Industrial Design Courses and Classes Overview

While enrolled in industrial design courses, students learn about the history of design, as well as fundamental design skills. They begin constructing their own designs within studio settings, and they also perform digital construction through design software. Read on to learn about some of the most popular courses in industrial design.

Essential Information

Industrial design courses are offered at various universities and art schools through degree programs in industrial design, design engineering or a related field. These programs may be available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and result in degrees such as an Associate of Arts (AA), Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) or Master of Fine Arts (MFA).

Here is a list of common concepts explored in industrial design courses:

  • CAD
  • Aesthetics
  • Product design
  • Usability
  • Visual form

List of Common Courses

Introduction to Industrial Design Course

This course provides a general groundwork for best practices and gainful employment within the industrial design industry. Techniques in brainstorming, design development, presentation and problem solving are discussed in detail. Students primarily observe various guest designers and experts while participating in some design work of their own.

Industrial Design History Course

Students learn the history of design, from the Industrial Revolution to the present day, through studies that emphasize the artistic, technological, political and social factors at work throughout the evolution of design. Additionally, specific noteworthy individuals and their contributions are investigated in detail.

Materials and Manufacturing Course

This course presents an overview of the materials used to mass-produce products following in order to signify how materials impact quality and the nature of the design process. Materials discussed include plastic, glass, wood, paper, paperboard and ceramics. Emphasis is placed on understanding manufacturing procedures and research techniques.

Industrial Design Studio Course

Students learn through hands-on experience about the design development of tangible products. Lessons emphasize implementing ideas into actual practice while solving design problems and presenting concepts effectively. Peers evaluate each others' work based on appearance and functionality.

Computer Design Tools Course

This course provides groundwork for utilizing computer-aided drafting programs and tools geared toward designing and analyzing products. It focuses on mastering the interface of various programs and transitioning sketches and blueprints into digital formats. Students use software to refine and change product depictions as a method of digitally perfecting and experimenting with components before their tangible creation.

Special Projects Course

Having acquired a functional knowledge of various industrial design components, students participate in individual or group projects to improve their skills or gain additional knowledge about design principles. Potential projects include attending lectures and conducting research about prominent designers, working on specialized product construction or research and entering design competitions. Department permission and faculty guidance is generally required.

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