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How do I Choose my Best Car Design School?

Luciano Bove is a car design manager working at Renault Design. Born in Italy, he graduated from Art Center College of Design in California.

Art Center College of Design, Pasadena


How to choose the right Design School.

Dear friends,

This is the time everybody is searching for a good Design school to attend next academic year. In Transportation Design , in some ways, it is easier to choose because there are less schools. At the same time all these schools are in competition with each others and offer similar programs, similar methods and similar contacts.

Now the question is: how do I choose my TransportationDesignSchool?

There are some Design schools that are very famous in this discipline like: In USA Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CCS in Detroit. In Europe we could name Pforzheim Schule in Germany, or State College in ParisFrance, or IAAD and IED in TurinItaly, or UMEAUniversity in Sweden, or MAMI International in MoscowRussia. In Asia TCA Tokyo in Japan and so on.

Now lets’ be careful because all these schools have “similarities” but also “differences” and sometime those differences are important.

The main element to make your choice is: school reputation.

There are about 3 school categories:

  1. the best schools
  2. the good schools
  3. the show-off schools

The best schools

When we talk about “the best Design schools” we talk about: history, professional background, glorious past and present, great organization, great teaching staff, major automotive companies sponsoring projects, internship program, hard entry portfolio selection, great computer labs, full model shop including paint room, placement office for alumni, foreign office organization, housing students office, media communication office for school publicity and relations. The best schools offer a Bachelor and a Master program. I could continue on my list, but this is enough. Few examples are: Art Center College of Design Pasadena CA and CCS in Detroit.

The good schools

The good schools are those, even if they do not have a super organization, capable to produce good students who find a real design job once they are out of school. Those design schools in general have good facilities, their model shop is small therefore ok for clay modeling without painting, they have a hard entry portfolio selection, they have good teaching staff (the best are the schools near car design centers). Those schools also offer automotive design sponsored projects and internship programs, their cost is less important than “the best schools”, however they offer a recognized “diploma” or “bachelor” in Transportation Design such as Master programs.

India Design schools

Since I wrote this Hub on Design schools few things (Jan 2018) I would like to add in this "good schools" session also DYDPC design school in India run and owned by Dilip Chhabria (ex Art Center Design College). Last Design school with good reputation is STRATE India Design school with a very good Transportation Design Dept. STRATE is the famous French Design school in Paris that opened recently a school in Bangalore.

Let's not forget NID excellent for Industrial Design and not only...

CCS Detroit


The show-off schools

Scroll to Continue

During last 10 years some academic istitutions understood that Car Design could be a real business to make money and lots of communication on media. Those are the schools I call “the show-off “. Lets analyse together some details.

In general those schools “do not ask for an entry portfolio selection” or they do, but accept everybody anyway. Often they have 2 starting classes with a total of 40/60 starting students, this is too much because the school cannot assure the quality of teaching needed for a transportation design course. In car design the teacher has to work next to the student, if the teacher has 15/20 students he/she can do it. If he/she has 25/30 students , it is more difficult. What type of sponsored projects they offer? Who is sponsoring in those schools? How many students arrive at the diploma? All 40? How many real talents out of 40? How many found a job out of 40 in car design after school?

In general those schools have a great headquarter full of Design gadgets and architecture, they have good staff that knows well the “bla bla bla” to tell, very often they are expensive if compared to the best schools. In general, in their communication, they often say they offer the “best program ever”. Remember those questions:

Why do they not have an entry portfolio hard talent selection? What type of sponsored projects they offer? Who is sponsoring in those schools? How many students arrive at the diploma, all 40? How many real talents out of 40? How many found a job out of 40 in car design centers after school?

In Conclusion

You do not have to follow one of the “best design schools” to be a respected car designer, you must make the good choice between all the available design schools in today’s panorama.

Important things not to forget to orientate your choice:

- the entry portfolio selection is extremely important because it assures you a quality environment. It is much better a competitive ambience than an easy one.

- Facilities organization in terms of: computer labs, technology, model shops. Very important to assure you the quality of your projects and models.

