Design includes a vast field of professions focused on some specific areas of life: Industrial & product design, interior & furniture design, UI/UX design, visual communications design, textile design, fashion design, digital design, critical design, sustainable design and service design, also crafts are part of the world of design.
In today’s contemporary world these fields also overlap and are more fluid than ever. You can find product designers, UX designers and graphic designers working together to solve the different aspects in the same project. Now, more than ever, you can become the designer you want to be, adding multidisciplinary skills to your toolbox and thus finding your own corner from the vast field of design professions.
Where to study design?
There are great undergraduate design programs in every country. Usually the teaching language in the undergraduate programs is in the native language. In Europe there are some exceptions. As the students who come from other EU countries can study abroad for free, the most varied selection of studies can be found from The Netherlands. They have developed a very welcoming system for the foreign students, offering dozens of different undergraduate design programs that are taught in English. In Finland there are also a few English taught programs, as well as in Sweden and Norway. In the other European countries you can find some, especially in the private sector, but those can be expensive. UK and Ireland of course offer English-taught programs, but since Brexit, UK prices are high for other European students.
Each design field has its own special artistic and content -based emphasis, but some common skills are appreciated in all the design-based programs:
- The ability to ideate and create solutions to different problems.
- Understanding the design process
- The ability to visualize your ideas in order to communicate your idea with your client/manufacturer/other team members
How to show your potential?
To be able to enter any design field undergraduate program you need to show your potential as a creative person.
Jumping directly to your first idea and producing that idea into the final presentation leaves out the most important stage where you can show that potential: The Process.
- Most design assignments and projects are based on some kind of a problem or a challenge. You need to examine the challenge and research around it to thoroughly understand the area you are trying to tackle.
- Creating a solid concept based on your research is the second stage in a successful project.
- Ideation and sketching is an integral part of the concept creation, examining the possibilities from different perspectives.
- Evaluating your ideas and getting feedback further helps you to make your work better.
- Prototyping brings materiality to an abstract idea and helps you further define if your concept needs some fine tuning.
The details and steps in the process may vary between the different design fields, but the basic structure is the same. Designer’s work always happens before the final product is finished. If you only show the final works, the schools don’t know how you process your ideas and you don’t really know if your idea could have been developed into a better one.
How to prepare for the admission process?
There are three types of admission processes.
For example in the UK you usually have to send a portfolio and the selection is made based on that. In Scandinavia, it is typical that you have to take part in entrance exams, which usually are in two or three stages, and include preliminary assignments you have to send in. Sometimes these two are combined, you are asked to do special assignments as part of your portfolio.
The good news is that you can prepare for both types of applications in our courses. We teach the basic and fundamental skills you need to understand how to approach different types of design assignments, whether they are prototypes or drawing tasks. We teach you how to ideate and come up with a great concept in your design, and how to focus your attention to the important parts of the task. We also teach you the basic technical skills you can use to emphasize the visuality of your designs.
Depending on how you like to study, we offer both teacher-led zoom courses with interactive conversation and peer support and independent online courses, where you can choose when and how long you study at the time, but you still have the teacher’s feedback and support to keep you on track.
Check your own application timetable and possible deadlines from your target universities and choose your best option from these Spring 2023 courses:
- Design degree prep course 1 in ZOOM (Tuesdays 18:00-21:00 24.1.-21.2.2023) is especially directed to students who are applying to The Design Academy of Eindhoven in The Netherlands (Deadline 28th February) and to the students who come outside European Union and wish to apply to any Netherland design program (Deadlines usually 1st of March)
- Design degree prep course 2 in ZOOM (Mondays 18:00-21:00 13.2.-27.3.2023) is especially directed to EU students who are applying to design programs in the Netherlands (Deadlines 1st of May), and anyone aiming to programs in Belgium and Italy.
- Intensive degree prep course 3 in ZOOM (Tuesdays 18:00-21:00 21.3.-4.4.2023) is a later intensive prep course especially directed to EU students who are applying to design programs in the Netherlands (Deadlines 1st of May), and anyone aiming to programs in Belgium and Italy or other programs that have admission deadlines in May-June. (Application for this course will open in February)
- Design Foundation course in an independent online course with three different skill levels. You can study the whole three levels or choose one that fits your needs. It is also possible to tailor a course package that considers your existing skills and what you need in order to succeed in the admission process. Please contact us for more information or sign up to the Foundation course through our website.
Our Summer and Autumn course schedule will be published later in the Spring. Autumn courses are especially aimed for early admission deadlines to programs in Finland, Sweden and the UK.