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[YesAuto Design Palace] The college entrance examination has just ended. This year's college entrance examination students and college students who have just graduated are about to face the choice of industry and life path. It is often said that choice is more important than effort. Choose an industry with potential and development to make your efforts more effective. Front-end R&D majors such as automotive design have been popular in the past, but with the changes in the automotive industry and the impact of the epidemic, even automotive R&D and manufacturing concepts are changing . Automotive R&D represented by automotive design Professionals, from training methods to working models, are looking for new directions. So, is there a future for research and development majors such as automotive design? How to get the car design? How to learn? How to get a job?

In this graduation season, Autohome will launch a special program “Design Trainees” for the graduation season. We will select outstanding automotive design graduates, gather design masters, and let them lead and guide trainees to create new works. I will also take you to understand how auto design is upgrading itself on the eve of the great changes in the auto industry, and what might the future “new design” look like? How will practitioners face the changes in automotive design positions and how to take advantage of the trend.

Series of articles:

Speaking of domestic colleges and universities with automotive majors, the first thing that people in the industry think of are Tsinghua University, Tongji University, Jilin University and Beijing Institute of Technology (listed in no particular order), but it should be noted that the above are comprehensive Some colleges and universities, including those in the direction of automobile or transportation, some of the students have car styling design, but the students tend to be in the direction of engineering as a whole.

If you want to study creative automotive design majors, car designers generally mention the Tsinghua Academy of Fine Arts, the Central Academy of Fine Arts, and the China Academy of Fine Arts (listed in no particular order). The admission scores are naturally very high. In addition, the admission scores of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts, Jiangnan University, and Hunan University are relatively low. As for international prestigious schools, there are ACCD and CCS in the United States, RCA and Coventry in the United Kingdom, Pfau in Germany, IED and IAAD in Italy, which are suitable for non-college entrance examination routes or post-graduation studies, which are beyond the scope of our discussion today.

Among domestic colleges and universities, the transportation design major of the Central Academy of Fine Arts is a very special existence. Central America’s transportation design major has been combined with industry-university-research teaching for many years, and has deep cooperation with the industry. At present, it is exploring and trying in the depth, breadth and foresight of disciplines and the development of multiple interdisciplinary subjects, which is in line with what we are going to talk about in this issue. theme.

The high threshold of car design and scarce students

Automotive design is an industry with very high barriers, especially in the design departments of some well-known brands. The entry requirements for automotive designers are nightmare difficult. High level, high education and high innovative thinking are indispensable, and even affected by the epidemic this year. The design departments of a few car companies have also suspended the enrollment of corresponding graduates and only recruit designers with work experience.

Many people who don't understand car design have this idea-to submit design drawings to car companies. In reality, car design and development is a large and difficult project, far from such a trivial matter.

Therefore, if you want to become a professional automobile designer, it is the best way, maybe even the only way, to enter the automobile design major of colleges and universities. After all, its professionalism is too strong. In fact, the student source of automobile design profession is quite scarce, how scarce is it?

He Songlin, born in Lanzhou, is a 2020 graduate of the School of Design of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in the field of transportation design. He was nurtured by his family and cultivated by his elders. He started to learn painting from the first grade of elementary school and began to learn sketching in the first grade of elementary school. He received basic art education step by step. In high school, as a fine arts examinee, he also had six months of intensive fine arts training in Beijing.

Students who take the automobile design major and can learn well enough often have a strong interest in automobiles. Automobile design is an unpopularity in the art category. After all, during the college entrance examination, most art candidates expect a more “artistic” major, while automobile design sounds like a science and engineering course.

At first, he was just an art candidate who liked cars. He usually likes to paint cars. He didn't know that there is a major in car design in the university.

Based on my country's college entrance examination model, students majoring in automotive design are basically art candidates, and this group is often interested in art or design majors in a more conventional sense, and tends not to be cold with science and engineering elements. Automobile design majors have extremely high requirements for hand-painting ability. This part of the population is small and needs to have a certain interest in automobiles. The scarcity of students can be imagined.

