Academy of Art University & America’s Cup China Team Announce Collaboration

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America’s Cup China Team Provides Industrial Design Students with Real-World, Hands-on Opportunity to Develop Yacht Design Concepts for 2016 America’s Cup Race

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“San Francisco and China have strong cultural and economic ties, and we are excited about this partnership between the Academy of Art University and the America’s Cup China Team,” said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee.

Students at the School of Industrial Design at the Academy of Art University have a once in a lifetime opportunity to design the vessel for the Chinese national team’s 2016 America’s Cup. The China Team, which will race in the 2012 America’s Cup in San Francisco, has challenged Academy of Art University students to design next generation vessel concepts that the team will consider using for the 2016 America’s Cup race. The announcement was made at a dinner to welcome the China Team to San Francisco.

“San Francisco and China have strong cultural and economic ties, and we are excited about this partnership between the Academy of Art University and the America’s Cup China Team,” said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. “We are all excited to see what the students will create for the China Team for the highly anticipated America’s Cup races in 2016.”

Students, who are currently in the sketch phase of the design process, have begun their exploration into the future of yacht design by researching and understanding the advancements in aerodynamics and fluid dynamics. China Team representatives, who were in San Francisco for the America’s Cup World Series, reviewed the students’ initial design concepts and will soon select the one they want the students to pursue. At that time, students will begin developing a digital model of the design, which will be followed by building a physical model.

“With China Team competing in the America’s Cup World Series here in San Francisco last week, our students had a unique opportunity to witness in person what they have a chance to impact with their design in 2016,” said Dr. Elisa Stephens, President of Academy of Art University. “The Academy’s hands-on learning approach is all about preparing students with the skills they are going to need to not only get jobs in their field of study, but to contribute and add value on day one. This opportunity to design a world-class racing vessel for China Team is exactly the kind of experience we want our students to have before they graduate and we are grateful for this partnership with China Team.”

In 1998, Academy of Art University launched a transportation design program that is now one of the most competitive in the world. Year after year, Academy of Art University students are hired by companies like BMW Designworks, Volvo Track, General Motors, Chrysler, Tesla, and Volkswagen among others. This year, in addition to the China Team project, the Industrial Design program formed a partnership with Chrysler that will provide students with an opportunity to work with an industry leader on a design challenge: to come up with compelling concepts that address the future of Chrysler’s presence in a world of megacities that is predicted for 2025. Students will be designing a vehicle for youth living in a mega city, like San Francisco, and they will be required to do everything from researching the target market to designing a vehicle that suits the restraints of an urban environment.

About the Academy of Art University
Academy of Art University, the largest private university of art and design in the United States, is educating students for the art and design jobs of the 21st Century. Established in 1929, the Academy is an output-based higher education model that provides open admissions to all students, but imposes a rigorous curriculum that requires the students to produce a portfolio of work that demonstrates a mastery of their field in order to graduate. Students are taught by a faculty of professionals from the existing marketplace, which provides them with an understanding of what it takes to succeed in today’s business environment. The Academy’s hands-on curriculum produces graduates that possess great artistic and design skills -- and equally as important, the ability to put those talents to work immediately after graduation. As a result, Academy graduates are ready to compete for and win the jobs of the 21st Century in 19 fields: Acting, Advertising, Animation & Visual Effects, Architecture, Art Education, Art History, Fashion, Fine Art, Game Design, Graphic Design, Illustration, Industrial Design, Interior Architecture & Design, Landscape Architecture, Motion Pictures & Television, Multimedia Communications, Music Production & Sound Design for Visual Media, Photography and Web Design & New Media. Academy of Art University is accredited by WASC, NASAD, Council for Interior Design Accreditation (Formerly FIDER), (BFA-IAD), and NAAB (M-ARCH). Visit for more information.


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Lisa Cohen