- Sponsors and internship programs, very important to prepare yourself to start approaching the real world and find a design job.

- The type of “diploma” or “bachelor” recognized in US and Europe (EU). It has to be also recognized by major car companies. This aspect is very important to assure you a good evolution in career. It is important to be compatible with most professional designer contracts for a career evolution.

- How much to spend for my instruction? Lets’ put it this way: as long as it is for our future and we work our ass of for it… it is to be considered like an investment that will be repaid back…as long as we have talent and we work our ass off!

Good luck!

IAAD Turin, Italy



Jordanspartan on May 30, 2019:

Hello Mr. Luciano there's a doubt in my mind which is been striking me for a long time.

I want to ask that if I want to become an automobile designer so is it mandatory for me to complete any bachelor's degree or not?

I'm just 16 and I'm completing my high school .I look forward for an early reply from your side.

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on June 07, 2018:

Hi I answered already to your question via Messanger.

Tim Chang on June 05, 2018:

Dear Mr. Luciano Bove

My name is Tim and I come from Taiwan.

I recently accepted by the SPD for "CAR DESIGN TOOLS" course which will be 10 months long.

It's a preparing course for the MA program course.

Could you give me some of your personal recommends about the schools which are SPD and IED and IAAD in Italy.

Because I still have interest in applying for IED and IAAD, but if I want to do this, I need to quit the SPD preparing course because their different deadlines.

As my skills in 2D/3D presentation and my creative thinking still have a long way to go, I am considering maybe the preparing course is a better choice for me, but I still need someone professional like you to give me some recommends.



Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on May 30, 2018:

No with those schools you named no.

sameer0127 on May 27, 2018:

is it same with schools like IAAD ,SPD ,IEA AND UMEA

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on May 27, 2018:

I guess because they want only students coming fro design background.

sameer0127 on May 27, 2018:

Thank you sir for your reply, but why they don’t accept engineering students

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on May 27, 2018:

Hi I believe that Pforzheim does not take engineering students for transportation design master.

sameer0127 on May 27, 2018:

hello sir,

I am sameer from INDIA pursuing mechanical engineering, I am planning for masters in transportation design in pforzheim design school , but i dont know what percentage of bachelors degree is required to get into pforzheim design school, I emailed them twice but got no reply from them. so please help me


Mohammed sameer

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on January 31, 2018:

Dear Vishal, to make a Master in transportation design at IAAD in Torino Italy is a good if you want to go no problem, try.

vishaljain007 on July 13, 2017:

Hello Sir,

I am Vishal Jain from INDIA, I have always been interested in car design and wanted to pursue it after my high school but due to the same misconception my parents advised me to do automobile engineering at first and then do masters in design

Now , I have completed my bachelor degree in automobile engineering and was looking to do again Bachelors in transportation design

I have been selected in IED, Torino and also applying for IAAD, Torino

I am confused which design school to choose as my parents are worried about me getting a job after doing design from these colleges

US design school are very expensive for me

IED is expensive as well although affordable for me

But I was thinking that if IAAD is better and also has half the fees than IED

Then why not IAAD

which school is better between these two?

Please help me

Am a big fan of yours


Vishal Jain

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on January 13, 2017:

Hi they are both very good schools, Pforzheim better focused on car design.

ZeeMud on January 12, 2017:

Hi Luciano, which one is better Pforzheim University or Umea University fo Transportation design master program?

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on December 20, 2016:

Hi there IAAD , IED & SPD in Italy are good schools. For a Master you have also UMEA University in Sweden, or USA design schools like ACCD and CCS. In France Strate College is very good.

Abhilash on December 02, 2016:

Also tell me among pforzhiem and I ED Turin which is better option for transportation design.