Unusual learning environment and methods

Everyone’s impression of university classrooms is generally regular classrooms such as podiums, desks and chairs. Art majors may be studios, and design majors are equipped with computers. However, the transportation design studio of the Central American Academy of Design ( (Hereinafter collectively referred to as “studio”) does not belong to any of the above categories at all, it is more like a complex of design offices and clubs.

How can such a “classroom” guarantee teaching? As we said before, automobile design is an unpopularity in the art category, even in the top-ranked domestic automotive design colleges such as China Central America, it is also an unpopularity. Auto designers are senior talents, and there are few auto companies, so the demand will not be large. Therefore, the training of auto designers often adopts elite teaching. Only 4 graduates of the transportation design field of the Central American Academy of Sciences are the ones I saw at the beginning.

After all, they are engaged in art, and they need a way of learning and working that can free their imagination. However, the degree of difficulty and exhaustion of this major is not as easy as the learning environment seems.

Yangmei’s teaching method is quite special. When Wang Shanhan enrolled, the students enrolled in the whole school of design unified the basic courses of design in the freshman year. At the end of the freshman year, there are elective courses for various research directions. Introduce the content and learning methods of each direction, and the students will choose to “apply for the exam.” When teachers of transportation design major introduce transportation design to freshmen, the most mentioned word is “tired”.

This is Wang Shanhan's favorite course. He likes the feeling of being able to touch the work with his hands, and the way that he can intuitively feel the posture of the car body, although the clay model is far more time-consuming, energy-consuming and physical than hand-drawn sketches.

If there is a less tiring course that everyone generally likes, it must be an automobile culture course. How can I learn car design without touching a good car? Wang Shanhan and most of the students were in this class, and for the first time had close contact with ultra-luxury brands such as Rolls-Royce, Ferrari and Porsche.

Sophomore began to touch the career path

Over the years, the country has promoted the deep integration of industry, education and research, which has allowed many students to get in touch with the corresponding industries during their studies at school. However, if students of any major are generally the first to have contact with their counterparts, students majoring in automotive design are likely to be ranked first. One echelon.

Colleges and universities that set up automotive design majors are often near a certain automotive industry base. Because of the mode of production, education and research, there is more cooperation. Therefore, schools can often invite practitioners to give lectures or even direct part-time lectures. In addition, some graduates who enter the car company will also be invited back to school to give lectures to students, teach skills, and share industry knowledge.

First contact with car companies

The automotive design major has a very close cooperation with auto companies, and often provides some “projects” for students to design, even sophomores who are just beginning to learn automotive design can participate. Why do car companies provide design “jobs” to school students? Because they need their whimsical ideas.

It usually takes 4-5 years for a brand new mass-produced car to be conceived from scratch to the actual production of the car. In the initial stage, the forward-looking design department needs to carry out the conceptual design in advance and build the concept car to test the market. reaction. After entering the mass production stage, the design and R&D department began to polish the mass-produced vehicles based on feedback from a series of departments such as market response, engineering research, supplier feedback, and cost evaluation.

To put it simply, first have an innovative idea, and then make a PPT to see how the customer accepts it. If the feedback is good, then go ahead and build the finished product according to the actual conditions on the basis of this general idea.

The process of making a project is similar to that of bidding. Auto companies will give out project assignments. Students who sign up for the project will submit their own plans according to the requirements of the project. Auto companies will select more satisfactory solutions and provide funds for students to continue to optimize. Perfect, and finally make the “winning bid” student's plan into a hard model.

It is precisely because of this kind of project cooperation that the four-year expenditure of the students majoring in the transportation design of the Central and the United States is not much. Public schools generally have relatively low tuition and living expenses, but art majors are very expensive in many people’s perceptions. The tuition is slightly higher, but it is not the main cost. Painting and sculpture require various art materials, design It also requires software and various materials.

