Last week, we brought you highlights (catch up here and here) from the Art Center Car Classic.  Today, we venture indoors to examine the heart of Art Center’s Transportation Design Department


While walking down the hallways of Art Center, it’s difficult not to be distracted by the classrooms filled with fascinating equipment…


… and stunning projects in the works…

We were fortunate enough to come upon a few students at work, who were shaping clay into new designs.



Art Center offers a Bachelor’s Degree in Transportation Design.  Stewart Reed, Chair of the Department, states that their “students have a keen interest in the important challenges facing all aspects of transportation and see these challenges as opportunities to utilize technology as a stimulus for creative and innovative design solutions.”


It was a treat to see this 5-axis CNC machine in action, shaping the automotive design of student Adriano Raeli.


Art Center seeks to prepare these students for the ever-changing world of automotive design. “The challenges to the automotive industry present tremendous opportunities for transportation designers.

Art Center’s Transportation Design Department has long served as a catalyst for innovation and more than 60 years after its creation, the program continues to be the best educational environment for designers seeking transportation design careers.


The curriculum emphasizes key topics such as sustainable mobility and the implications of brand and product life cycle, in addition to styling, comfort, safety and usability.


Students gain fluency in drawing and both physical and digital modeling skills, also developing an understanding of things such as vehicle architecture, materials and process, and aerodynamics.


Exploring the balance between form and function, students develop the ability to create vehicle concepts with distinct personality and improved function.”


“While the department is best known for the influence our alumni have on automotive design, in recent years the program has taken a broader view of transportation, preparing students for careers in motorcycle, marine, aircraft, commercial transport, personal mobility and public transit design.”


It was impressive to see the artistic process of each student posted in the design studio.  We were particularly taken with the thought process involved with this design, which began with a study of human anatomy…



… and ended with an automotive design that stayed true to its anatomical roots.

Art Center gives us more insight into their program philosophy, “The creation of a vehicle is a team effort, and our students have opportunities to collaborate with colleagues in a range of disciplines through Transdisciplinary Studios.

Also, our location in Southern California—close to more than 20 advanced automotive design studios as well as companies leading the emerging fields of new mobility and alternative energy—offers distinct advantages, including unique access to many professional designers who serve as part-time faculty and guest speakers, as well as opportunities for internships.”

If you’re a fan of automotive design like we are, visiting Art Center and touring their Transportation Department should be high on your list.  Awe inspiring and eye-opening, this visit is much more than a glimpse into the creation of the automobile – it serves as a window to the future of the automotive industry.  Whether on the highway or in the driveway, we can’t wait to see what cars the students of Art Center will design next!



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