Explore the 10 Best Colleges for Industrial Design

There are a number of colleges and universities across the globe that are recognized for their industrial design programs. Some of the top institutions outside of the United States include Florence Design Academy in Italy, Central Saint Martins/University of the Arts London, and Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Design in China, among many others.

Selecting the ideal program and school is a huge decision, and a number of factors come into play. Industrial designers are able to create and develop concepts for various manufactured products, including automobiles, appliances, toys and much more. These types of designers focus on certain areas of art, design, and engineering to yield the ideal solution for the desired product.

Industrial designers specialize in numerous industries as well, ranging from wholesale trade to architecture and even self-employment. Reports state that in 2014, there were approximately 38,400 employed industrial designers, and about 25% of them were self-employed.

10. Cranbrook Academy of Art – 3D Design Department

The industrial era brought the idea of industrial design into being, making a new meaning to the field of design. Cranbrook Academy of Art’s 3D Design department specializes in this new age of design, embracing the thought that great designs come from those who are educated and informed of this generation’s needs.

3D Design encompasses both industrial design and fine arts into one; the industrial design side focuses on mass production, whereas fine arts ties together design, craft, and fine art. Cranbrook’s program is tailored especially for those who like a more hands-on approach to education, with studio learning environments taking the front seat.

Students in Cranbrook’s 3D Design department are authorized 24-hour access to studio spaces, equipped with network ports to the school’s data line and wireless internet access. Facilities include a Dell PC workstation, Apple iMac workstation, media lab and digital fabrication facilities which feature 3D printers, digital plasma cutters and more.

9. University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati’s DAAP department incorporates a number of creative majors, including Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning – aka, DAAP. The university provides a bachelor of science in industrial design, which is ranked as one of the top in the country by DesignIntelligence.

Once students complete their core requirements for the University of Cincinnati’s Industrial Design major, they can choose which area they would like to focus on, including general product design for a number of consumer needs, as well as transportation design, which focuses on human mobility and transportation design.

Cincinnati recognizes the increasing demand for industrial designers, as there are products planned for mass production in locations across the globe. Industrial designers are provided with a range of career opportunities during and after the completion of their college journey. Amanda Gustafson, an industrial design student at the university, received a prize of $7,000 from the California Health Association for her glucose meter, known as Finn the Glucose Fish. The University of Cincinnati aims for its DAAP students to greatly succeed through innovative teaching approaches and focusing on the latest technologies in industrial design and more.

8. Ohio State University

Ohio State University is recognized as one of the largest colleges in America, with reports ranking the institute in the top 20. Over 45,000 undergraduates attend Ohio State each year and it provides a number of campuses across Ohio. Based on data from the class of 2014, 79% of Ohio State University students graduated, and over 50% of those students were awaiting official offers for career placement.

OSU provides a competitive and extensive program for industrial design. The program is quite selective within the entry process for industrial design applicants, and a very limited number are chosen. At the end of the spring semester, students must go through an entrance review and about 17 of them are chosen to major in industrial design.

The university’s curriculum combines a number of core values within its design department, which range from understanding and interpreting analyses to understanding the needs of today’s society. Ohio provides a number of cross-functional courses to help students gain full exposure to the design industry, preparing them for their future careers.

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