Programs School of Design

Bachelor of Design - Automobile Design

Duration :4 years, Full-Time

Eligibility : XII'th in any discipline - Science / Arts / Commerce or 3 years Full-Time Diploma


Automobile Design is the very pinnacle of design – all other design forms are a substrate. Chris Bangle, arguably one of the most influential auto designers of his generation, says, ‘Great cars are art.’

‘I think that cars today are almost the exact equivalent of the great gothic cathedrals; I mean the supreme creation of an era conceived with passion by unknown artists and consumed in image, if not in usage, by a whole population which appropriates them as a purely magical object’ Roland Barthes, Mythologies, 1957

Automobiles are an embodiment of art, entertainment and sculpture, which, coincidentally also happen to provide transportation. The design of an automobile is essential and is often decisive for its success. In addition to technical qualities, design triggers the impulse to buy.

The automobile has, more than anything else has become a product with highly emotional properties and a significant impact on society. Worldwide, automobiles are the second largest purchase after a house.

Automobile design evolved in the frontier between art, market and science, and progressively became an aesthetic reference. Aspects such as aesthetic appeal, emotional response, brand impression and expression are heavily influenced by product appearance, and thus of main concern for automobile manufacturers today. Aesthetic and identity related factors such as exterior styling, interior styling, trends and ‘makes me feel attractive’ are among the ten most important purchasing criteria across the world.

J D Powers says that the Design weight age factor of an automobile in most segments is higher than the related factors of reliability and performance. That is the importance of design in the market success of a vehicle.

Since direct sense perception acts strongly on the world of feelings, styling assumes a key function in the development of an automobile; styling often determines individual acceptance or rejection of a given product even before technical features are evaluated.

Automobile design implies taking into account of several elements: function of the car, market, production, distribution, promotion, price reduction, and increase in safety, ergonomics and environmental concerns. Automobile designers work in multi-disciplinary teams to define interior and exterior forms, materials, textures, surfacing and colors applied in the shaping of an automobile

As an automobile designer:
You decide New Styles and New Patterns that make Lifestyle statements.

Automobile Designers:

  • Take care of style, function, quality, safety
  • Shape the automobile in all its visible aspects
  • Style the outer body shape
  • Style the interiors: dashboard, seating, cabin interiors, boot space
  • Arrange components in the engine compartment
  • Define the interior and exterior forms, materials, textures and colours


The average life of a car design is 6 years. At any given time there are about 5000 different cars being designed globally. Each designed car would have gone through at least five to ten design variations. A car design lifecycle is about 5 years. That’s 50,000 designs that are churned out every five to six years.

The demand for designers in India is rising as the automobile industry in India grows at a frenetic pace and Indian consumers demand more. Designers will find a place in R&D departments of large manufacturing companies, or in specialized design consultancies, or could work as freelance designers, and most exciting of all, drive start-ups.

The Program

We offer a comprehensive, future-oriented curriculum that continually develops the skills, knowledge and attitudes that allows success in the practice of Automobile Design, while incorporating the most current developments in the field.

Our curriculum aims to provide students with as many tools as possible to empower them as they go out into the world to develop their careers. Our curriculum prepares aspiring professionals to learn the theory and the practice that will enable them to go out into the working world with competence, maturity and the ability to operate independently.

The first half of the program is dedicated to learning the fundamentals: concept sketching, rendering, three-dimensional model making, presentation techniques, computer-aided design tools, emerging technologies and energy sources, and the principles of ergonomics, automobile engineering, and materials technology.

The final half is focused on putting the skills learned in the early terms into practice, refining skills, and finding appropriate specialties. Greater emphasis is placed on digital design techniques and presentation during the second half of the curriculum. The overall curriculum is divided into following parts:


The main automobile design subjects consist of design studios, which run throughout the program duration in each trimester. The final trimester studios are reserved for industry projects.

Beginning with the third trimester, one automobile design studio per term forms the core of the concentration. The design studios focus on both interior and exterior of an automobile. There is a digital core, which run along the program and includes Digital Visual Communication and 3D Modeling using Autodesk Alias.

