About the Program
Industrial design is a strategic problem-solving process applicable to products, systems, services, and experiences that results in innovation, business success, and a better quality of life. Students build their skills of form giving, sketching, ideation, prototyping, modeling, and research during the learning process.
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.
Industrial design is housed in the Yue-Kong Pao Hall, Purdue’s state-of-the-art facility for the Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts. The building includes a computer lab built specifically for the industrial design program, complete with a three-dimensional printer.
Special note regarding portfolio review - An art portfolio is not required to begin this major. However, students are required to pass a selective portfolio review in the spring of their sophomore year to advance to upper level design and complete this major. Selection is competitive and is based on the student’s work in Purdue art and design courses and development as a designer. Students not selected for upper level Industrial Design work with their academic advisor to change to their second choice major, usually without adding time to their four-year degree plan.
Please visit Industrial Design for more information.