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

Students Propose Real-World Design Solutions

Industrial Design students offer innovative ideas for supporting sustainability in Rhode Island and beyond.

Maharam Fellowships Support Greater Good

In keeping with RISD’s strategic plan, this summer’s 10 Maharam fellows use their design skills to promote social justice and sustainability.

Class of 2021 Q&A | Industrial Design

As they complete their last semester, four graduating students offer their take on the RISD experience.​

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