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5 Courses in an Industrial Design Degree Program

The Industrial Design Degree: Five Example Courses

  • 3D Form Studio
  • Design Drawing
  • Color Theory
  • The History of Art and Built Environments
  • Materials and Manufacturing

Industrial design is the professional discipline focused on the design of products intended for mass production. Essentially, it is a specialized combination of design work, art, engineering, and science that works to make the best products possible that are also conducive to mass distribution, packaging concerns, sale-ability, and more. So, what are some of the key courses one will encounter when pursuing a degree program in industrial design? Here are five, telling examples of required coursework along this particular educational path.

Related resource: Industrial Design Degrees Top 30 (Undergrad)

1. 3D Form Studio

3D Form Studio is a course that teaches students how to visualize and conceptualize all matter of things into the 3-dimensional plane. This applies to not only digital work but physical work mediums as well. Typically, this course is also accompanied by a 2D Form Studio course requirement in which the 2-dimensional realm is the focus of mastery.

2. Design Drawing

Design Drawing takes students on a journey into the finer points of illustration in the design field. Which drawing styles work the best with which kinds of products and concepts? How do scale and shadowing affect the end-user and final illustration value? Those enrolled in this course will learn all of the best design drawing practices for future professional work after graduation.

3. Color Theory

The theory of color is broadly defined as the set of theories surrounding how color affects human emotions and decision-making. While some areas of theory here have become proven law, there is still plenty of unproven information about human color perception that beckons for further academic study. Additionally, as discussed by Entrepreneur, “Colors can mean different things depending on the culture, situation, and industry.” The result of all this, of course, is an interesting, complex, and pertinent area of required coursework in the industrial design degree program.

4. The History of Art and Built Environments

The History of Art and Built Environments represents another industrial design course requirement because it is the course that covers the all-important background area of art, architecture, and design as affected and dictated by culture through history. This background knowledge is taught to students here so that they too can recognize the important and often governing elements of society upon products and their designs. Students will essentially learn the critical connections between humanity and its products here.

5. Materials and Manufacturing

Any capable industrial designer today must also understand the links between materials, function, the manufacturing process, and the end-user. While to the layman, it can be easy to underestimate the connections here, there truly are many, and they are often vital to product success or failure, safety or hazard, and viability in mass production. In fact, per expert, LinkedIn Contributor and CEO Jeff Alexander, proper understanding and management of materials “acts as the backbone of the manufacturing process.”

Industrial design work today truly does utilize a diverse array of knowledge and ability in order to bring together products that are conducive to so many factors of potential concern. Consequently, students pursuing a degree in this discipline can look forward to also becoming exposed to a wide variety of skills and advanced concepts. For those wanting to get an idea of what kinds of courses are required along the path to the industrial design degree, these five examples provide some great, beginning insight.

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