It’s never been a more exciting time to work in the rapidly evolving field of design.
The use of new technologies and cutting-edge software is advancing the industry, creating endless possibilities for innovative designs that push creative boundaries.
A broad field, there are several avenues for graduates with a degree in design to venture into. One fast-growing niche is Architectural Design and Spatial Design, where architecture professionals combine creative vision and expertise to shape the built environment of the future.
Sustainability is a major aspect of design today, as awareness of the climate crisis and impact of human intervention in our natural environment become stronger. Companies today are looking to hire those who can design with the planet’s wellbeing in mind, using recyclable materials and thinking creatively to solve complex challenges surrounding negative environmental impact.
Other opportunities in design include Industrial Design – where professionals design products, devices, objects, and services used by millions of people around the world every day – and Communication Design, where students learn how to become visual storytellers.
No matter the specialisation, future designers will be entering a dynamic industry with plenty of opportunities for leading-edge new products and designs.
For those with problem-solving capabilities, innovative thinking, creativity, agility, adaptability, they can truly make a difference as changemakers, impacting societies and bringing creative visions to life through the built environment.
Here are four universities in Asia Pacific with leading design studies, offering cutting-edge education that prepares students adequately for an in-demand industry.
ART DESIGN AND ARCHITECTURE – MONASH UNIVERSITY
At the highly-ranked Monash University, a community of creative thinkers and innovators are taught by expert faculty how to explore new concepts and develop key technical skills to turn ideas into vivid reality.
Prior study in drawing or design is not an entry requirement and there is no portfolio or interview needed. At Monash, it is understood that these skills are not the only means of cultivating creativity and innovation and students learn how to become a designer of the future.
Whilst those with a passion for design are welcome, a background in other fields such as mathematics, language, science, psychology, history, sociology, literature and so forth are also encouraged to join the creative community due to the interdisciplinary nature of the industry and projects they work on.
No matter their background or passion, all students learn the necessary capabilities and knowledge to become a designer and succeed professionally.
The revamped design degree at Monash enables Bachelor of Design students to choose one of four specialisations: Communication Design, Industrial Design, Spatial Design or Collaborative Design. In the first semester, all students receive an introduction to the different professional specialisations before making an informed decision over which one to choose.
Bachelor of Design students graduate with a Design Industry of Australia (DIA) recognised degree in one of these specialisations – Bachelor of Communication Design, Bachelor of Industrial Design, Bachelor of Spatial Design or Bachelor of Collaborative Design.
SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, DESIGN AND PLANNING – UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY
This School has been leading the way in teaching and research in architecture, design, and planning for a century, where education is centred on solving global challenges like mass urbanisation and sustainability in the built environment.
Students reap the benefits of state-of-the-art facilities such as the only Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) laboratory in the southern hemisphere, extensive research lighting laboratory and one of the best-equipped design, modelling and fabrication labs in Australia, as well as a dedicated studio space for students at the Wilkinson Building.
Undergraduate design courses offered here include Bachelor of Design Computing and Major in Design. For architecture studies, students can undertake either the Bachelor of Architecture and Environments or the Bachelor of Design in Architecture programme.
There are various opportunities for students to study abroad as part of their degree too, on both short-term and long-term placements, where students can learn new skills and gain a global perspective.
The School also offers opportunities to gain industry exposure through real-life industry projects, workshops, symposia run by international scholars and displays at the Tin Sheds Gallery.
WELLINGTON SCHOOL OF DESIGN – VICTORIA UNIVERSITY OF WELLINGTON
At this design school, research expertise is focused on design innovation, giving students an added edge in their future careers.
They also benefit from industry collaboration opportunities that provide students with the chance to develop industry-relevant skills. Industry partners include Weta Digital, Weta Workshop, PikPok, Te Papa, Callaghan Innovation and Clemenger BBDO.
Students in the Bachelor of Design Innovation (BDI) programme receive a broad-based education where they can major in specialisations such as Animation and Visual Effects, Communication Design, Design for Social Innovation, Fashion Design Technology, Industrial Design, Interaction Design, User Experience Design, Design Technology and Media Design.
Studying here prepares students for interdisciplinary working environments as the School links each programme with other disciplines such as Computer Science, Architecture, Music, Theatre and Marketing.
Students work in studios where they can experiment with the latest technologies, using state-of-the-art computer labs with access to 3D printers, laser-cutters and high-end digital robotics equipment.
Through their blend of theory and practice, students graduate as innovative and capable designers ready to solve complex design problems.
COLLEGE OF DESIGN AND BUILT ENVIRONMENT – NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE
Located in bustling Singapore, this College offers contemporary studies in this field, taking urbanisation into account when educating students. At one of Asia’s best universities, students are nurtured to become creative designers and critical thinkers for the built environment in the region and beyond.
Undergraduate programmes include Bachelor of Arts (Architecture) and Bachelor of Arts (Industrial Design). Both are multidisciplinary, preparing students for the future of work, where students can explore how design can be applied across different fields.
They also have the chance to take up collaborative projects with industry partners to gain hands-on experience in the real working world. Industry partners include Dulux, Asus, BMW, Dell, Toshiba and more.
Students can also participate in the Student Exchange Programme to extend their education and develop a global perspective, where they can spend a semester abroad and transfer their earned credits back to NUS.
They also learn from the cutting-edge research work at the College, which focuses on five core research areas: Design Technologies; Research by Design; History, Theory and Criticism; Urban Studies; and Landscape.
These leading universities are developing innovative and impactful designers of the future, ready to work in multidisciplinary teams across geographical divides.
*Some of the schools featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International
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