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Academy of Art University School of Industrial Design Students Look to the Past to Design for a Greener Future

School of Industrial Design students generate "green" ideas utilizing the Academy of Art University’s rare resource: The Classic Car Museum. As the only art and design school with its very own car collection, Academy of Art University gives its students an edge on designing for a cleaner and greener future.

Raymond Chan’s design from Spring Show 2007

The 55 mint-condition classic cars are a link to the past of great American craftsmanship. Though these automobiles were anything but "green," they inspire students to solve problems of fuel efficiency through environmentally friendly design. For example, the 1929 Auburn Speedster, one of the collection’s most exquisite and rare cars, gets about 12 miles to the gallon. That’s lower than today’s SUVs!

With increased concerns about global warming, the demand for fuel-efficient vehicles and greener designs is rapidly increasing. Academy of Art University students are on the frontline of the future of auto design with the School of Industrial Design’s curriculum, which incorporates elements of environmentally friendly design and social responsibility.

Paul Kim’s design from Spring Show 2007

"Students are infusing green designs into their car concepts to project the lifestyle of a person 10, 20 and 30 years from now. They are definitely thinking beyond just technologies such as hybrids and fuel cells, it is about sustainability in their automotive design concepts," said Tom Matano, Director, School of Industrial Design.


Roman Mistiuk’s design from Spring Show 2007

In the Transportation Design 4 class, students undertake projects such as designing efficient vehicles for city car share programs. One student designed a car that doubles as a street sweeper – a project that not only considers the future, but also the present environment.

With projects like these under their belts, Academy graduates are ahead of the "curb." Learning from the classic workmanship of the past undoubtedly inspires designs for a better tomorrow.


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