More institutions with design programs are seeing in increase in female students. For instance, the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California, has marked a 25 percent increase in the number of women enrolled in its transportation design programs compared with just seven years ago. Executive director of the Industrial Designers Society of America, Chris Livaudais, estimates that females comprise 25 to 35 percent of the society’s working members.
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Progress is a process
Sharon Gauci, GM’s executive director for industrial design, commented on the changing climate for female professionals in the auto design field. She first began her career 13 years ago when she served as a judge for the Australian Design Awards. “Things are better now. But the numbers still aren’t what we’d like them to be.” She also articulated that the field needs more diversity in general, not just more female applicants.
Currently, only some colleges and universities offer a bachelor’s degree in automotive design. Some institutions offer this track as a subcategory of industrial design. Others refer to these programs as “transportation design.”
Job duties and industry outlook
Per Gauci, there’s definitely some overlap between automotive design and the fashion industry. Similarly to clothing designers, automotive designers focus on materials, finishes, and color. Sometimes automotive designers are responsible for creating a lighter, more aerodynamic version of a model. More increasingly, the job emphasizes vehicle interiors.
As self-driving autos grow in popularity and more consumers turn to vehicle sharing instead of vehicle ownership, a vehicle’s interior will grow in importance. The level of detail and innovative features car cabins will soon require should increase the industry’s demand for auto designers.
It’s definitely a great career worth looking into, if you’re passionate about cars and artistic design. For more car-related career ideas, check out this article here.
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News Source: The New York Times
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