The Industrial Design program at the University of the Arts will fuel your passion for discovery and development. The research-based program focuses on people and their needs. You'll learn to observe and analyze—all while learning how designers can make a difference in the world. From defining problems to conceptualizing solutions and building prototypes, you'll engage with others and the world around you.
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Your work will be anything but ordinary. Be a part of "Instant Village," where student teams design emergency shelters that they set up in the woods, then spend the night in their structures as a way of testing those designs. Travel to Kenya to help improve the lives of a rural village by designing bicycle-powered water pumps and power chargers, or solar food dryers for preserving food. Seniors create their own capstone projects, which have included a redesign of a snowboarding bag, laser-cut women's accessories, an HIV orientation kit, fashionable clothing for the disabled, a military sanitation system for women, small-scale aquaponic systems, rooftop gardening systems, a high-tech dining room table and a bio-wall for energy conservation.
University of the Arts Industrial Design faculty members are working professionals, many with their own design studios, and are on top of all the current trends in the profession. Their close relationships as students' mentors provide a strong foundation in the discipline so you'll be prepared to make your mark as you move through your career path.
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Sample Courses in the Industrial Design Major
Drawing: Objects & Space
Found & Fabricated
Studio: Mechanics + Ideation
Studio: Behavior + Research
Visualizing Design Concepts
Prototyping Design Concepts
Applied Design Lab
History of Industrial Design
Studio: People + Mechanics
Studio: Engaging Clients
Social Media for Designers
Product Design Methods
Applied Design Lab
Personal Presentation + Process
Professional Presentation + Portfolio
Design Practice and Business Strategy
About the Curriculum
In the Industrial Design program, students create informed and visionary social, cultural, and ecologically sustainable responses that consider community, business and society. Students develop critical thinking skills toward understanding their work in a broad human-centered context. Design process is debated while exploring the value of products, services, and collaborative system solutions. Techniques and methods are taught including hand drawing and rendering, 2D and 3D modeling, analog and digital making, rapid prototyping, ethnographic and user research, and information mapping. Through hands-on project-based learning, students develop their individual skill sets as well as team-based approaches to specific design topics. Students learn new skills as technology evolves. Through close work with professors as well as group critique students develop a holistic design process approach to make their innovative ideas visual and to communicate them successfully to multiple audiences.
Students who complete the Industrial Design program will:
- Know how to approach, reframe, and solve problems by managing a rigorous and iterative design process.
- Explore and communicate design concepts through 2D and 3D (analog + digital) skills as well as understand materials and manufacturing methods. An emphasis on drawing, making, craftsmanship, and technique is required.
- Be experienced in collaborative methods for engaging users, other designers, and partners from other disciplines.
- Be knowledgeable and fluent in discussing the contemporary issues facing design, have the ability to clearly express ideas in writing and think critically.
- Know how to navigate and succeed in a quickly changing and increasingly global professional landscape.
To earn the Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Design, students will complete a total of 127.5 credits as follows:
- 42 credits in the Industrial Design Major
- 18 credits in College of Art, Media & Design Core Studies
- 6 credits in School of Design Core
- 4.5 credits in Creative Practices and Collaborative Studio
- 12 credits in Art History
- 30 credits in the Liberal Arts
- 15 credits in Free Electives
Alumni Profile: Chris Santone
Our alumni work at a variety of companies and organizations internationally. Below are a few places our alums have landed.
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