Transportation Design at ArtCenter College of Design
- Articles, Blog

Transportation Design at ArtCenter College of Design

There’s something about the fact that it’s
this incredibly complex machine that at the same time, is just so sculptural that captivated
me since I was literally two years old. Like, I can remember every single toy we had was
a little car. And every time I see, new cars come out, new
designs come out. I absolutely love it. So that kept me interested and has just kept
me following transportation design, and design in general The thing that makes the automobile so unique
as a product, is the fact that it touches more of the human senses. It’s wonderful,
it’s beautiful, or it’s it’s own statement. But how it got there took a lot talent, and
a lot of choices and a lot of collaboration. It’s really taking from the very beginning
lines on paper all the way through to a finished 3-dimensional vehicle and something that you
might think would show up in a showroom someplace. The students here need to understand engineering
and they also need to be artists. They’ve got to be able communicate an item that has
passion. It evokes emotion. We don’t want to just emulate what’s being done in industry,
we want to lead what’s being done in industry. Oh yeah, I’ve seen that. Oh yeah, I’ve worked
with that. Sure I know that software program. I did my senior thesis using that. That’s
really where we want to be and how we’re positioning ourselves. The faculty that we have in Transportation
Design are an amazing group of people. These working professionals are able to get to know
people on a personal level and imagine how their particular personality or character
would fit their studio, which is great. The companies are really looking for people
that are outside the box. Super creative, super adventurous. That’s what I try to teach
here at Art Center. Getting them to really experiment more and not be afraid. I try to be as honest as I can, I try to relay
a lot of the sentiments that we experience in the industry to the students. And it gives
them a great benefit because they’re effectively plugged in to the real world. The connections they make between us, as students,
and the industry is huge. They really help us get where we want to go. They really put
a lot of effort into making things happen. If you’re not doing well, they’ll tell you
very straight-forward and you gotta get on it. So I think that’s one of the best qualities
here. I teach because it gives me, great, great,
great satisfaction to see them succeed but also I enjoy looking at really, really good
cars. So when they do good cars here I’m like “Yes! This is awesome!” Many of our students by the time they graduate
from our program have had two or even three internships. Some in Europe, some in Asia,
some here in the Southern California studios. Seeing what you expect it to be as a child
to what actually happens. How they develop it, how they go through it, how they work
with the clients. It just definitely makes you become a lot closer to a professional
designer. We don’t really know what cars are gonna be
like, if they’re going to be around in the future. What is that something that we don’t
know about yet. A lot of unexpected really great possibilities will show up you know. One was interested in space tourism, and ended
up, he’s a designer with Virgin Galactic. Another is working on autonomous vehicles
with Google. So you just can’t predict I think where the opportunities are going to open
up in the years ahead. I believe that if you stay in your comfortable
bubble, nothing will happen that could be as great as if you get out of your way. If you really want to be a car designer, and
you like drawing, start sketching cars and just don’t stop. Just the raw, passion and enthusiasm has to
be the number one thing. Because there’s no substitute for that. When you see a car, and you see that shape
and you see that design and not saying “that’s the most beautiful thing I’ve seen but I think
I could do better. That’s when you know you’re right for this place.”

About James Carlton

Read All Posts By James Carlton

18 thoughts on “Transportation Design at ArtCenter College of Design

  1. '63-'65 Buick Riviera! What i wouldn't give to be able to study here, Product design, Transportation design and Entertainment design.

  2. right now iam in 11th STD and I want to do undergraduation in transport designing but iam in India so, how can and when should I apply for entering in art centre can u plzz tell me . As well as for Indians the fee Structure think will be more expensive so , are there any scholarships if there are plzz let me know . thank you

  3. If an engineering student wants to join in this course (Graduate degree), what do you expect in his/her portfolio? As engineering student, may not know about free sketching design software like Illustrator, photo-shop.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *