Industrial designers combine creative potential with applied technology to transform ideas into practical designs.
The Industrial and Human Factors Design curriculum prepares students to become designers of marketable products and systems. This major is an interdisciplinary study of design that integrates aesthetics, ergonomics, kinesiology, anthropometry, material science, engineering, manufacturing, business, and the social sciences. The curriculum is designed to elicit students' creative potential and couple it with techniques and technology that transform ideas into practical designs. Industrial and human factors designers create products that are optimized and customized for human use, from medical devices and tools to furniture and automobiles. In addition to material and technological considerations, industrial designers incorporate nonfunctional elements such as aesthetics and culturally relevant features, as seen in many consumer products ranging from toys to cell phones. This major focuses on creating real-world, practical products and systems. Students will develop proficiency in creating conceptual designs that are effective, attractive, and sensitive to environmental sustainability and cultural concerns. Students will also learn various rendering techniques, from charcoal to three dimensional computer aided design, as well as visualization and communication skills. Strategic studies in engineering, manufacturing, business, and marketing complement understanding of the processes involved in developing evocative designs. Finally, students will be capable of designing products and systems intended for specialty consumers such as children, the elderly, and those with physical and mental challenges.