12 Best Industrial And Product Design Colleges 2023

Design influences how we live our lives and how we see the world. It illustrates the range of this imaginative and expansive field. No matter the discipline, from gaming and graphic design to product design and interior design, design school will encourage you to develop your own creative and distinctive design style.

The top product design schools will show you how to implement your creative concepts and how the design business operates. Over the course of three to five years, you’ll gradually arm yourself with the practical and theoretical knowledge, as well as the industrial know-how, required to enter the business field of your choosing.

In this article, we’ll list the 12 best industrial and product design colleges in 2023; carefully read through.

Why Should I Study Industrial and Product Design?

Industrial and Product Design is responsible for creating products that can be both functional and beautiful, teaching students how to integrate the theoretical concepts of materials and processes with the practicality of design and patterns.

All products manufactured are a result of the design process, and the nature of this process can take many forms: it could be executed by an individual or a large team. Industrial design is a course so many people now consider studying because of the creativity that comes with it.

Studying industrial and product design can offer numerous benefits and open up exciting career opportunities. Here are some compelling reasons to consider pursuing a degree in this field:

1. Creative expression

Industrial and product design allows you to unleash creativity and transform ideas into tangible objects. It provides a platform to explore innovative concepts, develop aesthetically pleasing designs, and bring your imagination to life.

2. Problem-solving skills

Designers are crucial in solving complex problems by creating functional and user-friendly products. Through the design process, you’ll learn how to identify user needs, analyze challenges, and devise innovative solutions. This enhances your critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, valuable skills in various professional domains.

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3. User-centric approach

Industrial and product design focuses on understanding users’ needs and designing products that enhance their experiences. By studying this discipline, you’ll learn how to empathize with users, conduct research, gather feedback, and create designs that meet their requirements. This user-centric mindset is applicable in many industries and is highly sought after by employers.

4. Versatile career options

An industrial and product design degree opens up many career opportunities. You can work in industries such as consumer electronics, automotive design, furniture design, medical equipment, packaging, and many others. Additionally, you can work for design consultancies and manufacturing companies or even establish your design studio.

5. Influence and impact

Industrial and product designers can shape how people interact with and perceive the world around them. Your designs can enhance functionality, improve quality of life, promote sustainability, and create meaningful experiences. You can positively impact society and leave a lasting legacy through your work.

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6. Collaboration and interdisciplinary work

Design is a collaborative field often involving working with professionals from various backgrounds. As a designer, you’ll collaborate with engineers, marketers, researchers, and other stakeholders to develop successful products. This interdisciplinary approach allows you to broaden your knowledge, learn from diverse perspectives, and enhance your teamwork skills.

7. Evolving field with technological advancements

Industrial and product design is constantly evolving, driven by advances in technology and materials. Studying this field allows you to work with cutting-edge tools, software, and manufacturing processes. You’ll stay abreast of the latest trends, techniques, and emerging technologies, ensuring your skills remain relevant in a dynamic industry.

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How To Choose An Industrial and Product Design College

Choosing an industrial and product design college is an important decision that can shape your future career. Here are some key factors to consider when selecting a college for industrial and product design:

1. Accreditation

Ensure that a recognized accrediting body accredits your chosen college. Accreditation ensures that the institution meets certain quality standards and that employers and other educational institutions will recognize your degree.

2. Curriculum

Review the curriculum of the industrial and product design program at each college you are considering. Look for a well-rounded program covering both theoretical and practical design aspects. Check if the program offers courses in areas of interest, such as sketching, CAD modeling, prototyping, materials and manufacturing processes, and design research.

3. Faculty

Research the qualifications and expertise of the faculty members in the industrial and product design department. Experienced and knowledgeable professors can significantly enhance your learning experience. Look for faculty members who have relevant industry experience or are actively engaged in design research.

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4. Facilities and Resources

Visit the campus if possible or explore their website to understand the facilities and resources available to design students. Look for well-equipped design studios, workshops, and computer labs with the necessary software and access to prototyping tools and equipment. Also, check if the college collaborates with industry partners or offers internship opportunities to students.

5. Student Work and Alumni Success

Look for examples of student work and projects on the college’s website or portfolio showcases. This will give you an idea of the caliber of student work. Additionally, research the success of the program’s alumni, such as their achievements in the industry, awards won, and the companies they work for. This can provide insights into graduates’ career prospects and networking opportunities.

6. Internship and Job Placement Assistance

Inquire about the college’s support for internships and job placements. A strong connection with the industry and a robust career services department can help you secure internships during your studies and assist with job placement after graduation.

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7. Reputation and Rankings

While rankings shouldn’t be the sole deciding factor, they can provide some insights into the reputation and quality of a college’s industrial and product design program. Consider rankings from reputable sources, but also research beyond the rankings to comprehensively understand each institution.

8. Student Support and Opportunities

Consider the support services and extracurricular opportunities offered to students. These could include design competitions, workshops, conferences, study abroad programs, and access to design-related clubs and organizations. A vibrant and supportive student community can enhance your overall college experience.