Abhilash on November 30, 2016:

Sir plz tell me IED Turin is best school or good school

IIMB on October 07, 2016:

IIMB is the only Indian business school to feature among the Top 50 B-schools on the Financial Times Executive Education 2015 Rankings, alongside the London Business School, Harvard School of Business, University of Oxford and several others. IIMB has also been ranked among the Top 30 Business Schools in the world on the Financial Times’ prestigious Master in Management Rankings for 2015.

adama dabo on December 30, 2015:

Hey I'm adama, a 17 year old high school graduate from Nigeria. I am willing to study transportation design and hopefully have a career in the car industry.i am having difficulties in choosing a good school and also on how to make good a profolio. I hope you reply me soon.

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on December 16, 2015:

Hi I am sorry to all of you but lately I am more concentrated on my FB page or my FB blog page...come and join them and I'll answer directly there! Thanks!

Aditya on October 26, 2015:

Hello Luciano,

I am glad that people like you helping out students and answering every questions asked silly or not. A big thank you for that.

Well I do have a question to ask.

I am from India.

I did my bachelors in electronics and telecomm but I am extremely fond of automobile and also drew many sketches.i have applied to IED TURIN for master's in transportation design and I hope to get an admit.

How good is the college teaching wise and job prospective wise?

Is college associated with any big shot automobile company?

And yes is it possible for a student to do a part time job in Turin because in my case I will need to do it.

Simeon Stanchev on September 26, 2015:

Hallo, Luciano

I want to ask you, witch car companies sponsor IED Turin. on August 29, 2015:

Dear Luciano my name is Loei from Israel another three days I will flying to Italy I want cheeks the schools their spd ied iaad my dream is to become scar designer and to have work with the legend Ferrari I hope you can tell me a few notes or steps from your carrier thanks

Franksan on August 04, 2015:

Hi Mr Luciano,

I am from India. I have been doing a research about where to join to pursue transportation course abroad. And doing transportation design in US seems so costly and I chose European countries, and I came across Scuola Politecnico di Design in Italy which really fascinated me so much of their partners whom they work with for transportation design and I am thinking of enrolling in it for doing my Master's in Transportation Design.

Please let me know if it is a good option....

Thank You.

CHIRAGARORA on July 02, 2015:

hi luciano

very impressed to see the way you are helping the car design aspirants :)... hats off to you...

I m aged 24 & want to study car design in detail. I completed Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering in 2014. Now I have following options:

1. to go for preliminary one year car design tools at SPD & next year apply for an additional Masters program of one/two years at either of these colleges like SPD, DOMUS, UMEA, IAAD, IED, CCS, RCA etc. so in total 2-3 years of design study.

2. study 16months Masters Program at IAAD.

3. study one year masters program at DOMUS.

4. study 2years Masters program at MIT institute of design, Pune India.

Please suggest the best option for me.

looking forward to hearing from you soon.


Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on June 28, 2015:

you can of course try it! However it would be difficult to become a car designer this way!

Akul on June 18, 2015:

Im Pursuing my Bachelor Degree in Automobile Engineering, and im very passionate about getting into vehicle design for my Masters. Is it okay for one to start a carrier in design after pursuing engineering? Would having a Engineering degree give me a heads up in interviews and put me forward on the Job recruiting circle ?

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on June 13, 2015:

school is to teach you! so do your best before and when you are ready try to get accepted.

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on June 13, 2015:

it is an excellent school!

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on June 13, 2015:

Hi I wrote an article about t you can find it here and on my blog.

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on June 13, 2015:

not really! many foreign students are currently studying in those schools in Italy.

sudhirp2 on April 04, 2015:

hi sir..

weather it is good to join sketching classes of 6 months before joining transportation design course ?.. so that basics of sketching can be learned.

or one can directly join course if sketching skills are good

and if one is doing hard sketching practice of his own

what you suggests sir . please guide

thanking you

Shubham on March 16, 2015:

I have been accepted in it better than coventry?

Ratanprabhu on March 07, 2015:

Hi Sir,

I am Planning to study Digital Design Course from DSK ISD Pune,

Can You Kindly give some information regarding the Scope of Digital Design in the International Automotive Market .

Thanks in Advance !!

Ferrarghini on February 16, 2015:

Sir, brilliant article! I would like to join IAAD, turin.. my doubt is, will students from other countries find it difficult to study at the school since it is taught in italian

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on February 08, 2015:

ask the school

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on February 08, 2015:

I know that school never heard of it or experienced such problems there.

