One Year Course in Car Design Tools - Milán - Italia - SPD Scuola Politecnica di Design - I40756

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One Year Course in Car Design Tools
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One Year Course in Car Design Tools - Milán - Italia

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One Year Course in Car Design Tools.

Degree level: One Year's Degree.
Category: Design.
Study pace: Full time.
Program length: 10 months.
Location: Milan.
Instruction language: English.
Start date: October 2018.
Internship: no.

Program Description.

The programme provides a tightly interlaced mix of strategic thinking, design methodology with a spur toward product and system innovation, marketing and communication insights, car design hard skills. Teaching is arranged into a balanced combination of theoretical teaching and project-based training.

The OneYear course is aimed at candidates with an academic background non relevant to the main area of study wishing to acquire the essential set of skills to approach the design process. Lessons are directly relevant to the requirements and the skills needed for the Master’s year, which is a continuation of this course and focuses on more specialized aspects.


  • BA Degree or higher (in any field)*
  • Transcripts (list of subjects + grades)*
  • Curriculum Vitae, motivational letter, coppy of passport, portfolio if available
Degree Conferred:

One Year's Degree from SPD.


The OneYear Course lasts for one academic year  from October to July. Attendance is compulsory and full-time commitment is required including the participation to lessons, class exercises, visits and the individual study.



The aim of this area is to enable students to manage the design process as a whole, paying particular attention to vehicle’s architecture and overall proportions, its design language and its ergonomics. Taking advantage from the tutors’ guidance, students will learn how to turn the concept sketches into a vehicle proposal that may prove consistent with the guidelines of the brief. In parallel with the gradual acquisition of the essential technical skills required in the automotive field, the program offers a progressive immersion in car design practice. Challenging themes are dealt with through a series of creative exercises that allow the students to face the different phases of the design process. This is the decisive and conclusive stage for the personal empowerment of the participants, putting to the test all the abilities that they have acquired over the year. Particular attention will be iven to the effective communication of the project.


The study of the car as a social phenomenon, the analysis of its physical and emotional relationship with the city and the users is the starting point of each new project. The course offers the insights and the practical tools to complete an in-depth research into all aspects upstream the physical design of the car. The definition of the appropriate product development strategy, of an innovative user’s experience together with the particular aesthetics of the vehicle are the main aspects to be taken into consideration in the concept ideation process. The course aims at supplying the tools and the methodologies suitable for the definition of the project scenario, macro trends (both formal and material) and general target. It requires a complete understanding of the functional and of the emotional features of the project and of the future evolution of urban mobility.


This area coaches the students through the fundamentals of scale, composition and proportion of a vehicle getting them started with a series of drawing exercises of increasing complexity. A car is to be conceived as a 3D object and this implies mastering the rules of perspectives and translating the concept idea into consistent package drawings. Using both free hand and digital techniques, participants will acquire an increasing accuracy in the visualization of ideas, volumes and design themes, adding to this a feeling of the various materials and textures applied. This capacity, which is crucial in the initial stage of the design process, is accompanied with training in the basics of technical drawings. From the key sketches the students will develop orthographic views containing all the necessary information to describe the object. They will also acquire the fundamentals of digital colouring, allowing them to emphasise a vehicle’s volumes and its proportions, quickly and correctly. Photoshop will be used as the main digital colouring and retouching tool to produce fast colour sketches, by paying attention to reflections, shadows and highlights, suggested materials and transparencies, backgrounds.


Digital design is a vital skill for all future professionals working in either design, engineering or computer aided styling. Besides the main modelling tools, today the market can offer a variety of applications enabling the students to produce attractive visuals from 3D models while remaining accessible even to those who are newer to these kinds of tools. Digital modelling here is intended as a virtual tool for acquiring a technical and practical understanding of three-dimensional object. It allows students to verify the correspondence between sketches and concept ideas and adjust the vehicle’s volumes and proportions to get closer to the original inspiration.


This area starts off with an exploration of the earlier steps of the motorcar industry and then digs deeper in the main facts of its current advancement: from the development of the assembly and manufacturing processes, to the main figures in the creative scene and to the hybridization of the car with the cultural artefacts and the changes in the lifestyle. The goal here is to enable the students to gain a more conscious understanding of the present evolution of car design as a result of its historical development. An integrated classification of body types and an overview of trends in the different countries will also be given to the students. In the second part of the course, lessons will be focused on the analysis of the main car manufactures to define the elements that distinguish different brands and contribute to the creation of a precise identity.


The program also takes students through the essentials of package engineering and the principles of ergonomics, aerodynamics and car architecture in the perspective of an optimization of the efficiency of the vehicle. Occupants’ position, mechanical layout and human behaviour also in relation with the pervasive presence of infotainment technologies will be taken into careful consideration, according to a specific design orientation.


The car is made of material and colour: the result depends on the wise use and combination of these two factors, able to fulfill both purely practical roles as well as visceral and emotional ones. The course will address precisely these two aspects – functional and aesthetic – in the automotive field. The impact of the new technological advancements and of a new generation of materials on the design process is closely examined, in the quest of a more sustainable mobility paradigm. This area aims at clarifying on the one hand the subdivision of the car in macro-physical areas, the connection between materials, colours and ergonomics, the relationship between structural and decorative elements. On the other hand, it provides useful tools to analyse the possible future aesthetics and translate the new trends in iconographic and material moodboards, in line with the targets and the reference market of the project.


3D modelling involves transferring 2D ortho drawings into physical objects. This activity enables students to visualize three-dimensional designs during the development process. The program explores the use of physical modelling techniques following both geometric and sculptural approaches, as a tool for studying the form of vehicles and the surface treatment through a series of creative exercises.

The School - Alumni

From the beginning, the school has been educating designers who go on to achieve outstanding accomplishments in a vaste range of diverse disciplines, from graphic design to art, from interior to product design not forgetting the car design field. SPD students make a mark on the professional world in their own way. This highly international and cross-generational network of professionals is an invaluable asset for the school.
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