Creapole graduates on course to become influential designers
15 Feb 2010
Sponsored article

Find out about
sponsoring an article
on Car Design News. More...

The 'mineral garden' feature in Creapole's new Pont Neuf building. Click for larger images
Creapole's transportation design tutors: (left to right) Philippe Ricaud, Cyril Randuineau, Alec Moran, Benoit Labbe, Dan Abramson, Patrick Giraud
Citroen C-Bionic concept
Alpine interior concept created by Benjamin Goudout
Lotus '557' concept created by fourth year student
Benoit Labbe shows a student how to sculpt the perfect line
Harley Davidson concept designed by Nicolas Petit
Toyota 'Sports Sari' interior design project by Fernandez Rayar

Since its establishment in 1981, the creative design school Creapole ESDI has enjoyed the rich atmosphere of its unique location, set in the cultural and historical heart of Paris between the Louvre and the Georges Pompidou Center.

By harnessing the romantic charm of the city with a careful awareness of human requirements, emotional as well as technical ideas can be turned into functional concepts across the broad structure at Creapole.  

Toyota concept board created by Creapole student Kevin Dugenne
Toyota ED² chief designer Elvio D'Aprile gives feedback to a student
Creapole places a strong emphasis on traditional and modern sketching techniques
Former Honda car designer Patrick Giraud teaches sketching techniques

The school's disciplines include transport, product or fashion design, video game animation, visual communication, interior architecture or art design, and flexibility is given to applicants of different ages depending on their academic background. Following a foundation year in art and design, students are then free to choose their specialist field. From the second year, the Transport Design curriculum teaches the fundamentals in vehicle design, helping students prepare their portfolios for the following year's industry placement.

The Transport Design course has always considered mobility across a broad spectrum. From cars, buses and barges to trains, choppers and airline interiors - the range is broad. A strong emphasis on traditional and modern drawing techniques and the history of art play as much a fundamental role as trend forecasting, brainstorming, sociology, and media studies in identifying new target markets.

New horizons, new partnerships

In the past two years, two ex-graduates from Creapole had the foresight to transform the infrastructure of the Transport Department. Co-directors Alec Moran and Cyril Randuineau now devise half the projects in English. Additionally, new industry partnerships with Toyota's ED² European Design Development facility in Sophia-Antipolis, and Peugeot MTC at Sochaux, provide a solid foundation for students to acclimatize to the demands of the industry and broaden their international repertoire of projects.

A sharper focus on critical issues such as chassis safety, the implication of sustainable materials, efficient aerodynamics, practical ergonomics and minimized environmental impact, has been enforced while still maintaining key aesthetic values faithful to each brand.

An international blend

A knowledgable and experienced design team helps students reach course objectives and guides them into the 21st century mindset of eco-friendly automotion. On hand are Patrick Giraud, (Honda, Renault, Sivax, and RCA), Dan Abramson (DCI Duarte, Citroën, Chrysler, Subaru, and Art Center) and Benoit Labbe (ex-head of modeling at Faurecia, Giugiaro, Renault, and PSA). Each of these top tier designers possesses up to 25 years of industry experience.

For digital design classes, 3D designers Jean Christophe Laprée and Nicolas Forsyth (PSA and Renault) are on hand to relay their expertise to students, from environmental modeling to class-A surfacing. Counterbalancing experience with youth is another ex-graduate, Philippe Ricaud (Bloom Room) who teaches students on the significance of punchy, digital rendering techniques - a vital ingredient to students' web-based portfolios.

In addition to the team of tutors, students are also able to benefit from a new state-of-the-art building. Located in the economic and transport hub by Chatelet-les-Halles, it offers more workspace for students to flex their creative muscles using the latest materials and technology in the digital suites and workshops.

Techniques, technology and industry partnerships

Translating sketches into sketch models using lighter, more eco-friendly clay and advanced 3D software means the transition process has become easier and more transparent for students.

This new, quick process has optimized a parallel with perspective drawing using other materials: from metal and strips of plexiglass to wood and recycled plastics. Combining these practical attributes with digital photography has also accelerated the emotional and aesthetic depth of the students' work. Subsequent opportunities come in the shape of collaboration from long term partners including General Motors, Faurecia, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Heuliez, MBD, D3, and Toyota as well as Nike, Puma and Adidas - all of which offer between two and six month design internships.

For students seeking to undertake the Masters Course, the fourth and fifth years specialize in socio-demographic studies, ecology and anthropology that each have a bearing on legitimizing final Masters projects.

While all Creapole graduates have their specific skillsets, it is design management that stands out as the unifying factor among the school's alumni. From early on, students are reminded to identify the focal point of an innovative idea, to have the capacity to conceive a concept from scratch by identifying marketing trends, and thus give shape to a technically feasible package.

Creapole's core value is to heighten its students' awareness to become key contributors and influencers in any design team, encouraging their strengths to achieve their goals, and to become creative leaders and professionals in their field by evolving into efficient, lateral thinkers.

Related Website:

To contact Creapole's Transport Design department directly, email: