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Industrial Design student project, Annie McDonald

Industrial Design

The Industrial Design Program prepares students to be creative, practical, user-centered, aesthetics-focused, problem-solving, and opportunity-exploring designers, design strategists, or design leaders.

The NC State University Industrial Design Program is one of the top professional programs in this discipline in the country. The program offers Bachelor of Industrial Design (BID) and Master of Industrial Design (MID) degrees, both accredited by The National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

Students learn and practice design in a studio environment very similar to that of professional design offices. Students methodically study human physical and cognitive interaction with artifacts and services in order to discover user experience insights and then create innovative solutions to design problems. The dynamic and sophisticated balance of form, function, innovation, and practicality are constantly debated and articulated throughout the journey to better design.


Tsai Lu Liu, Department Head of Graphic Design and Industrial Design

Tsai Lu Liu

Department Head of Graphic Design and Industrial Design

Finally, a Home

Over the past 40 years, the Industrial Design program at NC State has grown into one of the highest-ranked ID programs in the U.S. Its graduates go on to be designers at companies like IBM, Adidas, and Under Armour. Its faculty partner on grants from the NIH to tackle human centered design for maternal and fetal medicine. Finally, the program will be moving to a dedicated space where they can work collaboratively and creatively. 

Industrial Design Studio Space

The Industrial Design faculty have joined NC State University from prestigious institutions around the world, each bringing years of experience in design, research, innovation, and education. The graduates from the program are enhancing the quality of life experiences with the creative design of products, services, branding, and communication systems for companies such as IDEO, Nike, Volvo, IBM, Toshiba, Dell, Pentagram, PepsiCo, RKS Design, Microsoft, The Smithsonian, Adidas, Hasbro, Target, and Bosch.

What is Industrial Design?

What is ID? Post-It note board

Industrial design is the professional service of creating and developing concepts and specifications that optimize the function, value, and appearance of products and systems for the mutual benefit of both user and manufacturer. Industrial designers develop these concepts and specifications for the user and manufacturer through the collection, analysis, and synthesis of data, often within the context of cooperative working relationships with other members of a development group such as management, marketing, engineering, and manufacturing specialists. They then communicate their clear and concise recommendations through drawings, models, and verbal descriptions that embody all relevant design criteria determined by the group.

The industrial designer’s unique contribution emphasizes those aspects of the product or system that relate most directly to human characteristics, needs, experiences, and interests. This contribution requires specialized understanding of visual, spatial, and tactile senses as well as product safety and convenience criteria. Industrial designers are experts in anticipating psychological, physiological and sociological factors and perceptions that influence users of products and services. Industrial designers also maintain a practical concern for the technical processes and requirements for manufacturing; marketing opportunities and economic constraints; and regulatory requirements relevant to good design.

In addition to supplying concepts for products and systems, industrial designers are often retained for consultation on a variety of problems that have to do with product and organization identity systems, development of communication systems, interior and exhibit design, advertising devices and packaging, and other related services. Their expertise is often sought in a wide variety of administrative arenas to assist in developing industry standards, regulatory guidelines, and quality control procedures to improve manufacturing operations and products. Industrial designers are guided by a professional obligation to protect the public safety and well-being, to respect the environment, and to observe contractual and ethical business practices.

See Student Work

See more examples of student work here: Department of Industrial Design Student Work

This #BlackHistoryMonth, celebrate the Black voices from the College of Design through Design Identities - a series of conversations between alumni and students discussing their experiences, successes and challenges in their disciplines.

Visit the link in our bio to meet the designers, see their work and learn about their journeys in design. #NCStateBHM

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🗣 We have a *game-changing* announcement to make. 💻🎮🪡

The Art + Design Department in the NC State College of Design will now be known by a new name, the Department of Media Arts, Design and Technology, affectionately known as MADTech.

This new departmental name change helps communicate the curricular offerings, faculty expertise, and careers that stem from the department.

Students in the Department of Media Arts, Design and Technology can pursue tracks in gaming and interaction design, animation, and fiber arts.

For several years, faculty have instructed students on the principles of media arts, design and technology and their relevant applications in society.

Courses like ADN 311: Creative Coding introduce computer programming to students, allowing them to move beyond the development of purely aesthetic designs to projects that are technically and intellectually forward.

Further, this shift highlights what those in the program have always known – this isn’t a fine-arts based program.

This departmental name shift hopes to realign prospective students and faculty with programmatic offerings and prepare graduates for successful careers in the media industry.

Read more about the name change, the department's goals and what it means for the college in our bio.

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The College of Design is hosting a lecture with @notimpossible called "Tackling Food Insecurity: How designers take on big challenges and develop impact-driven solutions for society’s toughest questions."

This special lecture is part of the college's Duda Visiting Designer Program and will discuss how designers take on big challenges and develop impact-driven solutions for society’s toughest questions.

🗓 Thursday, January 26
⏰ 5:00 pm
📍 Hunt Library Auditorium

This event is free and open to the public. Register in our bio.

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Abby Scheer is a 2022 graduate of NC State’s Master of Industrial Design program, and is evangelizing women’s health.

Her final project as a student became the blueprint for her startup company, Cervu, which designs products for female cancer survivors who suffer from pelvic floor pain during intercourse – also known as dyspareunia.

Cervu is currently in development of Nozomi, a pelvic floor massager and app that provides exercise education, collaborative therapy customization with pelvic floor physical therapists, and progress tracking. Scheer has also been awarded Gold in the Student Category for the IDSA IDEA 2022 Awards.

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Quiet, but ✨majestic✨
What are you most looking forward to in 2023?

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Alumna Dare Coulter [ADN '15] was recently recognized during an interview in School Library Journal with Kwame Alexander on her work as the illustrator for his new book "An American Story."

"She did something I was not expecting with this book. She made it hers."

The powerful picture book tells the story of American slavery through the voice of a teacher struggling to help her students understand its harrowing history. Read the full interview at the link in our bio.

Alexander and Coulter will be at Quail Ridge Books on January 5 at 6:30 pm.

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We’re just about wrapped on 2022 🐺🎉. What was your favorite memory this year? ...

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