Early auto manufacturers focused on functionality over aesthetics, but it wasn’t long before marques and their customers valued the automobile as much for its emotional allure as for its practicality. Before and after World War II, formal courses of study on the subject began to emerge, drawing from the disciplines of fine art, architecture and industrial design, each reflecting the culture and character of its environs. Today, transportation design is more global than ever, and with many aspiring artists in the field vying for so few coveted spots, top students flock to the handful of institutions that have produced some of the biggest names in the business. There is no denying the influence these programs have on the automotive world.
By Laura Burstein