Academics

Industrial Design

a scale model inside the Industrial Design studios of living quarters for space exploration

Drawing on its historic contribution to responsible, human-centered design, Industrial Design (or ID) teaches students to use critical thinking and the design process itself to bring new value to companies, communities and citizens. Professors with expertise in a wide range of areas guide students in researching user experiences to create well-conceived and executed objects, products and systems that make everyday tasks easier.

Degrees offered

BFA

4-year undergraduate program

MID

2- and 2.5-year graduate program

In the studio

In responding to assigned projects, ID majors work with a wide range of materials in the process of designing objects, products, systems and experiences. Students develop ideas by starting with sketches and drawings, and moving on to models and working prototypes.

Featured stories

Designers Rise to NASA Challenges

Students in the recently launched RISD Space Design club are working on getting three separate projects into outer space.

Designing for the Future of Mobility

Students and faculty partner with Hyundai Motor Group to improve the way people move through—and live in—the world.

Developing a Low-Cost Ventilator

Industrial designer Colin P. Kelly is part of a NYC-based team working to address critical needs during the pandemic.

Student work

a pair of hands interacting with a student-made product

ID alumni go on to make a real difference through design, offering innovative solutions to a wide range of needs. They start their own businesses, join cutting-edge studios and work for organizations and corporations, contributing to almost every field imaginable by creating medical devices, household products, alternative transportation vehicles, nanotech devices, new materials and much more…

Alumni at work

Soaib Grewall BFA 11 | social entrepreneur

“More than a billion people worldwide lack access to clean drinking water,” says Grewall, who worked with several Brown students to launch a nonprofit effort known as WaterWalla. Their mission? To bring clean water to India's slums. Grewall relocated to India right after graduation to head WaterWalla's Mumbai office and is now making great headway in tackling this chronic public-health issue.

hand tools hanging on a wall of the Industrial Design workshop