During the course, students create clay models of their designs. School of Design is committed to traditional model building and the lessons of craft, volume, and form that it teaches. While digital models are frequently translated into physical models, a few exercises will take a clay model and import it into the digital realm by taking points right from the clay.

Allied subjects include areas, which are integral to the design process. The subjects are Basic Automobile Engineering, Vehicle Architecture, Vehicle Packaging and Materials Processes, Human Factors, User Research, Trends Analysis and Forecasting, Design Management, Marketing and Design, Branding, and Ergonomics.

Students engage with a number of projects during the course of the program. They work on individual design projects as well as on group design projects. This acts as a training ground and prepares them for future employment.

But there is a mega project for students, which is unsurpassable. The final project is the most satisfying and rewarding aspect of the program for our students. It provides them a platform to demonstrate all the skills and knowledge learnt throughout the program.

  • Design Fundamentals
  • Automobile Design Studios
  • Digital Tools
  • Allied Subjects

Do you want to do something different? Do you want to be a creator and not a follower? Are you looking for a lucrative career? The answers to all these 3 questions lies in one answer – a career in Automobile Design. It is one career where you get paid to play. You get to become a trendsetter and not a trend follower. Decide new styles, new patterns, make lifestyle statements, all in one job.

Today, every tenth job is dependent on the car. The automobile industry has grown immensely over the past years and in India it is exploding. Being an automobile designer will put you at the centre stage of this exciting industry.

The field of automobile design currently enjoys unprecedented influence within the industry. Design is what sets products apart – technology, performance, function differ little in competing products. No longer can manufacturers count on a few models being sold by the hundreds of thousands. The market is now subdivided into dozens of niches and manufacturers seek to become dominant within these niches.

Competing in numerous niche markets requires a greater number of vehicle models, each tailored for a specific market and each having its own design. As competitive economic forces require companies to run leaner even in the face of the proliferation of models, the training and hiring of the best young designers becomes increasingly critical to the industry as a whole and to individual manufacturers.

Automobile design is the perfect career for center-brained people–people who are creative and analytically inclined. As an automobile designer you would not only define the aesthetics of an automobile, but also the functional aspects and the accessories.

Automobile Designers are responsible for the visual appearance or aesthetic appeal of vehicles. Primarily, Automobile Designers take care of everything that gives us pleasure when we look at an automobile: style, function, quality, safety etc. They are a part of multi-disciplinary teams that define the interior and exterior forms, materials, textures and colors applied in the shaping of an automobile.

Your professional profile will be complex as you would need to develop a deep understanding on psychological and emotional issues connected to the concept of transportation and vehicles. While designing the right look for an automobile, you will also need to consider several other factors. Cost of production, manufacturing limitations, the target market, ease of use, comfort, safety and environmental issues are just some of the issues you as designer must deal with. Therefore, you would be able to interact with multiple disciplines.

For pursuing an automobile design career you need to be bright not brilliant. You should be passionate, creative and highly imaginative. You should be good at not only problem solving, but also at problem finding. Ability to translate user needs and preferences into a finished product and keeping abreast of current products, trends, and customers’ tastes is a necessity. Attributes such as attention to detail and drawing and sketching by hand are integral.

The job outlook for automobile designers is positive. There are very few qualified, talented people applying for a relatively large number of automobile design jobs. This makes competition for jobs almost negligible.

You would find work with automobile companies, design studios and offices. You would advance by earning greater creative control over their work, handling high-profile projects and commanding higher salaries. You might move into managerial positions, supervising other designers and heading up design departments. With exceptional managerial skills you may become top company executives or open your own firm.

It takes artistic talent, knowledge of 3 dimensional form, creativity, the ability to work with others, a lot of hard work, and an education from School of Design to be an automobile designer. If automobile design is a career of your choice then there is no other place than School of Design that is ideal for you.

Be original and enjoy life. That’s the key success in the field of Automobile Design.

ACET 2022



ACET 2022



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