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on February 08, 2015:

yes it is however for school admission it is different because the selection is to make sure to have passionate and talented students.

Riju94 on February 01, 2015:


I would like to confirm with you.. You said in your previous comments that IAAD has a full english bachelors course. Is it true? Because i believe only the first year is taught in english.

sudhirp2 on January 30, 2015:

hi sir ..

at last we are going to make one selection out of two

iaad italy or coventry uk..

please guide me which one is better ?

Dieon Roger on January 21, 2015:

The comments here are E.P.I.C

Hello sir, A Big Thanks

I am planning to enroll for the one year Car Design Tools Course @SPD. But I read an above comment on some racial issue? I am now discouraged!!

ARTIST 7 on January 19, 2015:

Hi sir, i heard that a person is banned from a design studio if he presents a bad portfolio,is it same in case of bachelor course entry ?

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on January 11, 2015:

if you are looking for a Master SPD , IED, IAAD in italy are very good...or UMEA in Sweden.

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on January 11, 2015:

Hi I think that you should try to be admitted by IAAD or IED in Turin Italy for a full 3 years course in Transportation Design.

Maadhav on January 08, 2015:

i am confused between ied, spd and dsk isd. Please suggest which one is best among the three for transportation design?

ARTIST 7 on January 06, 2015:

Respected sir iam 18 iwant to pursue a career in car design.i am a bit confused what i must actually do to get admission in a good school in america italy etc.i want to ask how to prepare and at what age i might get an admission If i work hard with all my heart and energy.thank you,ciao.

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on December 30, 2014:

Hi and Merry Christmas and happy new year to all your family! IAAD as a total new full English course for foreign students so no problems about language...text books are very limited because it is a practical school like American ones.

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on December 16, 2014:

search for me on FB Luciano Bove

ARTIST 7 on December 10, 2014:

Respected sir,I am in a desperate search for guidance regarding a career in car design.please may I become a friend of yours on facebook.Thank you.

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on November 25, 2014:

if you do very well your bachelor in car design you do not need a master

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on November 25, 2014:

Dear Sharma you can check IAAD they are a good school cheaper and also have English course session

nipun atri on November 25, 2014:

sir, please tell me that to do bachelor & master course continuously or to do after having some years of gap in between

shaurya sharma on November 22, 2014:

Dear Luciano,

Like every other person here, I have to make a tough decision of selecting a good Automotive design school. I want to do my bachelors in the same field but I am not very sure which college to go to. The colleges like Academy of art or Art Center or CCS are very expensive. I wanted to apply to Pforzheim but, their german language requirement along with other so many requirements makes it a really tough call.

So, I am hardly left with a few options and have limited funds too. Could you please suggest me which out of the following would be a decent option (considering the teaching as well as the job opportunities after the school)-

IED, SPD, IAAD or Coventry?

Or if there is any other college which isn't over expensive and is better than the above mentioned ones.

Your suggestion would matter a lot and it would give me more clarity in making a decision.

Thank you

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on November 18, 2014:

You need an entry portfolio for admission (your drawings)...however contact the school for details.

ARTIST 7 on November 17, 2014:

Respected sir, I am 17 years old ,I am going to pass my junior college (10+2)in june in India .I want to know what grades are necessary to be eligible for transportation undergraduate admissions in IAAD ,Italy.Please may you guide me.Thank you.

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on October 09, 2014:

Dear Jeethendar, I saw some of your works I have to say that even if you show passion and skills you still need to get better in order to obtain the right demanded Professional level for car design world. So I encourage you to keep on working hard.

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on October 08, 2014:

Dear Jeethendar if you read all my articles you understand why I am not so in favor with Masters!! You are the example about what not to do! To get a job in car design you need a car design full course of at least 3 years or 5 years. Now what to do? I do not know really. see if you can get a job in making virtual 3D modeling. it could be a way to enter.

