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Industrial Design

Industrial Design Plan of Study: Undergraduate | Graduate

The Industrial Design (ID) area at Purdue has about 100 students in the program. They offer both an undergraduate and a graduate program in ID. The undergraduate degree is a professional program with intensive course work to prepare students for professional design positions. Purdue is unique in that it combines the professional degree with strong liberal arts education. This combination of liberal arts and professional design studies prepares students for strong leadership roles as industrial designers. Upon graduation students have worked for major corporations including: Nike, Hasbro, International Trucks, Whirlpool, Delta Faucet, General Electric, Sears, and Microsoft, to name a few. Graduates have also worked for Industrial Design consultancies including: Teams, IDEO, Insight, Worrell Design, Ziba Design, and BMW Designworks, to name a few.

The undergraduate program is a four-year degree with an emphasis in form giving for manufactured goods. Students graduate with the ability to be innovative problem solvers and create aesthetically appropriate forms that can be manufactured by industry. The first year is focused on learning basic design skills through a series of design problems that the student must solve. These abstract problems focus the students’ attention on traditional visual form and shape development; additionally they learn both by hand and computer skills. The second year includes courses and projects that emphasis learning to give form to products within a variety of manufacturing techniques. Students experience hands on in the shop, as well as, virtually with the computer and rapid prototyping. In the third year, students are introduced to a variety of corporate sponsored projects as well as design competitions. In these projects, students must solve functional and technical requirements of the company along with aesthetic and psychological need/wants of the intended users. The senior year is a combination of corporate sponsored projects, learning design leadership skills, and a personally selected thesis project. Students also apply research methodologies, introduced the year before, into their design projects.

Purdue Industrial Design students and faculty have been recognized both nationally and internationally in design competitions. The following list is a partial list awards earned by ID students at Purdue University

  • 2009 Nora Flood received first placed in the International Housewares Student Design Competition
  • 2008 John Dutton received a Silver award in the IDSA IDEA competition
  • 2007 Sydney Minnis was a winner in the Interzinc Design Challenge
  • 2006 Milan Jovanovic won first place in the International Marine Design Competition
  • 2005 Nick Poteracki won first place in the International Dyson Eye for Why Challenge (Purdue students also won first, second and third place in the National Eye for Why Challenge)
  • 2004 Scott Shim, Ryan Lightbody, and Matt Grossman won first place in the International Bicycle Design Copetition.
  • 2003 Steve Visser and Scott Shim received an Award of Excellence in the Taiwan International Design Competition.

In the 2005 Purdue University added an MFA in Industrial Design. This is a three-year program preparing the leaders and educators in industrial design. In 2010 we will add an MFA specialization in interaction Design with the Industrial Design area.

Purdue winning entries in the Industrial Designers Society of America competition