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Fall 2020

Read MassArt's plan: Return to Learning & Making

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Industrial Design BFA

The Industrial Design undergraduate program empowers students to become creative, holistic problem solvers who impact our society through the development of meaningful and relevant designed products and experiences.

By employing a user-centered design and iterative approach to exploring ideas, students utilize empathic integration of social and functional needs when considering materials and manufacturing options for concept development. Visual and verbal communication skills are a hallmark of the program, allowing our students to understand and pragmatically convey the value of design to business, communities and people.

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