Jeethendar Singh on October 08, 2014:

Hi luciano Bove,

I have done my masters in Product Design and now i'm planning to do masters in Transportation Design. Planning to join Pforzheim but still in dilemma. Can U plz suggest me what I shud do, because i already done my masters in product design and i'm good in Alias and transportation sketching but not getting a job in this domain, I know that I hav to work much harder but I need a good base platform. because most of the industries prefer students from reputed schools. Any suggestions will be priceless to me & my carrier. Thank You..

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on August 13, 2014:

that school is good!

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on August 13, 2014:

Only Master

Method on August 11, 2014:

Dear Luciano,

Thank you for the comment!

But now I got confused because I heard the rumor from some of graduated students from Umea. They said the course itself is fine but the programme director often makes troubles because he didn't have any professional background in a field of car design.

But considering with your comment, what they said can be really subjective.

sudhirp2 on August 11, 2014:

is bachelor course is present is UMEA school or there is only masters


Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on August 10, 2014:

Dear Method

I am sorry you had bad rumors about UMEA because I know that school very well and the director is a friend and most of all a very good Professional in this field. The school is very good!

Method on August 08, 2014:

Dear Luciano,

I would like to ask your opinion about Umeå Institute of Design. What do you think about school and the programme director ? I heard some bad rumor about it, so I'm just curious about the reality of the school!

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on August 06, 2014:

IAAD is good!

Meenah on August 06, 2014:

Hi I have a choice between spd and iaad but I have heard a lot racial issues in spd which is making my decision more difficult. Please suggest what do u think about quitting spd n taking iaad up. I have been selected by RCA also but due to insufficient funds I would not b able to make it .

Please suggest a better option between spd and iaad as this is a life time opportunity for me.i am more focused on opportunity after course due to heavy debts.

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on August 05, 2014:

IAAD is more indicated for car designers, DOMUS more for design management.

Raja on August 01, 2014:


I received offer letters from IAAD and DOMUS, Italy for doing the Master's in transportation design. In this which one is best in class and can you please guide me, in these which one has a good placement rate.

Thank you.

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on July 23, 2014:

Because of so many design schools worldwide today we have lots more young designers asking for a car design job, this is the main reason why it is always hard to get a job in car design on top of this you have to think about the competition between talents from different countries and schools.

sudhirp2 on July 23, 2014:

hi sir ,

i want to know , weather there is saturation as far as placements for car designer job are concerned or opportunities for placements are still better in europe , of course if one has good skills

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on July 11, 2014:

Sorry the other schools I never heard for car design...except for Coventry in UK which is not a bad school.

sudhirp2 on July 11, 2014:

hi sir , i am collecting information for all possible options

uptil now you have given your opinion about iaad / ied / coventry

thanks for that

how are staffordshire and swansea metropolitan schools in uk.?

or coventry is comparable good option in uk.

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on July 07, 2014:

starting September all classes should be in English language,too.

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on July 07, 2014:

Hi I wrote here a HUB about entry school portfolio...check it!

sudhirp2 on July 07, 2014:

sir. in iaad , according to school sources first yr. is taught in english and second and third yr. in italian

whether thorough knowledge of italian language is necessary for good understanding of course , so that i can prepare myself before admission

sudhirp2 on July 07, 2014:

for admission to iaad one must have good portfolio

my question is that what are necessary things one must include in portfolio ?

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on July 07, 2014:

Not bad at all!

sudhirp2 on July 06, 2014:

how is reputation and teaching quality of coventry university uk. for

course in transportation design ( bachelor degree )

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on July 06, 2014:

Torino for sure yes and IAAD is pretty good.

saurav on July 05, 2014:

It really broke my heart how's hbk in Germany for master in industrial design and iaad Torino is it possible to get cheapest accommodation for foreign students

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on July 05, 2014:

because it is a school that makes a strict selection on designer a few words they are very serious. Other schools take from every profile.

saurav on July 05, 2014:

hey luciano i wanted to know that does Hs-Pforzhiem only takes industrial design graduates for mA tarnsportation ??? i asked them on email they said architecture graduates are not eligible??

sudhirp2 on July 03, 2014:

thanks luciano63 for your kind answers

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on July 02, 2014:

Starting this September I believe IAAD will have English language courses. Contact them to know about their rules...

