The mobility and transport sector is constantly growing and diversifying: the demands of a society that is more aware than ever are manifested in the demands of users on companies. The strategies of the past are no longer valid. The new user-customer is committed and aligned with the challenges of the times. We need to rethink everything from cities to the way we move within them, but also the means of transport for long journeys, rural mobility and, of course, the very vehicles we use to get around.
In this sense, cars are a major element of change. We need to design sustainable cars, electric cars, autonomous cars, cars that offer solutions to difficulties that perhaps we have not yet considered. Car designers are therefore needed. The industry demands them, but what do we need to study to design cars?
Josep Ferriol, automotive design consultant and director of Mobility Lab: Master in Transportation Design and Future Mobility, tells us in this article which academic path he believes is the best way to become a car designer:
“The ideal development for a transport designer would be to start taking drawing classes as early as possible. Learning languages and some 3D software would be perfect for the school stage. Once you get to university, it would be great to find any kind of job or collaboration related to cars that helps you understand how they are assembled, how they are fixed and also brings you up to date with the technology that is used in the market. A car dealership or garage would be a good option.
As for the university degree, it would be desirable to enroll in a degree course focused on transport design, but they are not very common. It is more common to find product design, which is very close in content. Optionally, a degree in industrial design or industrial engineering would also be worthwhile, with extra support from classes in drawing and knowledge of 3D software.
Next, or in parallel with your degree, it is essential that you prepare a good portfolio that you will develop and improve in order to start looking for internships in companies in the sector. Starting with low expectations helps you to take the first step.
Once you have achieved all of the above, taking a master’s degree in mobility and transportation design will help you improve your product-specific knowledge and expand your contacts in the industry. At Barreira A+D we offer Mobility Lab: Master in Transportation Design and Future Mobility, an ambitious programme aimed at training a new professional profile in high demand in the mobility design industry, taught by top professionals from companies such as Seat, Einride, Toyota, Audi and others, and which includes an international training experience in Munich and Shanghai.
Furthermore: one of the fundamental conditions is that you must assume that the profession requires mobility. It is quite possible that your job will not appear right where you live now.
And one last piece of advice: during this whole process you will have to be connected through forums with other designers. There are hundreds of pages with lots of info and ideas to share that will help you improve as a designer”.