Automotive Design is the profession that mixes artistic disciplines with industrial design to achieve the aesthetic and structural design of a future automobile. If you have artistic skills and are passionate about cars, this may be your career.
What is Automotive Design about?
It is a discipline derived from industrial design (in fact in many courses a degree in it is required as a precondition), which deals with the comprehensive design of any type of car. When we talk about integral development we mean that it takes care of all the stages from the original idea to the design of the smallest detail, this includes: the exterior design, a mostly aesthetic issue, starting with manual drawings, going through clay models and culminating with a real model; the interior design, where all the elements that will make the comfort of the passengers are projected; and graphic design, in charge of all the technical aspects of each small component of the car. The interesting thing about this career is that it must take into account not only aesthetic factors, but also structural design for operational and safety reasons, but also materials in relation to budgetary and manufacturing issues.
What tasks does an Automotive Designer perform?
With the complexity of the automotive industry, the tasks of designing a car have been divided in an impressive way, in such a way that numerous and multidisciplinary teams are formed to achieve the integral design. Thus, each designer will be in charge of only a small part of the design. However, an Automotive Design professional will be trained to perform any of the tasks that range from the original conception of the car, through the design of each sector (exterior, interior, etc.), to the design of the particular components of the car.
What is studied in Automotive Design?
Some of the subjects that you may encounter when studying for Automotive Designer will be: Industrial Design; Digital Graphics; Modeling; Art; Physical; Mechanics; Math; Computing; Technical drawing; Vehicle Fundamentals; etc. Being a profession that requires the knowledge of the integral operation of a car, which is a really complex machinery, it will give you a deeply wide range of knowledge.
What is the job opportunity of an Automotive Designer?
In the first place, it is worth clarifying that, in general, those who study Automotive Design must previously study Industrial Design, which gives you the protection of working in another branch of the industry in case you cannot work as an automotive designer. But in this particular area you will be able to work independently, selling your designs or carrying out the integral process for vehicles of little complexity. You will also be able to work in companies dedicated to the construction of automobiles, in the areas of design; in design companies that sell their services; In the area of teaching, being a non-massive discipline, it is always in need of trainers; etc.
Advantages of studying Automotive Design
Lets develop your creativity.
It takes care of very different areas of design, which will allow you to vary your work and also become a specialist in a certain area.
The automotive industry is always in development and seeks permanent innovation.
Being a very specialized area, you will not have too much competition when looking for a job.
It is a branch of the industry with international standards, so you can apply the knowledge acquired anywhere in the world.
If you cannot enter the automotive industry, you will be able to apply your knowledge of industrial design in other areas of the industry.
Disadvantages of studying Automotive Design
Not all countries have a developed auto industry, so the number of job opportunities will depend on where you are.
In general, you must study an entire career, Industrial Design, prior to specializing your studies in Automotive Design.
Like any non-traditional career, the studies are often taught by tertiary or professional training institutes, so you must carry out exhaustive and in-depth research to find a suitable place of study and not encounter unpleasant surprises.
Where to study Automotive Design?
Argentina: In the Technological Institute of Engines the Higher Technique in Industrial Design is offered, oriented to Automotive Design, with a duration of 3 years, it does not require a previous degree. In the Technological Institute of Automotive Training, the Automotive Design Course of 1 year and a half duration is given, which does not require prior knowledge. At UTN Pacheco a 3-month Introduction to Automobile Design course is offered.
Spain: The IED Barcelona offers a very interesting degree of Higher Degree in Product Design with a specialty in Transport Design, which lasts 4 years. The Polytechnic University of Valencia offers a Master’s Degree in Automotive Styling and Concept. This Master lasts 7 months. Both studios have an important reputation nationally and internationally.
Mexico: Automotive Design Engineering is studied at the Popular Autonomous University of the State of Puebla (UPAEP). This career is very complete and lasts about 6 years. At the Rigoletti Institute there are also a variety of Automotive Design courses, with different types of specialization and duration. At Tecnológico de Monterrey you can study to become an Automotive Design Engineer, a career that lasts 5 years.
In most countries there are not a large number of specific Automotive Design courses or careers. The norm is to study Industrial Design and then take advanced courses in the country or abroad.
Curious fact: By 1916, 55% of the world’s automobiles were Ford T, the first mass-produced automobile. It was the vehicle that achieved the most popularity in history, since in the face of the subsequent diversification of the industry, no other model ever achieved that market share. In 2007 he defeated a 300 horsepower Hummer up a 150 meter hill.