Program Structure

The Transportation Design BA at the Pforzheim School of Design is unique in Germany in its current form. The course takes place in close and regular collaboration with the automobile industry. During the later semesters, work on at least one project will take place in collaboration with a large automotive manufacturer. Lectures are conducted by designers who possess experience in the industry or presently work in it. The application of the acquired knowledge takes place - wherever possible - on an individual and current vehicle project. In the fifth semester all students complete a mandatory practical semester. 

The course enables graduates to generate vehicle or vehicle category designs and to apply these on a technical basis, to visualise the results, prepare these for integration into a presentation and showcase them accordingly. The graduate acquires the ability to communicate on a technical level with both marketing employees and engineers, and thus to work in an inter-departmental team structure. Furthermore, he/she is able to work together with a modeller or modelling team to draft a scaled or a 1:1 model. 

The specialist training is organised into various modules. The ergonomics / design studies area provides technical, ergonomic and vehicle-specific basic and specialist knowledge. Subjects include the basic composition of a vehicle comprising its various sub-assemblies, their functions and variants, as well as legal requirements, passenger safety, basic aerodynamics, motion physics and knowledge of alternative drivetrain and production methods. 

In the drawing / presentation module, the students learn how to present design drafts and concepts using various presentation techniques. Additional aspects include the further development of drawing skills and the creation of renderings with marker techniques and 2D computer programs. The subjects of surface modelling and functional representation are a particular focus here. 

Furthermore, students are provided with specialist knowledge concerning the materials used in the passenger compartments of vehicles. Subject areas include production, refinement and surface feel as well as a basic knowledge of the composition and types of fabrics, leathers, plastics and composite materials available. Work takes place using samples of original materials. In order to illustrate the theoretical knowledge in practice, students are taken on excursions to production and processing companies. 

The subject area of automotive CAD / CAS encompasses design work and the representation of a draft design as a virtual, three-dimensional model. Focuses here are on working with data from technical vehicle modules, the graphic simulation of colours, structures and surface characteristics in exterior and interior areas and the generation of digital images (computer rendering). 

A particular focus of the education at the Pforzheim School of Design lies in the fundamental studies in the fine arts. The students cultivate skills in the areas of painting, drawing, sculpture and still and moving images. This is complimented by cultural studies such as the history of design, art analysis, aesthetics, semiotics and the sociology of cultural processes. These subjects serve to hone the students’ perceptive skills, i.e. the ability to interpret symbols, recognise historical developments and gain cultural knowledge. Many years of experience show that the students thrive on the skills gained from this practical and theoretical knowledge and obtain indispensible ideas for their own career development. The aim is to educate autonomous artistic individuals, who are capable of developing their own perspectives and forms of expression, and who can assume authorship of their own work. 

Please note that the language of instruction for the BA in Transportation Design is German - applicants have to submit a test of language proficiency in german. For further details on the application process and necessary documents please read the section 'Apply for a BA in Design'.

Picture above: Project by Andreas Hartl, BA Thesis

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