Online Courses in Industrial Design
The following are some commonly offered online industrial design courses.
- Design Theory Course: This course examines the origins and development of design, including classical Greek, European and Western influences. Students review examples of industrial design, architecture, engineering and urban planning from various time periods and locales.
- Product Design Course: Students learn how to research, design and build products that people want or need. They learn to represent products in full-size mock-ups and execute projects according to design.
- Form Development Course: Lessons cover 3-D design, surfaces, volumes and the differences between geometric and free-form shapes. Students learn how to create high-quality models from sketches through several design processes.
- Industrial Design Perspectives Course: Students learn to accurately represent objects in design. They study the principles of perspectives and explore the use of shadows, reflections and lighting sources. They practice creating 3-D objects in 2-D plans and drafts.
- Design Drawing Course: Design artists hone basic drawing skills with pencil, pens, chalk and other drawing material so that they can draw rapidly and accurately. They learn how to improve their sketching skills to enhance renderings on their plans and models. Courses cover craftsmanship, contrast, composition, rendering and perspective.
- Model-Making Course: This online course teaches basic model-making skills by addressing the materials, tools, drafting skills and layout techniques needed to build a full-scale model. Students may be required to build a product model from scratch and submit documentation via the Web.
- Problem Solving in Design Course: This course discusses conceptual and technical problems in design. Enrollees learn how to research, define and evaluate issues--and then they must test theories to correct problems. Students pay attention to the function, appearance and configuration of models.
- Digital Imaging Course: This course explores the common digital tools that are used in the industrial design field. 2D vector and raster software are used to build drawing and communication skills. Image retouching, rapid digital sketching, vector art techniques and 2D digital presentation are also covered.
- History of Industrial Design Course: In this course, students explore the evolution of the field of industrial design, starting with early mechanization and the industrial revolution. They also learn how advances during different periods have affected current practices in the field.
- Computer Drafting Course: In this course, students learn to use computer software for mechanical drawings and 3D representations. Fundamental drafting principles and dimension conventions are an essential part of the curriculum.
Online industrial design classes are offered as part of industrial design degree programs. These programs are offered at the associate's, bachelor's, and master's degree levels. They may also be offered as elective courses within an art or architecture program.
Individuals taking industrial design courses learn to combine engineering and art to create manufactured goods that are useful, functional and aesthetically pleasing. They must incorporate marketing, economic resources, manufacturing, technical performance and environmental factors into the production of their design.
Students may need specific design and modeling software programs, but requirements vary by instructor and school. Make sure to check with your school before enrolling to ensure that you have access to required software. Some industrial design programs require a portfolio review for admission or graduation.
Individuals who are interested in industrial design can find online courses that cover core concepts in the field and help them build their design skills. Relevant educational options are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels and sometimes as elective courses in architectural programs.