Tag Archives: DesignIntelligence

Survey: Art Center ranks No. 1 for industrial design

Art Center’s industrial design graduate and undergraduate programs have ranked No. 1 by the Design Futures Council in its DesignIntelligence survey of America’s best architecture and design schools.

Additionally, DesignIntelligence named Integrated Studies instructor Randall Wilson among the 30 Most Admired Educators for 2013.

Art Center’s undergraduate industrial design programs — which include Product Design, Environmental Design, Transportation Design and Entertainment Design — were praised for teaching students communication, computer applications and design.

Deans and department heads surveyed said they most admired Art Center’s Graduate Industrial Design program, “For its forward-looking focus on the role of design in business and research.”

Art Center’s industrial design undergraduate program has ranked No. 1 in the survey since 2006, while the graduate program has ranked in the top three during the same time.

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Art Center Ranked Among the Best of the Best by DesignIntelligence’s Annual Survey

An Art Center student hard at work at a recent DesignStorm.

Cited as a “heavyweight player,” Art Center College of Design was once again ranked first for its undergraduate industrial design programs by the Design Futures Council in its annual DesignIntelligence survey of America’s Best Architecture and Design Schools, which recognizes the schools that are best preparing students for success in their professions. This year, the College’s Graduate Industrial Design program ranked second, one spot away from first where it has placed five times out of the last seven years.

The sum total of Art Center’s undergraduate industrial design programs—Entertainment Design, Environmental Design, Product Design and Transportation Design—were most admired for their “resources, reputation and quality of education.”

In their assessment of industrial design skills, in which hiring firms deem the collegiate programs most strongly educating students in specific skill areas, Art Center ranked first place in the categories of “Communication,” “Computer Applications” and “Design.” The College also ranked in the top five in the areas of “Cross-Disciplinary Teamwork” and “Research and Theory,” which makes Art Center one of only two schools to place in all categories.

“These programs are graduating students who are able to tackle complex and difficult work, create and share knowledge, and invent new design solutions in their fields,” the survey said of the institutions which ranked in its annual survey. “Students learn not just technologies and craft but also leadership, judgment, and insight into changing contexts and upcoming challenges. These will be our future leaders.”

The Design Futures Council is an independent and interdisciplinary network of design, product, construction leaders exploring global trends, challenges and opportunities to advance innovation and shape the future of our industry and environment.

Catching Up with Karen Hofmann

Karen Hofmann, recently appointed Department Chair of Product Design, sat down with us to discuss the future of the department.

As an alumna and educator, Hofmann has developed innovative curriculum—such as DesignStorms,  immersive collaborations of students, faculty and professionals from sponsoring companies—and defined new strategies benefiting the entire College. She has served as director of the Color, Materials and Trends Exploration Laboratory (CMTEL) at Hillside Campus since 2006, and has been on the Art Center faculty since 2001. She was recently named one of the Most Admired Educators of 2010 by DesignIntelligence, published by the Design Futures Council.

Prior to joining Art Center’s faculty, Hofmann held leadership positions at o2studio and Johnson Controls. She graduated from Art Center in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in product design and earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from California State University, Northridge. She served as Acting Chair of the department from 2008 to 2009.

Dotted Line: What do you bring to the Product Design Department as Chair?
Karen Hofmann
: I am deeply committed to upholding the great legacy and strengths of the department. I feel a great sense of responsibility to prepare young designers as creative citizens of the 21st century, and will evolve the program to best prepare our students for meaningful careers that positively impact the world.

DL: What does the future hold for product design in general?
It has gone beyond just producing objects. Today product design is about applying the design process to any number of problems in the world, from social impact challenges to redesigning organizations. The term “design thinking” is very in vogue right now—product designers have led these collaborative and iterative processes for years.  Product designers are responsible for bringing non-designers along in the creative process as they identify and solve problems.

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