Industrial Design Hero Image

IndustrialDesign

I'm ready to make a real impact.

You’re all about how things work. And how to make them work better. It’ll take more than just curiosity to make a career out of blending form and function. But if you’re determined, passionate, and can't imagine doing anything else, our Industrial Design degree program can help you start a career where you turn your ideas into tangible objects that fit the way we work, play and live. Whether it’s a re-designed cell phone or self-service fuel pump, a user-friendly workstation or a wafer-thin TV screen, you’ll build the skills to create, design, and manufacture products that meet the world’s demand for the next-generation everything. You’ll be surrounded and inspired by other talented, creatively driven students. And you’ll be pushed, challenged, and, above all else, supported by experienced faculty*. It’s not easy. But if the goal is doing what you love, it’s well worth it.

*Credentials and experience levels vary by faculty and instructors.

Degrees Offered

Associate of Applied Arts in Industrial Design Technology

Quarter Credit Hours:
90
Timeframe:
6 Quarters

Gainful Employment

Outcomes

Associate of Applied Arts in Industrial Design Technology

Outcomes

See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/90 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

Upon completion of this program, graduates will:

  • design products that accommodate the capabilities and the needs of the intended user population.
  • implement the design principles that can be practically applied to current industry standards.
  • demonstrate how products work and how they are manufactured.
  • select and use industrial design tools, materials, and techniques.
  • exhibit professionalism in a basic understanding of how the industrial design field operates.

View Academic Catalog

Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design

Quarter Credit Hours:
180
Timeframe:
12 Quarters

Gainful Employment

Outcomes

Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design

Outcomes

See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/1817 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

Upon completion of this program, graduates will:

  • design products that accommodate the capabilities and the needs of the intended user population.
  • implement the design principles that can be practically applied to current industry standards.
  • demonstrate how products work and how they are manufactured.
  • select and use industrial design tools, materials, and techniques.
  • exhibit professionalism through their understanding of intellectual property law, social responsibility, marketing strategies, project management, and the team dynamic.

View Academic Catalog

Classroom Experience

You say it's a demanding field? Bring it on.

Industrial designers create the products we use every day. But there’s nothing everyday about the hard work and commitment it takes to succeed in this profession. Here, you’ll start with basics like drafting, design, drawing, and perspective, so you can express your ideas on paper. We’ll show you how to fabricate materials and build models. You can study anatomy and ergonomics to learn how people and products interact. Working with modeling software and hardware ranging from 3D printers to a computer-controlled vertical mill, you’ll explore areas including 3D design, prototyping, human factors, and materials & processes. See our gainful employment pages for possible careers that match the program that interests you.

Meet our Alumni

  • Dean Zulich

    Dean Zulich

    Digital Photography , 2007

    "I maintain relationships with the faculty [at The Art Institute of Seattle], and have been happy to speak to students when I go back to Seattle."

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    Dean Zulich

    Dean Zulich is self-employed as a photographer in Los Angeles, California. He books shoots, markets his business, and oversees pre- and post-production. Dean is proud to have been the runner up on VH1’s “The Shot,” a reality TV show that gave 10 amateur photographers a chance at becoming a fashion photographer. He also joined the Hall of Fame at The Art Institute of Seattle and was featured on a “Digital Photo Pro” cover and in a “Boston Globe” article.

    Dean says that he came into school as a “point and shoot” photographer and left knowing the principles of photography, from lighting and post-production. “I maintain relationships with the faculty [at The Art Institute of Seattle], and have been happy to speak to students when I go back to Seattle.” He adds that one of the best parts of his job is working for himself—and making his own hours. He also travels the world and is surrounded by other creative people.

    Dean, who in 2007 earned an Associate of Applied Arts in Photography from The Art Institute of Seattle, says that he started his photographic journey shooting landscapes. Today he is excited to have achieved his professional goal of becoming a photographer. “[My education] has played a tremendous role in the development of my career.”

    See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/4444 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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  • Jeffrey Vergge

    Jeffrey Vergge

    , 2000

    "I can work all night on a project and feel fantastic and energized. When I go to bed I can't sleep because I'm so excited about what I just created."

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    Jeffrey Vergge

    Jeffrey Veregge is working as a senior designer for Masterworks. He started as an intern and worked his way up into production art, design, studio management—and now senior designer. “We’re a marketing company to nonprofits. We do catalogs, magazine ads, and digital.” Jeffrey springs into action when there’s an emergency, such as a typhoon or earthquake, to create needed materials for clients.

    In addition to his position at Masterworks, Jeffrey is known for his art, Salish Geek. “I take my passions for comic books, sci-fi, horror, fantasy, and blend it with my Native American heritage and designer background.” He jokes that he still has the same creative dreams that he did as a child. “I still read comics, I still love toys, I’ve never grown up and I don’t feel the need to do that. I feel connected to the characters that I’ve always loved. I’m connected to the genres that I care most about. “

    Jeffrey, who in 2000 earned an Associate of Applied Arts in Industrial Design Technology from The Art Institute of Seattle, says that he’s always had a talent for drawing. “Having those kind of passions and having those skills is never enough. If you really want to make it, you have to work at it.” He says that his education helped him to fine-tune his passion and focus it into a career path that’s led him to his present position. “I can work all night on a project and feel fantastic and energized. When I go to bed I can’t sleep because I’m so excited about what I just created.

    See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/90 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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  • Steven James Taylor

    Steven James Taylor

    , 2006

    "I design not on paper, but with a pair of calipers, an exacto blade, and a hand tool."

