Graduation time approaches and the Masters students from the Umea Institute of Design in the north of Sweden have just presented a preview of their final thesis projects. There are twenty-five graduating students in total, eight of whom are from the Masters course in Transportation Design.
Transportation Design is one of three MA courses offered at the Umea Institute of Design - the others are Advanced Product Design and Interaction Design. The two-year MA course currently has 20 students. Students must have a first degree in industrial design to be considered for the course.
The Institute of Design is housed in a converted power station and purpose-built premises on the banks of the Umea River. The school has an atmosphere that is open and light, and all students have their own personal workspace within this environment. There are well-equipped workshops for woodwork, metal, plastic, clay modelling, assembly and painting. The college also provides students with state of the art technology for rapid prototyping and milling from CAD files.
The Institute is growing quickly, with intensive construction work underway now, so the students starting courses in September will find additional meeting and presentation rooms, classrooms and workshop space. They will also have more project display areas and social gathering spots in a very modern extension of the original building.
The MA course in Umea has a highly international focus. The ratio of students on the current course is almost 50:50 between Scandinavian and international students who come from countries as far apart as South Korea, Mexico, Israel, Russia, Belgium and the UK.
The final thesis work at the Institute has a duration of 17 weeks and the students are expected to develop an individual project involving a general transportation related problem. They are encouraged to approach the industry in search of support during the project development. In these cooperation companies they find a mentor and sometimes financial support to cover the project expenses. Besides this support, every year the graduating class receives guidance from an experienced designer from the automotive industry. Taras Czornyj from the General Motors Europe Advance Design studio in Sweden is in charge of tutoring the graduating class this year.
Final examination will take place on the 16th and 17th of May, and the degree exhibition opens on the 3rd of June at the Umea Bildmuseet and on the 16th of June in Stockholm (Volvo Showroom).