The profession of Automotive Design has evolved a lot since looks became as important as functionality. Automotive design deals in the development of the appearance of automobiles by developing the visual appearance, considering technical feasibility with creativity, to solve problems and create the product concept.
It also deals with the R&D of anything that is connected to mobility, like Aircraft, Marine vessels etc. A transportation designer is the one who makes the future designs of automobiles by proposing newer (and more efficient) ideas.
The task of the design team usually belongs to these three main segments: exteriors, interiors, colour and trim design. These are some of the most renounced colleges which offer automotive design courses
IDC IIT, Bombay
The Mobility and vehicle design course in IDC was founded in 2010. IDC was set up in 1969 by the Government of India under the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IITB). Even when the automotive sector is facing problems like environmental contamination, increasing population, congestion etc. the automotive companies are pushing the limits through design. And these studios need creative designers to function properly.
The course aims to create creative professionals from creative individuals through careful nurturing and guidance. The studies concentrate on finding creative solutions to existing or future problems in the area of mobility/transportation. The program consists of well thought over personal projects which vary from personal to mass transports.
Check your eligibility right here.
The National Institute of Design is internationally known as one of the first multi-disciplinary institutions in the field of design education and research.
NID’s transportation design course started in 2000, which is the first in India. This program aims to find and nurture highly creative individuals to solve the existing and future challenges accompanied with ‘mobility’, by improving relevant skills and knowledge.
This program is process-centric in nature. The course has a strong emphasis on environmental, social, economic and cultural aspects of transportation. The program sets off with understanding automobile aesthetics (exterior/interior), human factors, vehicle packaging, display & controls etc. and that too in a product level.
Check your eligibility right here.
MIT Institute of Design, Pune
This prestigious institute was established in 2006 and offers a range of design programs in both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. The Institute of Design at Maharashtra Academy of Engineering Education and Research offers Graduate and Post Graduate courses in Product Design and Automotive/Transportation Design.
The courses at MIT ID equip the students with the knowledge and skills to become a well equipped professional Transportation designer. the exposure to latest Technologies, Composite materials, Aerodynamics, Fluid Dynamics, Automotive Modeling, Vehicle Packaging Design and Usage of Automotive Clay & FRP make the learners capable of creating newer transportation design and systems to improve mobility.
Check your eligibility right here.
DYPDC School of Design, Pune
DYPDC Center for Automotive Research and Studies is an undergraduate and postgraduate school in automotive styling based in Pune, Maharashtra, India. The college is a collaboration between the D.Y. Patil group and Dilip Chhabria, an Indian automobile designer.
The Postgraduate Program in Automotive Styling is a 2-year course offered by the college. To get admission a student needs to have graduation in any discipline of Arts / Science / Commerce / Engineering. The programme fees go all the way up to 7 lakhs per year.
There will be project work too where the students will be able to build an actual car at the end of the course. The final year project is even more interesting where students will get a chance to work on building an actual prototype, right from the design stages to the full working model.
CPDM IISc, Bangalore
Centre for Product Design and Manufacturing (CPDM) is a design school in India, established in 1996 at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. It offers Master of Design (M.Des.) degree in Product Design and Engineering, M.Sc. (Engg.) by research and PhD programmes in Design.
Eligibility for admission to the M.Des. programme is a degree either in engineering or architecture. Selection for admission is based on performance in a Design Aptitude Test (DAT) and interview(s) conducted at the centre. Shortlisting for DAT is done on the basis of an applicant’s CEED or GATE score.
The DAT / interview will test the engineering knowledge; spatial, creative, and analytical thinking ability; aesthetic sensitivity and communicating ability; and the overall aptitude for the design and the suitability of the candidate for the programme.
M.Des. in Product Design and Engineering is spread over 4 semesters and 2 summer terms, covering courses dealing with engineering, aesthetics, ergonomics, materials, manufacturing, design methodology, CAD, CAE, marketing etc.
Strate School of Design, Bangalore
Strate School of Design (formerly known as Strate College) is a French private institution for technical education founded in 1993. Its main campus is in Sèvres south-west of Paris.
The school is dedicated to the teaching of industrial design,3D modelling and design thinking. The school is recognized by the French state and its design degree is certified by the French Ministry of Higher Education. Strate School of Design opened in 2018 a large campus in Bangalore, India, together with other institutions from the Studialis group
The M.Des in Transportation is a 2-year post-graduate master’s degree. It is recognized by the French State through its registration by the National Council of Professional Certification (RNCP) at Level 1.
The school is well known in the car design industry since its transportation design course exists since its schools opening in 1993. The website Car Design News, by adding up all the successive results for the years 2011-2015 of student participation in the Car Design Awards competition ranked the school as one of the top transportation design school in the world.
So the big question is, “How do you get in?”
It’s not that hard, to be frank, but it does need dedication and a lot of practice. Getting into a prestigious design college needs not much but a genuinely creative mind. And that you can achieve by following a few steps that are more beneficial if you turn them into a habit.
1. Learn to sketch
Sketch a ball, sketch a block, sketch an apple sketch whatever you see in front of you. Learn to replicate and recreate little by little, inch by inch. Until the sketch can barely be distinguished from the physical object.
2. Appreciate and Observe nature
Nature is a masterpiece. It has beauty and functionality in its optimal balance. Yet its evolving day by day. Such is the life of a designer. A designer creates and builds upon his creation, constantly evolving to something better. And the best way to be a better designer is to observe nature.
3. Practice! Practice! Practic!
There is no substitute for practice. The more you practice the better you get at it. Dedicate 1 hour of your daily routine to sketch and research on automobile or product designs. Learn and understand how designs evolve, say, from a Ford Model T to a Ferrari ITALIA 458. Be creative and have the courage to explore places where others won’t even try to go. Be the Tesla cyber truck in a world full of Ford 150s.
4. Build a kickass portfolio
Once in awhile take up personal projects. Sketch something mimicking the professionals. and keep them safe in a file, treasure them and only put the best of best of your works in them. This will be your portfolio, that will tell them what you can do if given the chance.
Most of the time, it’s not about how great your sketch is but more about how well-thought-of it is, and how creative you have gone to replicate something in your mind, on paper.
5. Have common sense
It’s the most basic need in any stream of study or in life. In design, common sense is mostly about proportions. Have a good grasp over perspective views and proportions of various objects.
6. Be a graduate
You have to be a graduate in engineering, architecture or a B.des in any field of design to get admission.
GATE and CEED are 2 of the most popular examinations to get into possibly any college that offers M.des in automobile design.
Course fees can go anywhere from Rs. 50,000 to Rs.7 lakhs per annum, depending on the college. Though, if you are able to get a scholarship then it’s a different story.
Transportation design trends are getting revived after it plunged recently in India. With the introduction of electric vehicles, more and more companies are using their designers to crack newer dimensions of designs in the electric vehicle segment.
More and more cars are being designed in India by Indians, that are more than just transportation devices to their owners.
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