9. Cost and Financial Aid

Evaluate the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses at each college. Research the availability of scholarships, grants, and financial aid options to help make your education more affordable.

12 Best Product Design Colleges In the World

Here is a list of the 15 best product design colleges in the world:

  • Savannah College of Arts and Design (SCAD)
  • Istituto Marangoni
  • Swinburne University of Technology
  • Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU)
  • Parsons School for Design, The New School
  • The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU)
  • The Glasgow School of Art
  • LASALLE College of Arts
  • Teesside University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Purdue University

1. Savannah College of Arts and Design (SCAD)

Location: USA

SCAD is a single institution with campuses spread around the country and opportunities for studying abroad in Lacoste, France. Every SCAD campus provides a distinctive experience. Any campus can be used by students at any time while they are taking classes. To accomplish their most ambitious objectives, SCAD students taking a product design degree here learn through in-depth curricula and cutting-edge technologies.

With more than 100 licensed software packages and remote access to cutting-edge applications, SCAD resources outperform state-of-the-art tools seen in leading product design firms.

You can submit applications at any time during the year. If a student needs financial aid, they must begin the application process at least six months in advance and no later than 30 days prior to the beginning of their first quarter.

Students will need to provide confirmation of English proficiency, their high school diploma, and their SAT or ACT results. Undergraduates are not needed to have a portfolio, however, it could be beneficial if they wish to be considered for an achievement scholarship.

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2. Istituto Marangoni

Locations: Italy, England, UAE

Istituto Marangoni is a renowned international fashion and design school that was founded in Milan, Italy, in 1935 by the tailor Giulio Marangoni. It has since expanded to other major fashion cities around the world, including Paris, London, and Shanghai. The institute offers a wide range of programs in fashion, art, and design disciplines, including fashion design, fashion business, fashion styling, interior design, product design, visual design, and luxury brand management.

Istituto Marangoni has built a reputation for being one of the best product design colleges with four new schools in the last several years: London in 2003, Paris in 2006, Shanghai in 2013, and Milano Design in 2014. 

Through a wide range of preparatory, undergraduate, and master’s courses, Istituto Marangoni has long sought to create experts in important fields including design, communication, and managerial coordination.

With all the resources they require to effectively launch their careers, Istituto Marangoni students are constantly encouraged to learn. Highly qualified teachers help our students establish connections with well-known fashion businesses, which depend on us to find their newest hires.

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3. Swinburne University of Technology

Location: Australia

Swinburne University of Technology is a highly-rated product design college that uses science, technology, and innovation for a positive social and economic impact. It is a dual-sector university that offers both higher education and Pathways and Vocational Education (PAVE). They offer courses in a wide range of areas, and their tight relationships with industry allow students to gain significant work experience while studying.

Swinburne researchers have a strong track record in physics, astronomy, materials science, engineering, information technology, design, health sciences, neurosciences, and mental health research. Their researchers interact with industry through embedded relationships to drive innovation and create impact, and they are supported by leading digital technology platforms.

Applicants can apply online through the university website. Certified copies of your previous academic results, certified English language proficiency test results (IELTS, PTE, or TOEFL), letters from your school, and a portfolio of work are required from applicants.

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4. Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU)

Location: Canada

The British Columbia government established Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) in 1981, and the institution presently includes five campuses in the province’s Metro Vancouver area. KPU offers bachelor’s diplomas, certificates, degrees, associate degrees, and citations in more than 140 disciplines.

One of the top product design universities worldwide, Kwantlen Polytechnic University offers a variety of credentials, many of which are unique, to satisfy the shifting needs of local and international job markets. By combining certificate and diploma requirements, students can achieve bachelor’s degrees, offering them the opportunity to grow academically and professionally in applied and technical courses.

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5. Parsons School for Design, The New School

Location: USA

Since almost a century ago, Parsons has been inspired by the transformative potential of design. With their innovative academic offerings, Parsons has become one of the top three product design colleges in the world and the top product design institution in the United States today.

Parsons combines a wide range of academic disciplines to offer a distinctively multidisciplinary education that is strengthened by the resources of its campuses in New York City and Paris. Future creative leaders learn by doing and develop their critical thinking and making skills while tackling today’s most pressing problems.

Applicants must submit the application form with a high school diploma, SAT scores, and a portfolio of work.

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6. Aalto University

Location: Finland

Aalto University is where art collides with technology and commerce. The university inspires tomorrow’s game-changers and revitalizes society with research-based knowledge, innovation, and an entrepreneurial mentality. All of the students’ work is influenced by the values of accountability, bravery, and cooperation at the university. They have created a plan for a world that moves quickly.

Preliminary assignments from applicants are graded on a pass/fail metric. Only those who pass will be invited to proceed to the following rounds of the application process. Intake assignments are graded on a scale of 0-75 points, and the interview is graded on a scale of 0-25 points. The applicants are ranked according to their overall score from the intake tasks as well as the interview.

