Transportation Design

Students who do not come from not a visual arts and design backgrounds have the opportunity to enroll on the programs with a preparatory year.

Fall Semester - Year 1

COURSE NUMBERCOURSE TITLECREDITS
GRT 601 Transportation Graduate Studio I 3
GRT 605Digital Viscom I3
GRT 607Analytical Drawing & Rendering 13
DGR 613 Graduate Seminar I 3
Studio Elective 3
TOTAL CREDITS 15

Winter Semester - Year 1

COURSE NUMBERCOURSE TITLECREDITS
GRT 602Transportation Graduate Studio II3
GRT 606Digital Viscom II3
GRT 608Analytical Drawing & Rendering II3
DGR 620Graduate Research Methods 3
DGR 721Professional Practice I3
TOTAL CREDITS 15

Fall Semester - Year 2

COURSE NUMBERCOURSE TITLECREDITS
DGR 631Written Thesis 3
GRT 701Transportation Graduate Studio III3
DGR 711Graduate Thesis I6
Studio Elective 3
TOTAL CREDITS 15

Winter Semester - Year 2

COURSE NUMBERCOURSE TITLECREDITS
GRT 702Transportation Graduate Studio IV3
DGR 712Graduate Thesis II6
DGR 722Professional Practice II3
Studio Elective 3
TOTAL CREDITS 15

First Year

Fall

Transportation Graduate Studio I 

Subtitle: Exterior Aesthetic Messaging

This is the first in a two-course sequence that introduces advanced fundamentals of vehicle design through the analysis and development of both conventional and unconventional vehicle types. Special focus is on the research and conceptual/formal development of an ‘aesthetic message’ concept to be applied firstly in this course to vehicle exterior designs, and then further developed towards interior application in the following semester. Both courses are augmented by supporting studio courses teaching technical 2D and 3D skills. In both semesters, the main studio courses GRT 601 and602 provide the core project brief around which primary lessons are introduced, then reinforced either directly or indirectly with assignments from the supporting studios.

Digital VisCom I

This course introduces multiple 3D modeling and rendering tools, techniques, and processes required for both analyzing and realizing complex formal design expressions. Special attention is given to the raid exploration and development of 3D vehicle exterior form through extensive use of range of modeling & rendering software including Zbrush, Alias, VRED, Keyshot, Blender &/or Unreal Engine.

Analytical Drawing & Rendering I

This course reviews both fundamental and advanced tools and techniques for analytical drawing and rendering of a variety of form languages, surface, and material expressions across a range of vehicle proportions. At the end of this course, students will have developed the ability to deconstruct complex form compositions into primary structural elements, and thus be able to draw and render clear and communicative 2D depictions of observed and imagined formal expressions. Additionally, this course will introduce professional documentation and presentation of creative work during its development and for its final display.

Graduate Seminar I

Graduate Seminar aims to enable students to undertake rich and robust creative exploration that is informed by contextual and critical inquiry. Graduate Seminar serves to advance both the critical inquiry and critical writing skills of students, and enable the cross-referencing of theory to practice. Social, political, economic and environmental themes will be used to inform weekly classes.

Studio Elective

Students will choose an elective course.

Winter

Transportation Graduate Studio II

Subtitle: Interior Experience Design

The second of the two-course core studio sequence, this class continues the introduction of advanced fundamentals of vehicle design. Existing concept vehicle interiors are analyzed to help develop a unique interior design for the final exterior design created by the students in the previous semester. Here, the 'aesthetic message' concept generated last semester is now further developed into an 'experiential interior' context which considers specific user research and is realized as both physical and psycho-sensorial formal executions.

Digital VisCom II

As a continuation of Digital Visual Communication I, this course focuses on advanced 3D modeling and rendering tools, techniques, and processes required for both analyzing and realizing complex formal design expressions. In addition to continuing to build competency in raid 3D form exploration and development, this course expands into final modeling and animation with a special focus on vehicle interiors. Software such as Zbrush, Alias, VRED, Keyshot, Blender &/or Unreal Engine are extensively used

Analytical Drawing & Rendering II

This course applies fundamentals and advanced tools and techniques for analytical drawing and rendering of a variety of thematic expressions across a range of vehicle interior designs. At the end of this course, students will have developed the ability to both deconstruct and assemble complex formal compositions in consideration of their primary structural elements. And thus, be able to draw and render clear and communicative 2D depictions of observed and imagined vehicle interior designs at a professional level of craft and artistry. Additionally, this course will further practice professional documentation and presentation of creative work throughout the development process and for final display.

