The MFA program has been constructed to allow artists of keen perception, daring innovation, and unflagging commitment to rise to the top of the industrial design field. Working hand-in-hand with professors and peers, you will wrestle with the philosophies and practices that shape contemporary industrial design. Working independently, you will chisel out your own aesthetic goals. Working collectively, we will help define the future of industrial design.
Graduate study in Industrial Design is composed of several types of course work which, seen as a whole, cover the both theoretical and the applied components of design. Each MFA student has a workstation in the graduate studio and takes a graduate studio course each semester. Students also take seminar courses, design electives and research courses, some courses in other fields of art, and classes outside the School of Art and Design. Students will have the opportunity to work on sponsored research and collaborative projects through the Product Interaction Research Laboratory (PIRL).
The design program has a strong user focus, ranging from sustained physical interaction to the very ephemeral user experiences. The MFA studies culminate in a written thesis, which is deposited with the Graduate College. Students are encouraged to take a series of courses that form a secondary area of study with relevance to design as well as engage in cross-disciplinary projects.
At the core of graduate studies are examinations of changing social/cultural conditions, human disabilities, new materials and emerging technologies, and opportunities for design and innovation in product development. Both traditional and new methods and processes for designing are central to the studio activities and form a significant component of the MFA thesis.
Resources in Industrial Design
As an MFA student at the School of Art + Design, you’ll enjoy an array of resources assembled to enhance your education:
- High-tech teaching studios and labs
- Individual studio space
- Well-equipped presentation areas and seminar rooms
- Cutting-edge technology facilities stocked with more than 70 computers and advanced software packages for 2-D, 3-D, CAD, computer modeling, rapid prototyping, and animation programs
- State-of-the-art 3-D printer and laser cutter
- A modern engineering and woodshop facility
- Faculty consultation on national and international design competitions
- Partnerships with design-oriented businesses, manufacturers, and other relevant professionals