Why study Industrial Design?
Industrial design is concerned with the appearance and usefulness of manufactured goods. Industrial designers work on a wide array of products, from cars to shoes to medical equipment to toys. Product design involves the synthesis of a variety of diverse requirements and values into a coherent creation. Among such requirements and values are functional suitability, aesthetics, technical performance, economic resources and constraints, social and cultural issues, environmental concerns and human comfort.
In UC's industrial design program, students learn to emphasize the humanistic qualities of products of mass production with special consideration for comfort, safety and visual satisfaction which they may bring to the users. In a curriculum balanced between academic and studio requirements, students are able to develop creativity, visual communication skills, hands-on experience with technology, and the ability to conduct design research in interdisciplinary collaboration. The program promotes critical thinking and innovative solutions for the future through strategic research with an emphasis and understanding of global impact, sustainability and collaborative partnerships. Industrial design students apply the highest standards of conceptual sophistication, aesthetics and craftsmanship at every level of study.
In the third year, students choose to focus on product design or transportation design.
The College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning at the University of Cincinnati seeks to attract, enroll, and graduate academically talented students of varied and diverse backgrounds. Success in our programs is largely dependent upon sound academic preparation. In multidisciplinary programs like those in DAAP, students’ insight and perspective are greatly enhanced by exposure to students from different backgrounds, geographies, and co-curricular interests. DAAP has an admissions review process to support these goals. In addition to the required application materials, students who apply to Communication Design may submit an optional portfolio. Please note that it’s impossible to predict – or guarantee – what credentials a student will need to gain admission into DAAP, because the size and quality of the applicant pool varies each year..
Optional Portfolio Review
Students who include Architecture, Communication Design, Fashion Design, Fine Arts, Industrial Design, or Interior Design among their program options on their admission application will be invited to submit a portfolio for admission consideration. This is an optional portfolio, but students are encouraged to submit one if they think it would strengthen their application. The portfolio is not part of The Common Application. After the application is received, an email containing a link and instructions for portfolio submission will be sent. Please note that required application materials will continue through the admissions review process, and it is possible that students will be admitted based on the strength of those materials.
DAAP Optional Portfolio Guidelines
- Include 12-20 pieces of work from the last two years
- Include examples of architectural work, design (e.g. clothing, interior spaces, logos, posters, websites), drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, 3-D renderings, work in other media, and/or things you have sewn, built, or invented
- Include some samples of drawing from observation (instead of from imagination or reproduced from photographs)
- Emphasize your artistic and design strengths
- May also represent your extracurricular involvement and interests
- Include the title, medium, date completed, and a brief description that addresses each work’s concept and/or inspiration
Please visit the Admissions Office's website for more information, including application materials, requirements, deadlines, and timelines.
People who are successful in industrial design have visual and kinesthetic/tactile learning styles. Industrial designers must be intrigued by how things work, enjoy putting things together and not be intimidated by the need to generate alternate solutions to complex problems. Product design involves the synthesis of a variety of diverse requirements and values into a coherent creation. Among such requirements and values are functional suitability, aesthetics, technical performance, economic resources and constraints, social and cultural issues, environmental concerns and human comfort. They must be attentive listeners, possess strong communication skills and be comfortable interacting with many different types of people. Industrial designers must have excellent time- and project-management skills, and must understand business planning. They need to know how to create informative and persuasive proposals and maintain good client relationships.
Industrial designers are employed where products are planned for mass production. Since many goods are mass produced, there is a wide range of opportunities. Jobs have traditionally been divided into fields: (1) as a consultant or (2) on the design staff of a corporation.
Furniture, appliances, housewares, electronic equipment, tools, toys and packaging are considered consumer products and nearly always require industrial design services while being developed for manufacturing and marketing. Other items not meant for the consumer market such as machine tools, medical equipment, business machines and displays are also designed by industrial designers.
Transportation design includes automobiles, hybrid vehicles, semitrailer trucks, trains, airplanes, water craft, and transportation systems. Special consideration is given to the exterior aesthetic, interior environment, comfort, functionality, safety and customer needs. Transportation industrial designers manage the creation of new concepts through the design process, which includes concept proposal, 3-D development and production release.
Industrial design is not offered as a minor.
Prospective students are encouraged to explore the information on our website and contact DAAP Student Affairs at 513-556-1376 or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions. The Transfer and Transition Advising Center is available to assist prospective transfer and transition students. Current DAAP students are assigned an academic advisor based on their major/program. For more information on DAAP advising, please visit the DAAP Undergraduate Advising webpage.
- The city of Cincinnati, once called the "Queen City of the West" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, provides an excellent array of cultural resources for students who intend to pursue a degree in the visual arts. It offers the energy and assets of a larger city, along with quiet neighborhoods steeped in rich traditions. Cincinnati offers live music venues that range from top-notch symphony and opera companies to a growing pop and rock community. Home to the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Taft Museum and the Contemporary Arts Center, the city also enjoys the presence of numerous art galleries and a strong support system among practicing artists. Cincinnati is situated within driving distance of Chicago, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, and New York City, allowing DAAP students to take advantage of the rich cultural resources of these cities as well.
