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. Faculty 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.

Degree programs

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)

Through an emphasis on informed research and hands-on making, the Industrial Design BFA program puts you in position to design effective solutions for a wide range of problems.

Master of Industrial Design (MID)

Approaching industrial design as a vehicle for addressing social, cultural, environmental and other issues, the MID program teaches the skills and advanced understanding you need to practice design for the greater good.

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

SPUR Grants Support Site-Specific Research

RISD students and recent alums are using funding from RISD Research to develop interdisciplinary projects with communities around the world.

Record Number of RISD Fulbrights

Seven artists and designers will advance cross-cultural dialogue across Europe and Asia during the 2022–23 academic year.  

Forbes Recognizes Trailblazers

Four recent RISD graduates are included in the latest Forbes 30 Under 30 compilation.

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