First of all, students need to bring their own computers, which is not a big deal now; secondly, equipment such as sludge, model machine tools, and special drawing computers are provided in the studio; finally, hard models are really expensive, but this is generally the case. It's only needed until the graduation design. If it is produced in the mid-term, it is usually required for the cooperation projects of car companies. This part of the cost is naturally provided by the car companies.

As a result, it seems that the expensive art majors are not so expensive in the end. The real cost is actually the invisible cost of extracurricular experience and daily life needed to cultivate high taste.

Design competition

Participating in the car design competition organized by car companies or related associations is also an important way for students of this major to learn and add gold to their resumes.

Graduate Liu Ziyang participated in the 2019 SAIC Design International Challenge held by SAIC last year. He designed a set of urban ambulance evolution plans based on 2030 5G and intelligent driving technology.

In his opinion, participating in a design competition is more like an internship in advance. The schedule of this design competition is relatively long, usually about 2-3 months. The finalists usually go to the design center of the car company to make plans under the guidance of professional designers, and finally further select outstanding works, and finally make a hard model.

Wouldn't it delay studying for such a long time? A few months will indeed seriously affect normal learning, but if you can get a good ranking, it is indeed very important for your future career development. Therefore, many students will take a year off to participate in the competition.

These works produced during the four years of the university, whether they are self-owned projects, cooperative projects or entries, will become important displays in the collection of students' works.

Is the car designer only car designer?

After four years of university, it will eventually move towards society, and finally has reached the most important step-employment. Under the special circumstances of this year, many students have their own different plans.

practice. Generally, there are not so many courses in the senior year of undergraduate. Most of the time is left for students to do graduation projects and internships. Automotive design majors also have internships, but this internship is different. The car company design department will provide two internship positions, one is a formal intern, who can choose the best after the internship expires, and the other is a project intern, who only participates in the design work of a specific project and ends when the internship expires. Generally as short as two or three months, as long as half a year or even a year. Many auto companies have relatively loose requirements for project interns, so many students will choose to invest in project intern positions in large auto companies to increase their knowledge and resume content.

Project interns are not so strict about grade requirements. Even if you have graduated, if you still want to get in touch with some big car companies, you can still choose to be a project intern for a period of time. Of course, the confidentiality agreement must also be signed.

Employment. Every university major has its own counterpart. Many majors have a wide range of counterpart occupations, but the automotive design category sounds a bit narrow. Is this really the case?

Automobile design is a subdivision major of industrial design. In the basic courses, the difference is not as big as imagined. It's just that the industry generally believes that car design is more difficult than ordinary industrial design.

He Songlin also considered vehicle design for movies and games, a popular employment direction at the moment. With the rapid development of the game and film and television cultural industries, the application of digital special effects technology has almost become a must, especially in science fiction movies and games.

He Songlin pays special attention to “Cyberpunk 2077”, a game that has not yet been released but has been highly anticipated. If he can work in such a team, he is also very interested.

However, in the eyes of some traditional parents, such an employment choice may be a bit deviant. On the one hand, there is a job as a car designer in a big car company, which is glamorous, with a high social status and a stable job; on the other hand, is a concept designer in a film or game production company, which sounds unsuccessful and precarious. Fortunately, He Songlin's elders are more enlightened.

If you are not in a hurry for employment, further studies or broadening directions will be the two main development directions. Many students are not eager to agree to offers from companies, but choose to continue their studies at top international design colleges, even if they are ready to work. , I also plan to continue my studies after two years of work. It is the most terrible thing for a talented person to work so hard.

Changes in the automotive industry

The car manufacturing industry is also undergoing changes, affecting graduates who want to become car designers. The recent impact on the interior of the vehicle has become increasingly important.

The rise of user experience design is good news for the majority of female designers. Many designers say that user experience design needs to be more sensitive to the details of human needs. In this regard, female designers have more advantages.