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on July 02, 2014:

This is a decision you have to make, however the most important thing is that you will enter in a design school for a full course!

sudhirp2 on July 02, 2014:


is there tough competition for admission at iaad for bachelor in transportation design ?

wheather this course is taught in english languase ?

or italian languase is necessary ?

sudhirp2 on July 02, 2014:

dear liciano63

thanks alot for your kind answer

But then kindly guide me wheather i should take admission to dsk isd india transportation ( they are not giving bachelor degree ) or i should

go for other institutes giving bachelor degree.

why institutes like france isd are not giving bachelor degree after completion of full study.

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on July 01, 2014:

Hi, I know that in Europe and in France to get hired in design as designer you need a school diploma or BS of 3 4 or 5 years. if you do not have it you cannot be hired because it is the standard way to get people in the job career grid starting as engineers level.

sudhirp2 on July 01, 2014:

dear luciano63

dsk isd india not giving any degree i.e. bachelor degree after completion of full course of 5 yrs in transportation design.

They are giving only certificate approved by french government i.e. --

level 1 certificate as given in france isd.

My question is that wheather this certification is standard for getting

placements outside india / in india.

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on June 29, 2014:

Dear Jay I think yes! If you get your diploma or BS in car design at the age of 21 or max 23 you can attack the designer job market...if you get it at the age of 25/19 you will have high risk to be off market.

jay on June 27, 2014:

Sir is there any age limit for transportation designing...?

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on June 20, 2014:


sudhirp2 on June 19, 2014:

dear luciano63 whether cerification after completion of 5 yrs in dsk isd india in transportation design is valid for master courses in transportation design in spd / ied / iaad schools in italy

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on June 11, 2014:

Both are good schools, however I know IED better than Coventry and in IED you will find excellent facility and good teachers also internship opportunity as well as sponsored projects..

A. C. L. on June 10, 2014:

Dear Luciano!

I got admitted to Coventry and IED Turin.

Now I have to choose but have no idea which one. Nobody I know is into transport design so I don't know the real advantages and disadvantages of both. What would be your choice if you got to choose and why?

Thank you for helping :)

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on June 05, 2014:

answered on my FB page.

Ashwani on June 05, 2014:

Thanks for reply

It's in Florence Italy ....

And what about DSK ISD Pune india it's provide 3 years course in transportation design.

Should I go for that or choose different college.

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on June 05, 2014:

Sorry I do not know it!

Alex Pawar on June 04, 2014:


I am looking for industrials design course . How about Florence design academy. Can you please suggest me it's a good school or nothing as when I am searching about this school in interior design it's come into top colleges

Please suggest me

Luciano Bove (author) from Paris on June 04, 2014:

Ciao Marco io ho studiato all'Art Center College of Design di Pasadena perché ai miei tempi non c'era una scuola di car design in Italia. Oggi (grazie anche al moi coinvolgimento sin dagli anni 90) a Toriino i sono 2 scuole che funzionano bene e sono riconosciute dal settore automobilistico IAAD e la scuola IED. Tu hai 15 anni ora é presto ma la sola cosa che devi fare é disegnare disegnare disegnare! se hai la passione e talento alla tua età devi far di tutto per migliorarti il più possibile..poi quando avrai 18 anni e dovrai scegliere una scuola dopo il Liceo allora potrai andare ad una di queste scuole specializzate in car design in Italia ma eventualmente anche all'estero. seguimi su Facebook (Luciano Bove car designer oppure la mia pagina del blog "car design education tips" dove trovi anche tutorials e validi esempi...). OK?

Marco on June 03, 2014:

salve luciano

dove hai iniziato tuoi studi?

ho 15 anni e voglio sapere si c'é una scuola per imparare a disegnare macchine perché io voglio studiare al IAAD e mi devo preparare perché non so niente di disegnare auto

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