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    Steven James Taylor

    Steven James Taylor is working as an advanced model maker for Apple, Inc. in Cupertino, California. He’s responsible for designing and creating interaction prototypes to support Apple’s industrial and interaction design. “I love how things are made and greatly enjoy solving mechanical problems and seeing a pile of nuts, bolts, and other parts come together into a working prototype,” Steven says.

    He says that a typical day consists of balancing his work between a few projects. “I generally work on [anything from] designing mechanical prototypes to making physical models that portray the designs and interactions’ intent.” Steven is excited to utilize his knowledge and skill to improve the products he works on. “I am able to [provide] a unique view of how to solve a problem when given one. I am very mechanically focused—more than design driven."

    Steven, who in 2006 earned an Associate of Applied Arts in Industrial Design Technology from The Art Institute of Seattle, says that his education provided the tools he needed to transition into his creative career. “It showed me that hard work and attacking the next challenge with vigor will get you far." He recommends that current students say yes when others say no. “Question the way you and others approach a problem. Find an answer when there appears not to be one. Start thinking differently, work hard, and do what you love."

    See ge.artinstitutes.edu/programoffering/90 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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What Will I Study?

Study Section

I've got what it takes. Just give me the tools.

The Industrial Design curriculum is rigorous, all-encompassing, and designed by experienced industry and education innovators. As you have the opportunity to learn to think in terms of how people will use your product as you take it from idea to prototype to presentation, you'll study:

  • Drawing and Perspective
  • Digital Modeling and Rendering
  • Design Thinking
  • Fabricating
  • Materials & Processes
  • Product Design
  • Model Building
  • Three Dimensional Design
  • Prototyping
  • Human Factors
  • Sustainability
  • Environmental Design


I'm looking for my proving ground.

At The Art Institutes system of schools, creativity is our core, our calling, our culture. Our Industrial Design degree program is built on that creative foundation. It’s also built on our knowledge that a creative career is not for the faint of heart. Because it’s tough out there, it’s tough in here. But we’ll support you along every step of your journey. That’s why we provide the mentoring and real-world experience you need to prevail, with faculty* who’ve worked in the field and internship possibilities at successful businesses. You’ll be encouraged and expected to be bold. To take risks. To push yourself and the people around you. It won’t be easy. In fact, it’ll be the hardest thing you’ll ever love.

*Credentials and experience levels vary by faculty and instructors.

 

Meet our Faculty

  • Antoine Rondenet

    Baking & Pastry

    "Embrace your mistakes, keep on learning, and always look at your work critically."

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    Antoine Rondenet

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    The light came on the first time I visited the international pastry show, called Intersuc, in Paris. I was stunned by the display of cakes, chocolate and sugar showpieces. I realized I was entering the most beautiful craft in the world: pâtisserie.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    I share real-world problems, and explain how applying the procedures we teach could have prevented those problems...things as simple as pasteurization barèmes to prevent food-borne illness, or knowing where ingredients come from and how that affects their costs.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    I break my management by menu class into two main parts. In the first, students create a restaurant and its menu. In the second we do a case study of a local restaurant, looking at how it operates. We go through the financial steps to determine whether or not the restaurant will stay in business, and why.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success?

    For me, collaboration is essential. I tell my students that a food critic doesn’t grade just one individual, but his whole dining experience. That means the entire team needs to be working together toward excellence.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    Embrace your mistakes, keep on learning, and always look at your work critically.

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  • Joshua Brincko

    Interior Design

    "There is no shortcut, and there's no substitute for hard work."

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    Joshua Brincko

    Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

    When I was six, I visited an art museum in Cincinnati that had large, colorful abstract sculptures. I drew them from memory on graph paper, and my aunt bought one for five dollars. I instantly thought, wow, I can be paid for doing this! I never sold another one, but my parents encouraged me by telling me I could earn a living as an architect. Today I have my own practice. And it all started with five dollars of inspiration.

    How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

    Every single topic I introduce in class, every project I assign, is carefully paired with an example of how it relates to my professional experience. I also relate current professional challenges and give students opportunities to offer solutions. It’s all about giving them a sense of the real world.

    What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

    The design studio courses are the specialty in any design student's education. This isn’t just a class where you read a book, do homework, and take tests. It’s simulates a real design project; students evaluate actual design parameters and design a solution using models, drawings, renderings, and other presentation tools. A design studio course can turn into a full-time job for students who take it seriously, so I give them a lot of support and mentor them through the design process.

    How do you inspire students to push themselves beyond their perceived limits?

    A student has never truly been "busy" until they’ve taken a design studio course. When they’re immersed in designing creative spaces, they learn what busy really is.

    How does collaboration contribute to students’ success?

    Designers rarely work in a vacuum. They each have a unique background and skill set, so working in the same room with other designers lets them learn from each other and overcome challenges—there's often someone around who’s already tried what someone else may be struggling with. I run a study buddy program that links seasoned students with newer ones. When younger students work in the same space as upperclassmen, the more experienced designers learn to mentor while the underclassmen get valuable input from peers who’ve made their way through the project at hand.

    What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

    There is no shortcut, and there’s no substitute for hard work. Dedicate yourself to your craft.

    What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

    Gain experience in every facet of the industry. If you don't know how to build something, how can you successfully design it?

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I play an active role in design kick-off meetings with each new client. I then collaborate with my architect co-workers on the solution from schematic design, through design development and construction drawings into final construction. I am involved in the entire process from A to Z. Jane Hallinan
Interior Design, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, 2012