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No.2 November 2006
Origins of Industrial Design Education at the University of Guadalajara: Pratt Institute influence i

Jaime Fran

[keywords] Alexander Kostellow, Rowena Reed, Gerald Gulotta, Pratt Institute, organic form
The first influence on the school of design of the University of Guadalajara, came from the pedagogical program developed at Pratt Institute. Although many years had passed since its creation at Pratt Institute, the design curriculum known as foundation, that was initiated by Alexander Jusserand Kostellow and later perfected by Rowena Reed Kostellow remained as a model for the institution and for design programs abroad the United States of America.
Designer and design educator Gerald Gulotta, a former student of industrial design at Pratt Institute, took this curriculum with him in the seventies in two different design projects abroad the USA: Portugal and Mexico. The Portugal project was oriented to open a Design Centre in that country, but as the Carnation Revolution took place, it soon came to an end and saw the Design Centre’s completion interrupted. The Mexico project was an invitation to help the opening of an industrial design school for the University of Guadalajara, which became a receptive space to establish its roots in the early stages of its development. The original curriculum of the school of design was heavily oriented to the technical aspects of design but lacked the aesthetic focus that industrial design schools are known for. When Gerald Gulotta introduced these aesthetic principles with the foundation course most of the faculty, architects for the most part, were unaware that the course’s origins were from the Midwestern United States and not from Central Europe.
The purpose of this paper is to show that still, there are Euro-centric issues in the way design history is being written.

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