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Leading Schools for Industrial Design in the United States

Higher Education Articles January 2, 2013

Manufactured products including office equipment, furniture and appliances are designed and developed by industrial design professionals. In this article, we will look at some of the best school programs in industrial design.

Art Center College of Design – Pasadena, California

Art Center College of Design – Pasadena began operations in 1930, has a logo that is widely recognized; an orange dot that is said to represent the school’s commitment to the arts. In 2011, the U.S. News & World Report accorded this school with top ranking among schools for industrial design. The school offers graduate degree courses in industrial design among several other design and art fields. Students can choose to complete a master degree in Industrial Design; they can expect to be trained in areas such as research and design projects. Coursework will include theories in industrial design, such as function, marketability and ergonomics. A thesis project needs to be completed by students.

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) – Providence, Rhode Island

This school is dedicated to design and fine arts began operating in 1877. The school that is situated at the base of Providence’s College Hill, and a member of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design, which is an organization of the leading fine arts schools in the United States. The school is home to a Museum of Art. Rhode Island School of Design has a Division of Architecture and Design that offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in industrial design. Students learn to identify design issues and solve them; for instance, there could be issues of ergonomics and usability. The program seeks to identify environmental and societal design issues. Schematics of designs are designed by students who also create prototypes of their designs. In 2011, the U.S. News & World Report accorded this school the second rank among schools for industrial design.

Carnegie Mellon University – Pittsburgh, Philadelphia

Carnegie Mellon University was the brainchild of Andrew Carnegie, and it was originally known as the Carnegie Institute of Technology. In 2011, the U.S. News & World Report accorded this school the third rank among schools for industrial design. The Carnegie Mellon School of Design offers an undergraduate industrial design program; students are motivated to develop products that are beneficial to interaction among humans as well as in the daily activities of people. Coursework includes topics such as transportation design, human factors, environmental design, electronics, and prototyping.

Top Ten Schools with Industrial Design Programs

School Name Location
Art Center College of Design Pasadena, CA
Auburn University Auburn, AL
Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA
Clemson University Clemson, SC
Ferris State University Big Rapids, MI
Massachusetts College of Art and Design Boston, MA
Montclair State University Montclair, NY
Rhode Island School of Design Providence, RI
University of Houston Houston, TX
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Blacksburg, VA

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