Industrial Design

Industrial Design is a process of design applied to products that are to be manufactured through techniques of mass production.  It is a mixture of applied art and applied engineering.

Western Industrial Design students learn problem-solving methodologies, product research, drawing skills (both by hand and by computer), three dimensional model-making techniques, materials, manufacturing processes, ergonomics, design theory, and marketing principles. These skills are applied in the design of many new and innovative products which eventually comprise the student’s portfolio.

Western’s program has a strong reputation in the profession and is NASAD accredited, the only national accrediting association for Industrial Design. The program values hands-on learning about manufacturing processes and materials, not just theory, and offers access to state-of-the-art machines. Students are provided work spaces in a studio environment where they can accomplish their assignments and complete projects. The facility also has a well-equipped shop for teaching with both wood and metal machinery, and a walk-in paint booth. Additional facilities within the Engineering and Design Department are available to students as they enroll in the respective support courses. These labs include CNC machining, rapid prototyping, FDM 3D printing, injection molding, composite materials, electronics, and soft-tooling labs. 

Western’s Engineering and Design Department is part of the College of Science and Engineering.

Beyond the Classroom

Industrial Design students often join the Western chapter of the Industrial Design Society of America (IDSA). IDSA provides opportunities by putting on design events, inviting guest speakers, and arranging job shadows with different design firms around the country. 

Internships are strongly recommended as part of a student’s plan of study. Students generally participate in a summer internship. Industrial Design majors have recently interned at:

  • Precor
  • IDEO
  • Specialized 
  • Fujifilm
  • Bose 
  • Intel 
  • Sonosite
  • General Electric

Careers and Graduate Studies

The Bachelor of Science degree program in Industrial Design prepares graduates to begin work as practicing designers in corporate, consulting, or entrepreneurial positions. Industrial Design is a highly competitive and professional service of creating and developing concepts that optimize function, value, and appearance of products and systems for the mutual benefit of both the user and the manufacturer.

Employers of Recent Western Graduates: 

  • Astro Studios (San Francisco, CA): Designer 
  • Blendtec (Provo, UT): Designer 
  • Burn Design Lab 
  • Code and Theory (Manhattan, NY): Junior Industrial Designer 
  • Freerange PDX (Portland, OR): Designer 
  • Michael Courtney Design (Seattle, WA): Junior Designer 
  • Tether 

Sample Careers

  • Industrial Designer
  • User Experience Designer
  • Director of Product Development
  • Staff Designer
  • Design Consultant
  • Research and Strategy
  • Entrepreneur

College of Science and Engineering (was Sciences and Technology)

Industrial Design, BS

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