- UC's College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) is one of the most comprehensive colleges of its type in the country. A collection of nationally respected design and art programs is housed in a unique and educationally stimulating architectural setting. Architecture students have opportunities to enroll in courses in a range of related disciplines and to participate in interdisciplinary studios or special projects.
- Students learn creative and technical skills in the studio environment, taught by a passionate faculty who interact with their students on a daily basis. The goal is to guide students as they grow both intellectually and professionally.
- Other educational opportunities include organized travel semesters, foreign study semesters and student exchange programs in England, Germany and Denmark.
- The DAAP college library has an outstanding collection of books, periodicals and visual resources supporting architecture, planning, design, art history, and related subjects. Access to library holdings is provided by an automated online catalog, UCLID, which provides access to the University of Cincinnati Library information database, and through OhioLINK, the holdings of other academic libraries throughout Ohio.
- The Computer Graphics Center is a state-of-the-art university facility with hardware that includes PCs, Apple computers and peripherals such as scanners, plotters, and digital video-editing suites. Students have access to sophisticated graphics equipment and receive hands-on instruction to augment the use of laptops in the classroom. All computing equipment is linked by high-speed Ethernet to facilitate access across the campus.
- The college supports a Rapid Prototyping Center, which is the home of state-of-the-art equipment that allows students to create communication aids for their design projects. Using CAD (computer-aided design) models, students are able to create physical models using three basic methods: 3-D printing, large format laser-cutting, and CNC (computer numeric control) devices, including a Komo CNC Router. This facility is intended for all DAAP students to use in creating large-scale design.
- Industrial design students work for both small design firms and large businesses across the country in the areas of product and transportation design. Students begin their co-op experiences in the second semester of their sophomore year and alternate semesters of full-time work and study on a year-round calendar until the final semester of the fifth year (there is no tuition for the semesters when students work). They graduate with five semesters, or a year-and-a-half, of work experience in their field.
- DAAP students learn creative and technical skills in the studio environment, taught by a passionate faculty who interact with their students on a daily basis. The goal is to guide students as they grow both intellectually and professionally. Faculty are innovative in transforming the art and design disciplines by applying the newest technologies. They inspire students to take advantage of interdisciplinary studio projects and work within corporate partnerships. This, along with a broad liberal arts background, prepares DAAP students to practice their art and design in both local and global markets.
- Computer Requirements: All undergraduate students in this program are required to purchase a personal laptop computer. Each discipline has its own specific recommendations for hardware and software. Please note that these recommendations may be slightly altered as equipment evolves. Therefore, students new to DAAP are encouraged to delay their computer purchase until the summer prior to entering to make the most informed computer purchase. Many of our programs have additional technology requirements for students in the later years of study.
All students accepted into the School of Design must take the first-year curriculum as outlined on the foundation studies curriculum guide. Industrial design students must complete a total of 126 credit hours for graduation. Students must also complete five semesters of mandatory professional practice (co-op) and receive a satisfactory (S) for all required work semesters. Students must obtain a minimum overall grade point average of 2.0. In order to be eligible for graduation with honors, a student must have completed 60 semester hours in the college and have earned at least a 3.6 grade point average.
Students seeking to transfer from another regionally accredited university or college must be in good standing to be considered for admission. Students wishing to transfer into a DAAP program should submit a Transfer Application. Transfer students are generally admitted to the first year of our studio-based, co-op programs due to the sequence of studios and co-op. For further information such as minimum grade point average and application deadlines, please refer to the DAAP Transfer and Transition webpage.
Students seeking to transfer from other colleges and programs at UC must be in good standing to be considered for admission. Students wishing to transition into a DAAP program should submit an Application for Change in College and Program. Transition students are generally admitted to the first year of our studio-based, co-op programs due to the sequence of studios and co-op. For further information such as minimum grade point average and application deadlines, please refer to the DAAP Transfer and Transition webpage.
High school applicants who submit a complete application by the December 1 Early Action deadline will be pooled and reviewed for selection. Early Action applicants can expect to learn their admission decision on Cincinnati Decision Day. This date varies by year and is shared on the university’s Office of Admissions website. Students who apply by December 1 also receive maximum scholarship consideration. Applications received after December 1 may be considered on a space-available basis.
Students seeking to transfer from other colleges and programs at UC or another regionally accredited university or college should submit a complete application for admission by the priority deadline of March 1 for the following academic year.
All programs in UC's School of Design are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).
College of DAAP, School of Design
P.O. Box 210016
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0016
Find related programs in the following interest areas:
Program Code: 23BC-INDL-BSDES