Industrial Design

The practice of industrial design at The Ohio State University includes applying a sophisticated level of design thinking and design research approaches to the planning and development of design ideas for objects, services and systems that support human needs. These may include consumer appliances, tools, business machines, furniture, medical equipment, architectural products and transportation devices, to name a few. Understanding modes of manufacturing and production, the analysis of systems, circumstances, and processes to determine ways in which new products can serve to improve or satisfy users in new ways to meet current and future demands is the foundation of our educational approach. At the same time, we believe that it is critical to understand sustainable design principles, and to model practices that contribute to the creation of healthy environments. One of the hallmarks of our industrial design program is the inclusion of multiple opportunities for design students to collaborate with students in other design disciplines. Our industrial design program culminates in a final project that demonstrates each student's comprehensive knowledge and ability to work independently.

Career Prospects in Industrial Design


Students graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Design take positions with design consulting offices, corporate design departments, and government design agencies.

The work of design occurs in either the context of consultant design, where independent design firms provide services to clients, or in the context of corporate, governmental, or non-governmental/not-for-profit design, where design services are provided within an organization.

Consultant design offices can be as small as one person -- an office of 15-20 people is considered relatively large -- and the largest might employ 100 or more. Consultant offices may specialize in one design discipline, or even a subcategory of that specialty. Consultant offices can also be multidisciplinary, and employ designers from all categories, as well as engineers, researchers, marketing and human factors experts, etc.

Corporate design groups exist in all major industries, and employ designers of all disciplines. Industrial design departments are often found within product manufacturing companies.

Design offers many opportunities for a challenging career. Many designers begin with project work, and advance to research, coordination and management. Planning activities often place designers in the role of analyzing business trends, and establishing strategic goals for design activities. Many organizations value the contributions designers make to their businesses, and provide good opportunities for advancement.

2013–2014 Student Achievement Data


Bachelor of Science in Design (BSD) - Industrial Design

  • Job Placement: Of the students who graduated in May 2014, 25% were employed upon graduation and 63% were awaiting official offers.
  • Acceptance into Graduate Programs: 100% of students from the May 2014 graduating class who applied to graduate school were accepted.
  • Graduation Rates: 79% (15 of 19) of the students from the class of 2014 graduated in 4 years.
  • Retention/Attrition: 100% of the students enrolled during the spring 2013 semester returned in autumn 2013, putting attrition at 0%.

Professional Organizations


Professional organizations play an important role in the development of design disciplines and provide valuable resources to their student and professional members. The following organizations are all relevant to Industrial Design.

Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA)
Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES)
Interaction Design Association (IxDA)
Retail Design Institute (RDI)
Usability Professionals Association (UPA)

Curriculum and Course Sequence


All required courses in the major programs must be taken in an exact sequence, as they are offered only once per academic year. Any student failing a required course will be removed from the major program and be required to stop the course sequence. They will then restart their program sequence by taking the course again the following academic year.

Year One

Autumn Semester
Design Foundations, 9 hours
Arts and Sciences 1100.09: College Survey, 1 hour
GE Courses, 6 hours

Spring Semester
Design Foundations, 9 hours
GE Courses, 6 hours

Year Two

Autumn Semester
Design 3101: Intro to Industrial Design 1, 3 hours
Design 3200: Design Research 1 , 3 hours
Design 3400.01: Design Media 1 for Industrial Design, 3 hours
Design 3301: Viz Strategies for Ind Design 1, 3 hours
GE Courses, 6 hours

Spring Semester
Design 3151: Intro to Industrial Design 2, 3 hours
Design 3450.01: Design Media 2 for Industrial Design, 3 hours
Design 3550.01: Materials + Processes 1 for Industrial Design, 3 hours

GE Courses, 9-11 hours

Year Three

Autumn Semester
Design 4101: Intermediate Industrial Design 1, 3 hours
Design 4200: Design Research 2 , 3 hours
Design 4400.01: Design Media 3 for Industrial Design, 3 hours
Elective Course, 3 hours
GE Courses, 6 hours

Spring Semester
Design 4151: Intermediate Industrial Design 2, 3 hours
Design 4650: Collaborative Design, 3 hours
Design 4750: Professional Practices (weeks 1 to 7), 3 hours
Elective Courses, 6 hours

Year Four

Autumn Semester

Design 5101: Advanced Industrial Design 1, 3 hours
Design 5200.01: Design Research 3 for Industrial Design, 3 hours
Design 5301: Viz Strategies for Ind Design 2, 3 hours
GE Courses, 6 hours

Spring Semester
Design 5151: Advanced Industrial Design 2, 3 hours
Design 5800.01: Design Seminar for Industrial Design, 3 hours
Elective Course, 3 hours
GE Courses, 7 hours

Suggested Electives


Design 4797: Study Tour
Design 4998: Undergraduate Scholarship 1
Design 4998H: Honors Undergraduate Scholarship 1
Design 4999: Undergraduate Scholarship 2
Design 4999H: Honors Undergraduate Scholarship 2
Design 5191: Internship
Design 5193: Individual Studies
Design 5194: Group Studies
Design 5600E: Design Matters (Honors Embedded)
Design 5600S: Design Matters (Service)
*Arch 2220: Sustainability and the Built Environment
*Arch 2300: Outlines of the Built Environment
*Arch 2310: Introduction to Design
*Arch 4798: Study Tour
*Arch 5110: History of Architecture 1
*Arch 5120: History of Architecture 2

* For information about courses outside of the Department of Design, please search the Course Catalog.

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