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Industrial Design BFA

Each student’s intensive design process incorporates research, concept drawing, manufacturing analysis, and material exploration, as they create solutions for consumer products and organizations.

The coursework culminates in a major degree project—recent examples of which have included a redesigned walker, a stationary bicycle, exercise and athletic equipment, children’s toys, furniture systems...even a school bus!

Internships, design competitions, and partnerships with local manufacturing and consulting firms afford students opportunities to work in the real world. All Industrial Design faculty members are experienced, practicing designers and are active members of the Industrial Designers Society of America.

Learning Outcomes

  • Ability to design products and systems, including but not limited to a foundational understanding of how products and systems are made; what makes them valuable; how they are developed, realized, and distributed; and how they are related to environmental and societal issues and responsible design
  • Ability to use technologies and tools associated with multi-dimensional design representation, development, dissemination, and application
  • Foundational knowledge of the history of industrial design, including but not limited to the influences of works and ideas on the evolution of design study and practice over time and across cultures
  • Fundamental knowledge of user experience, human factors, applied ergonomics, contextual inquiry, user preference studies, and usability assessments
  • Ability to research, define, and communicate about problems, variables, and requirements; conceptualize and evaluate alternatives; and test and refine solutions, including the ability to synthesize user needs in terms of value, aesthetics, and safety
  • Ability to communicate concepts and specifications in verbal, written, and multiple media at levels ranging from abstraction and sketches, to detailed multi-dimensional, functional, and visual representations
  • Functional knowledge of professional design practices and processes, including but not limited to ethical behaviors and intellectual property issues such as patents, trademarks, and copyrights
  • Knowledge of basic business practices and their relationship to industrial design as well as the ability to investigate and reconcile the needs related to entrepreneurship, marketing, engineering, manufacturing, servicing, and ecological and social responsibility in the process associated with specific design projects
  • Acquisition of collaborative skills and the ability to work effectively in interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary teams
  • Opportunities for advanced undergraduate study in areas that intensify skills and concepts, and that deepen and broaden knowledge of the profession of industrial design
  • Experience in applying design knowledge and skills beyond the classroom is essential. Opportunities for field research and experience, internships, collaborative programs with professional and industry groups, and international experiences are strongly recommended. Such opportunities to become oriented to the working profession should be supported through strong advising

Unique to MassArt

All students; sophomores, juniors and seniors, are provided studio spaces which comprises of; a desk with shelving and pin-up space, a stool, a rolling storage unit and power. The space allocation gets slightly larger as students progress in the program.

These spaces allow students to work in studio during class time as well as during the open hours of the building, providing a easy flow between handwork and digital work, both 2D & 3D, and emphasizing the department’s approach of learning through making.

To aid students in safe, creative exploration, the studio manager, shop monitor and course assistants provide additional support for the course’s faculty.

Each year, MassArt hosts an exhibition, “Design Massachusetts,” which features numerous award-winning projects designed by the college’s industrial design alumni.

Courses  Requirements