Industrial Design is one of the oldest activities in the world and is becoming one of the most powerful professions in the digital age. There are few corporations that do not rely on expertise from industrial designers to help establish their identity, initiate a new strategy, develop a new product, or create an expanded market. Industrial design at Virginia Tech prepares the individual to enter this dynamic field. Experiences and abilities of each student are nurtured and developed by the curriculum to mesh with the world of product development as well as work that includes packaging, exhibit design, material research, flexible environments, corporate image and information technology.
A rapidly expanding professional service, industrial design optimizes the technological, aesthetic, and ergonomic requirements of product design as an integral part of the physical, social and cultural environment. It is the role of the industrial designer, not only to respond to market trends, but to project new territories of opportunity to help provide means for a better and more meaningful life and providing the things and systems to go beyond styling and address substantive needs.
Students in the industrial design program begin their studies in the foundation design laboratory during the first two semesters with architecture, and interior design students.
A strong emphasis on the workshop as in integral extension of the design studio forms the basis of and education experience shared by both industrial design and architecture. Issues of processes, materials and their relationship to industrial design concepts are explored as part of daily studio discussion. Design reviews, seminars, and topical lectures expose students to the broader array of contemporary design issues and historical precedents. At the conclusion of the four year program, each student is required to complete a terminal project. Working independently, they focus on a topic or area of their own choice and produce a fully developed body of work that demonstrates a comprehensive understanding of design, production, and communication.