Through challenging studio projects and more, the four-year BFA in Industrial Design helps you become aware of materials and gain an in-depth understanding of visual and 3D vocabulary.
Faculty emphasize the traditional values behind industrial design and current trends in the profession as you progress from creating developmental drawings to three-dimensional mockups and models, working drawings and prototypes that incorporate manufacturing considerations.
The program begins sophomore year with skill-based exposure to both traditional and state-of-the-art techniques for visualization. Through the manipulation of wood, metal, paper and plastic, you begin to understand the unique properties of these materials and the design possibilities inherent in them.
Junior year builds on the skills learned the first year by encouraging you to focus on projects dealing with technology as it applies to products, form and human factors, mechanics and movement, and more.
During senior year, you take advanced design studios, learn more about legal and business practices in the profession and undertake projects that emphasize innovation and the ability to refine formal design issues.
Graduates are prepared to:
• develop material ideas with facility, clarity and rigor.
• conceptualize and develop ideas imaginatively and accurately in three dimensions.
• effectively communicate their design intent to disparate audiences (including clients, users and fabricators).
• apply knowledge of user experience, human factors, applied ergonomics, contextual inquiry, user preference studies and usability assessments in the design development process.
• understand the contribution their work is making to the profession and the discipline.
• exercise collaborative skills for working across disciplines and in multidisciplinary fields.
Approximately 300 undergraduates and 30 graduate students work together in a six-floor former manufacturing facility renovated to suit the department's needs. In sharing studio, shop and gallery spaces, students readily exchange ideas and learn from each other. Faculty with a broad range of professional experience and expertise fully engage with students—both in class and through informal conversations in the studio.
ID majors often engage in collaborative work, both with students and faculty in other departments and with off-campus partners at MIT's Sloan School of Management, Brown University, NASA and Massachusetts General Hospital, among others. Wintersession internships and sponsored studio projects backed by such corporations as Samsung, Kimberly Clark, Progressive, Timberland and others provide market-based design opportunities.
In addition, ID students often work on sustainable projects for under-resourced communities in the US and countries such as Costa Rica and Argentina.