Students at Academy of Art University’s School of Industrial Design Look to the Past When Designing for A Greener Future

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Students at Academy of Art University’s School of Industrial Design have a rare resource at their fingertips: The Classic Car Museum.

Students at Academy of Art University’s School of Industrial Design have a rare resource at their fingertips: The Classic Car Museum. Housed in the “Warehouse” academic facility, 55 mint- condition classic cars serve as an educational tool for students to learn from the past as they prepare for the future. No other art and design school in the country has such a valuable resource while planning and designing for a cleaner and greener future.

Cars of the past were anything but “green”. Some of the collection’s most exquisite and rare automobiles boast lower gas mileage than today’s SUVs! The 1929 Auburn Speedster gets about 12 miles to the gallon. The 1930 Duesenberg, the country’s top luxury vehicle at the time, gets a shocking 6 miles to the gallon. Although these cars are beautiful pieces of work in their design, thankfully their presence on the road is no longer. On display in the Classic Car Museum, they now serve as a link to the past. The future’s designers can look to the great American craftsmanship of the past for inspiration designing for the future.

The School of Industrial Design doesn’t have just one specific course specializing in green design. Instead, every course has elements sprinkled throughout, thereby emphasizing environmentally friendly green design throughout the program.

Sustainability comes in several forms this semester at the School of Industrial Design. George Spassov, a senior, has designed a street sweeper/car, taking social responsibility to the next level. Cars are not only an opportunity for a clean environment, but a clean community as well.

Another socially responsible project students are tackling in Transportation Design 4 is a car for one of the city’s car sharing companies where members pay a low fee and mileage to use a car for short trips or day trips, is the inspiration for students’ design. They are focusing on how better to maximize the benefits of the service. One student is re-designing the fuel cells for optimum efficiency when multiple people use the car for short trips.

Academy of Art University is an accredited member of ACICS, NASAD, Council for Interior Design Accreditation (Formerly FIDER), (BFA-IAD), and NAAB (M-ARCH).

For more information, visit the Industrial Design School

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Kristin Rasmussen
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