The Master’s Program in Industrial Design is a graduate laboratory for postindustrial design. Students and faculty are actively exploring how to design for new social conditions in which behavioral, material, technological, and natural landscapes are shifting. We are committed to developing new models of design practice that are multidisciplinary, collaborative, and team-based. We stress process, with an emphasis on research, conceptualization, communication, and appropriate formgiving.
The program itself is a two-year, 60-credit curriculum consisting of studio, methods, and seminar courses. The curriculum is project-based, which means that each semester, course content is integrated around studio-based projects. Projects range from the development of new urban industries to incubating independent publishing labels for hard and soft design. By providing research proposals, future studies, and case studies, we are promoting a new, more proactive role for design education.
Because design is a collaborative profession, most studio projects will be team-based. During the first and third semesters of study, first-year students will work with second-year students in a shared studio. Semester two is more individually oriented. The final semester of the two-year program is devoted to a master’s thesis in which the candidate will work more independently with a group of internal faculty and/or outside professionals to develop a thesis project that must advance the candidate’s chosen field of study.
Like the program itself, the faculty represent a wide range of approaches to the practice of design. This means that students have access to currently practicing design professionals with backgrounds in fields ranging from architecture, graphic design, cultural anthropology, and psychology to industrial, systems, and environmental design. The Industrial Design Department thus offers a unique core faculty group who share a common philosophy and commitment to the design process. We are an interdisciplinary program, so we welcome applicants from diverse fields such as the fine arts, architecture, sociology, law, business, engineering, and information technologies. What unites the students is their enthusiasm for design and material culture, as well as an interest in the social impact of design on our society. All candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent). In addition, in order to be accepted at the graduate level, all qualified applicants must demonstrate some form of professional involvement in a design-related field. Each candidate is then carefully selected to assure a comprehensive balance of disciplines in the program.
In the graduate design studio, each student has access to Apple desktop computers with a professional suite of software. The department also provides access to digital cameras and projectors for process documentation and presentation.
Students in the MID program have access to an Envisiontec Perfactory 3D printer. The printer automatically constructs physical models made of methacrylate (a plastic material) from digital CAD models. The Perfactory prints single objects as large as 7.5 x 6 x 9 and larger objects may be built in sections. The plastic may be used as the final product, or it may be painted, combined with other materials, transformed into other materials, transformed into other materials using molding and casting techniques, or transformed into metal through investment casting or electroforming.