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7. The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU)

Location: Hong Kong

With 85 years of educational experience, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) is ranked among the top 100 institutions worldwide. Positively impactful thinkers, discoverers, inventors, and communicators are educated at PolyU. By providing a comprehensive education that equips graduates for exceptional placements in communities, industries, and businesses, they are committed to creating tomorrow’s leaders today.

The institution hopes to solve real-world problems by conducting multidisciplinary research and making important discoveries. Researchers at the institution are making groundbreaking discoveries, promoting sustainability, strengthening economic outcomes, and bettering community life for the benefit of the country and the world.

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8. The Glasgow School of Art

Location: Scotland

Established in 1845, The Glasgow School of Art (GSA) is one of the oldest schools of art. GSA’s Innovation School offers a distinct and comprehensive understanding of design’s future role in society. Students who complete the BDes and MEDes programs will have a diversified skill set as well as a deep awareness of design’s developing function as a creative and strategic link between technology and society. 

Both programs include chances for foreign study and participation in real-world projects with businesses and government agencies. As a result, our graduates have a distinct intercultural viewpoint that equips them for a wide range of creative endeavors.

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9. LASALLE College of Arts

Location: Singapore

With 30 different programs and a community of award-winning artists, designers, educators, and researchers leading the way, LASALLE is Asia’s top post-secondary institution for contemporary arts and design education and practice.

For the purpose of fostering the next generation of internationally engaged artists, designers, and creative industry leaders, the institution develops a friendly, multidisciplinary learning environment.

Its faculty is led by a group of award-winning artists, designers, educators, and researchers, and their practice-led research distinguishes LASALLE as a global leader. LASALLE is one of the world’s top 150-200 art and design schools (QS World University Rankings 2022).

Eligible candidates looking to apply to this college must showcase a portfolio in the relevant arts discipline with 10–15 pieces of original work that demonstrate their creative development and process. An interview will also be conducted where the portfolio of work will be discussed.

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10. Teesside University

Location: England

Teesside University offers an extraordinary student and learning experience based on research, enterprise, and the professions. Teesside University is renowned as one o the best industrial design schools with a global reputation for academic quality.

Their School of Arts and Creative Industries is ideally situated to support brilliant creators at every stage of their careers, including media producers, journalists, performers, musicians, and curators.

In its well-equipped workshops and open-plan design studios, Teesside University offers a hands-on approach to professional practice development, where students will learn both traditional and digital design skills. Students practice their professional, business, and marketing skills in this dynamic setting while applying their knowledge to a variety of commercial design projects.

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11. Carnegie Mellon University

The Product Design track in the School of Design explores themes of materiality, interaction, and technology through rich practices of form-giving, design research, and iterative development. They aspire for the products we design to play important roles in advancing the state of the world, enhancing the human experience, and advocating for a critical balance between the built and natural worlds.

The program offers a novel disciplinary approach that provides for students to develop the requisite 21st-century skill set, mindset, and motivation to use Product Design practice for positive benefit across a variety of industries, organizations, and contexts (It’s not just about making stuff).

The Products Track teaches a blend of theory and practice, translating design thinking into sophisticated propositional models and prototypes.

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12. Purdue University

The industrial design major is a professional degree that includes a rigorous curriculum to get students ready for careers in design. Because it blends a professional degree with a liberal arts education, Purdue is exceptional.

At the end of this program, students leave with the skills needed to solve problems creatively and design forms that the manufacturing sector can use. The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) curriculum is in question.

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FAQs On Industrial And Product Design Colleges

What is industrial and product design?

Industrial and product design is a field that involves creating and developing concepts for manufactured products. It encompasses the process of designing and improving the functionality, aesthetics, and user experience of products used in various industries.

What are the career prospects for industrial and product designers?

Industrial and product designers can pursue careers in a wide range of industries, including consumer products, automotive, furniture, electronics, and more. They can work as industrial designers, product designers, design consultants, design researchers, UX/UI designers, and design managers, among other roles.

Do I need a specific educational background to study industrial and product design?

While a background in design or art can be helpful, it is not always a requirement. Many colleges offering industrial and product design programs accept students from diverse educational backgrounds. However, a strong passion for design, creativity, and problem-solving skills are essential.

Are internships or industry projects part of industrial and product design programs?

Many industrial and product design programs incorporate internships, industry projects, or real-world collaborations as part of the curriculum.

Conclusion

Choosing the right industrial and product design college is an important step toward a successful career in the field. The 15 institutions mentioned above are renowned for their quality education, industry connections, and emphasis on innovation, sustainability, and practical skills. When considering your options, explore their programs, faculty expertise, facilities, industry collaborations, and alumni success to find the college that aligns best with your aspirations and goals. Remember, each college offers a unique experience, so choose the one that resonates with your creative vision and aspirations for a rewarding design career.

References

  • niche.com – 2023 Best Colleges with Industrial and Product Design Degrees in America
  • cleverharvey.com – 10 Best Product Design Colleges in World
  • authority.org – 2023 Best Colleges for Industrial and Product Design

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