don’t forget to smile. It’s all about human interaction and a smile says so much about somebody.
6. Be a team player
We need an eclectic mix of people who fit into a team. I don’t have time for overly-confident, single-minded people. I used to be one of those people who could only work on my own, and that’s why I left Ford when I did, to set up my own design studio with “me, myself and I”. But since I have arrived at Jaguar, the most important thing I’ve learnt is to manage teamwork. A car is made up of thousands of parts and no one person can work alone with such a magnitude of work.
I say to my team “leave your ego at the door”. Of course every designer has an ego. Of course every designer wants to get their design up front. I’m quite happy with that. I’m not asking them to forfeit their design for the sake of teamwork. I’m asking them to understand that everybody in the team has something to offer and they must respect that. I don’t mind individuals with an individual character, but remember you are part of a team.
7. Show your love of learning and improving
The most important thing to remember is that your latest work is not necessarily your best and even if you think it at the time, it will get better. That is what makes a good designer.
There’s a lovely quote from Thomas Edison which I utterly believe in: “When you’ve exhausted all of the possibilities, remember this: you haven’t.”
Ian Callum at Jaguar Launch
About Ian Culla
Ian Callum, RDI, Jaguar Director of Design, was born in Dumfries, Scotland. Ian attended a course in Industrial Design at Glasgow School of Art, followed by a 2-year course in Automobile Design at the Royal College of Art.
Ian spent the first 12 years of his career at Ford Design Studios, where he contributed to the creation of the Escort RS Cosworth and the Ghia Via Concept. Later, as Chief Designer of TWR Design, he was responsible for the Aston Martin DB7 and Vanquish.
Ian joined Jaguar in 1999 but continued to manage Aston Martin Design, developing the DB9 as well as directing Jaguar Design where he and his team created, amongst others, the R-Coupe, RD-6 and C-X75 concepts. Heralding an exciting new era for the brand, each car takes the design theme further and continues to reinforce Jaguar as a creator of ‘fast, beautiful cars.’ The first new model was the XK, followed by the XF and XJ. In September 2012 the much-anticipated F-TYPE was launched, Jaguar’s first 2-seater sports car since the iconic E-Type. This was followed later by the Jaguar XE, which Ian designed for a very competitive segment. A bold statement for Jaguar using Ian’s established design philosophy.
If you love cars and are interested in designing them, our Diploma in Car Design course is the perfect choice for you to get started on your journey towards becoming a car designer.
6 design talents will be selected to work, for 6 months, in an existing Renault Design Studio. At the end of internship program, Job offers will be made to 1 or 2 participants.
Renault Design always has had a close to Design school students.
RENAULT has been sponsoring projects or doing workshops about Car Design & Design Management and encouraging design talent.
With the Design Academy , Renault had decided to go one step to train young talents, select the best and put them together in one of our foreign Design Studio under the mentorship of their top designers .
There will be several project briefings and meetings and presentation to top management
Renault will give a project, based on which a final offer will be made to the best candidate.
All finalists will get a certificate and the two best ones will receiva permanent real designer job offer.
About the Renault Design Academy
The Design Academy project was organized by Renault Design and developed under the lead of Project Director Patrick Lecharpy (VP Advanced Design and Head of Renault Design India studios) and Project Manager Luciano Bove, (Design Academy Head of Program and Advanced Design Manager).
Design Academy will accept applications from any ex design school student (undergraduate & postgraduate).
However; candidates must have no more than 2 years after their graduation day, candidates have never worked before, candidates who might have had already one or more internships.
Candidates must have a high comprehension & written level of the English language
Candidates must send their CV + Portfolio in PDF light format (no more than 4MB) via the website .
Selected candidates will be contacted by Renault as soon as possible.
Candidates must have a valid Passport
The Design Academy will be held at Renault Design Studio in Chennai India.
This is a wonderful opportunity for Launchpad Students to especially those with a postgraduate degree to work with Renault and we encourage each and every one of our students in the car design program to apply to this.The key skills to focus is car sketching skills. Please contact if you need any help in applying to the program.