Graduate Research Methods

The Graduate Research Methods course equips students with the knowledge and skills required to undertake a range of advanced research methodologies appropriate to contemporary creative practice and critical inquiry in art and design, from ethnography and interviews to phenomenology and critical performance. Using a wide range of primary and secondary sources students will learn to critically explore and evaluate art and design research practices.

Professional Practice I

Part A provides a cross-disciplinary overview of the arts and creative industries and their importance to GDP and the economy overall, i.e. the creative economy. Students will strengthen their understanding of the broader business of creativity and arena of culture in which they will operate professionally. Part B allows students to make a plan to address gaps in their resume, prepare their portfolios, and refine their oral presentation.

Second Year

Fall

Written Thesis

The Written Thesis is a self-directed, academically rigorous and fully referenced 8000-10,000words document providing a critical appraisal of primary and secondary research sources, and theoretical discussion and debate on the over-arching context of the Graduate Thesis.

Transportation Graduate Studio III

This course will focus on the examination of brand identity and competitive market analysis to further the development of an original vehicle concept. Target user research will be conducted to assess specific needs and wants as well as to establish contextual scenarios that will help inform design criteria. This studio's project brief can be either interior or exterior focused and students are encouraged to tailor this choice towards the specialty they hope to pursue professionally.

Graduate Thesis I

Thesis I is part one of a self-directed major project that will be the culmination of the graduate study experience. Students will critically situate the project in a specific context and it will be informed by robust research methodologies. Students will develop a body of well-documented research and development work, that will underpin thematically relevant creative outcomes in part two, evidencing practical impact and/or a critical provocation.

Studio Elective 

Students will choose an elective course.

Winter

Transportation Graduate Studio IV

This course has two main components. The first half of the semester will concentrate on the completion of a compressed project. This can be a stand-alone mini-project that provides yet another opportunity in the area of desired professional specialization, or the project can be an extension and completion of the one conducted in the previous semesters' GRT 701. For example, if a vehicle exterior was focus of GRT 701, the min project in GRT 702 could be the interior for that exterior, or vice versa. The second half of the semester will then focus on the finalization and refinement of the students' portfolios and online promotional presence in preparation for the end of year exhibit and industry interviews.

Graduate Thesis II

Thesis II is the second pat of the two-semester major project wherein students synthesize insights generated from a rigorous research phase including topics such as technology, global and environmental issues, mega trends, and social change. These insights are then translated into meaningful and relevant design solutions that both advance the field of transportation design and demonstrate conceptual and technical mastery of the design development process. Final designs are realized formally as high-quality creative deliverable(s) that are exhibited publicly.

Professional Practice II

Professional Practice II builds on Professional Practice I, and runs in two concurrent modules, A and B. Part A is an in-depth exploration of the economic and socio-cultural value of the student’s own creative discipline. It examines the business practices of their professional discipline and how these operate alongside that of others. Part B allows students to further assess their own role and economic potential in the business of creativity, and advance their “hard” and “soft” skills.

Studio Elective 

Students will choose an elective course.

MFA Transportation Design Program Student Learning Outcomes

Upon graduation, students in the MFA Transportation Design program will be able to:

1. Demonstrate the ability to frame their work through research, analysis, and concept generation within the history of Design, and the broader social, political, economic and cultural contexts.
2. Synthesize knowledge and skills toward the creation of visionary, attractive, and socially responsible transportation for the future.
3. Articulate and argue concepts and proposals through writing and presentation in a professional and persuasive manner.
4. Design advanced vehicle and systems concepts with significant technological and conceptual reach while pushing the aesthetic horizon of market desirability
5. Collaborate knowledgeably and ethically with leaders across disciplines in the creation of industry-leading innovation.
6. Apply understanding of business, technology, culture, and social responsibility to elevate and lead the practice of transportation design.