The Master of Industrial Design program explores design as a vehicle for addressing social, cultural, environmental and other concerns, recognizing that design is not simply a professional service, but rather a way of connecting individual interests and values with a social framework.
Students with undergraduate degrees in other fields or with limited design experience are invited to enter the program during Wintersession as a means of preparing to begin the two-year master’s program the following fall.
Visit the ID departmental website for more information about the application process and student experience.
Graduates of the two-year program are prepared to:
• predict the impact of their design approach
• adeptly frame problems and solutions
• apply rapid modeling and prototyping skills
• develop and refine personal design methods and research approaches
In addition, graduates of the two and a half-year program are prepared to:
• extend their understanding of the Industrial Design discipline to practical design problems
• effectively bring their previous experience to their design practice
Many of the approximately 50 graduate students in the MID program come from backgrounds beyond ID, including architecture, engineering, fine arts, graphic design, anthropology, marketing and more. But they share an interest in critical thinking and making, along with the curiosity and drive to pursue graduate-level research and production. Graduate students work closely with an accomplished team of faculty members that specializes in various areas of professional practice and shows unparalleled dedication to teaching, mentoring and engaging students in real-world problem solving.
MID candidates are expected to demonstrate a high level of independence, motivation and competence in developing the physical and ideological aspects of their work. They primarily work in the department’s well-equipped space on the second floor of RISD’s Center for Integrative Technologies (CIT), a building downtown designed to facilitate dialogue among graduate students in ID, Interior Architecture, Digital + Media and Graphic Design. In addition, ID grad students take classes, engage with undergraduates in the department and work in the Metal, Model and Wood shops in the ID building at 161 South Main Street.
Meng Ting Kao MID 2013
Kyung Hoon Hyun MID 2013
Justin Couch MID 2013
Emily Rothschild MID 2008
David Sharp MID 2013
Chia Ming Chang MID 2013
Bolun Yang MID 2012
“Graduate candidates in ID don’t necessarily need an undergraduate degree in the field, but they do need strong visual communication skills. For those without an ID background, learning CAD, drawing and model making can be beneficial, and taking a general product design course can provide insight into the design process. Materials-based courses in a medium such as metal, glass, textiles, ceramics or wood also provide a good basis for work in ID.”
Projects during the first year help enhance and expand individual industrial design methodologies, both through direct practice and discussions regarding case studies and product history. This helps to define personal value systems, working methodologies and the means of effectively engaging audiences in dialogue. The study of history and theory is also fundamental to the program and series of seminars on relevant contemporary issues encourages dialogue among students as they develop their own perspectives on design.
Thesis topics cover a broad range of fields, from product and furniture explorations to design for aerospace and medical applications. Graduate students work independently under the guidance of a faculty advisor and thesis committee, and present their final work verbally, visually and in writing. They also participate in the RISD Graduate Thesis Exhibition, a large-scale public show held annually.
Apparel DesignArchitectureCeramicsDigital + MediaExperimental and Foundation StudiesFilm/Animation/VideoFurniture DesignGlassGraphic DesignHistory of Art + Visual CultureHistory, Philosophy + the Social SciencesIllustrationIndustrial DesignInterior ArchitectureJewelry + MetalsmithingLandscape ArchitectureLiterary Arts + StudiesPaintingPhotographyPrintmakingSculptureTeaching + Learning in Art + DesignTextiles