Let's talk about the more far-reaching impact or future trends. With the rapid development of autonomous driving technology and shared travel in recent years, most car companies have begun to deploy travel service companies.

Zhang Teng's employment goals include Didi and the Neolithic Company. Although Didi is still a travel service company, the news that it will build a car has been spread for several years. Among the cooperation projects of the transportation design major of China and the United States, there have been concept projects provided by Didi.

Neolithic is an unmanned logistics vehicle company. Unmanned logistics vehicles are also the future trend of self-driving vehicles. Many well-known technology companies around the world are entering the game. We are familiar with Tencent, Alibaba, Baidu, Meituan, and JD.com.

The “New Design” of the “New Car” in the Automobile Industry

Facing the development and transformation of the transportation industry, colleges and universities that set up automotive design majors have also begun to seek changes. The transportation design major of the Central Academy of Fine Arts has now been renamed as the direction of travel innovation (transportation design). The direction of professional training is not limited to the design of transportation products, but expands to travel modes and transportation systems. Like car companies, everyone is exploring the direction of “new cars”.

From the post-design works of the two graduates Zhang Teng and Wang Shanhan, we can see that the core of their design is already thinking and imagination about the travel system.

Having precedents is not called innovation, not to mention that the way humans travel is undergoing an unprecedented change. Therefore, there is no teaching material for this new direction. It will be the “new design” of the “new car” in the automotive industry.

Zhang Teng said that the School of Design, where the direction of travel innovation (transportation design) is located, has also begun educational reforms in the past two years. The school is no longer divided into majors, but directions. In the past, students of various majors would have some free time after the completion of the major courses, but after the college broke the professional barriers, all major courses merged into a large course pool. In addition to the required courses, the students of the School of Design can choose at will For the courses you are interested in, you can now study the courses you are interested in in the spare time. When you graduate, you can graduate in this direction as long as you have reached a certain percentage of the courses related to the direction.

to sum up:

Their stories are the epitome of automobile design majors in various learning stages. The upgrading of China's automobile industry has been going on for several years, and the demand for advanced automobile design talents is very strong. The pressure for students majoring in automotive design is also huge. This career will be more elite in the future because they have to face the coming “new car” era.

Technological innovation is driving changes in the industry. Under the general trend of unmanned driving, big car companies have transformed into travel service providers, and the share of private vehicles is likely to shrink greatly. Changes in business models will naturally have huge differences in product forms. Future cars will be very different from today’s cars. The changes in design concepts will not even be linear. Perhaps a completely different “new” is needed. design”.

Even if you don’t mention the not too distant future, it’s just the changing moment. The Tesla model with the “brain” as the core of the intelligent system allows the traditional design with the “body” as the core of the powertrain and body chassis assembly. , R&D and manufacturing models are subject to huge challenges. Not long ago, Tesla’s OTA upgrade has greatly improved the acceleration performance of the vehicle. This is based on the electrical architecture of the vehicle and the Internet of Vehicles system, allowing the car to update the data like a mobile phone, which is disruptive to the automotive industry. Yes, this makes many people think of iPone and Nokia. If such a new model is adopted, the car must be designed from a new starting point, and the design model will be completely different. How will the car design be redesigned in the future?

Want to know how the big design guys design the “new cars” of the future ?

Do you still want to enter the automotive design industry during this period of pandemic trouble? Want to use your professional skills and take the future as a blueprint?

Do you want to have the opportunity to talk to the design director of a well-known car company, show your talents, and get mentorship?

In this graduation season, Autohome will hold special events for the graduation season, bringing together the industry's top design masters, once again hosting a grand event in the automotive design industry. Dear young people who major in automotive design (non-graduate), send your personal resume and portfolio to the mailbox lianxisheng2020@autohome.com.cn, and you will enter our selection range. Contributed works , we will report on the best. (The picture is provided by the interviewee, Wenqijia Wei Jiangpeng)