The Industrial Design program focuses on teaching the skills, knowledge, and dispositions required to facilitate product design for manufacturing industries. An industrial designer typically creates new product ideas or re-designs existing products in a collaborative effort with marketing, engineering, and production teams. Designers create and develop product ideas and then communicate those ideas to clients and production entities through technical drawings, concept and final renderings, mock-ups, models and prototypes.
The curriculum at MSU Denver prepares students for professional design practice by teaching graphic and verbal presentation skills, as well as hands on technical skills, to enhance their innate creativity. Collaborative projects with other disciplines and industry partners are a vital part of the curriculum and typically occur in the design studio classes. Students also complete a professional internship as their senior experience to further enhance the real world learning the department strives for. Students are required to pass through a portfolio review process at the end of the sophomore year to allow registration for upper-division studio courses, thus maintaining the quality of the program’s graduates. The details of this process are outlined on the department website (msudenver.edu/ind) and available in hard copy at the department office, located in the Technology building, suite 124. Graduates with an industrial design major earn a bachelor of science degree. A minor in industrial design is also available.
The program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and works with the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) to enhance the profession. The department has an active student IDSA chapter and faculty involved in the national leadership of IDSA. Through this solid foundation of an accredited curriculum, as well as real world learning opportunities, the program’s graduates are well equipped to meet the challenges of the competitive, industrial design industry.
Student Learning Objectives for All Industrial Design Majors
To the standard of an entry level professional designer, graduating students should be able to:
- Perform, organize, analyze and report in written form; qualitative and quantitative research that contributes to the definition and solution of given design problems.
- Formulate and assess multiple concepts and debate their strengths and weaknesses. Select appropriate final solutions for design problems.
- Demonstrate proficiency in; hand sketching, perspective rendering, and technical drawing; physical and/or computer modeling, methods of prototyping.
- Compare and assess aesthetic, structural, economic, and consumer safety aspects of different industrial materials and manufacturing processes in order to choose the most appropriate for each component of a proposed design solution.
- Prepare and deliver verbal presentations that demonstrate visual organization skills and proficiency in media technology.
- Analyze current and historically relevant designs that relate to a given problem.
- Consider form semantics, human factors, business and professional practices, sustainability issues, and cultural influences in order to develop appropriate design solutions.