Chair's Welcome

WELCOME TO THE SCHOOL OF INDUSTRIAL DESIGN AT GEORGIA TECH

Over the past five years we have transformed our industrial Program into one of the leading technically oriented ID programs in the World. We have rebuilt our curriculum, re-equipped our studios and added new highly qualified faculty to reflect recent changes in the field.

THE WORLD OF INDUSTRIAL DESIGN

The impact of digital technologies over the past 10 years has radically reshaped society and has led to similar changes in the challenges and opportunities for industrial design education. As a result, an ID education provides an excellent grounding for multiple career options.

The skills and knowledge you acquire through a design education will prepare you to deal with today’s complex problems. A thorough understanding of design methods helps designers develop an uncanny ability to ask the difficult questions and probe for the root of problems that inevitably leads to better solutions. There is a universal demand for that kind of approach – particularly when it comes to dealing with the implications of digital technologies.

This now provides opportunities for our graduates to play a more central role with the ability to integrate technology into everyday life in a more seamless and meaningful way.

WHAT SETS US APART FROM INDUSTRIAL DESIGN PROGRAMS AT OTHER SCHOOLS?

Georgia Tech is classified as a “Tier-One Research Institution” and that has a significant impact on the curriculum requirements for our students. In particular the first year is oriented towards building academic rigor to meet the overall institutional requirements in calculus and physics. That means our students have a strong base in technology, a good grounding in research, strong analytical skills and are quickly able to develop the ability to synthesize and develop comprehensive solutions to complex problems.

We have also been able to leverage the technical strengths of the campus in engineering, computing and healthcare to conduct interdisciplinary collaborative studios in conjunction with industry sponsors each semester to provide our students with ‘real world’ design experience in preparation for graduation.

Our latest addition – a Master of Science in Human-Computer Interaction with a specialization in Industrial Design (MS-HCI-ID) – provides a much-needed bridge between industrial design and computing to tackle the challenges of new digital technologies.

As you browse our website or visit our studios, it will become clear that Georgia Tech sees this shift as a unique opportunity and an obligation to rethink, retool, and reinvest in the role of design education for the future.  Embracing our Bauhaus-influenced heritage and our unique setting within a top research university, we are aggressively pursuing three strategic areas of design in partnership with existing technical strengths across Georgia Tech’s campus:

  • Product Development and Innovation with campus connections to Mechanical Engineering, Biology, Business and our new IDC - Innovation and Design Collaborative;
  • Health and Well-Being with campus connections to the Center for Assistive Technology & Environmental Access (CATEA), the SimTigrate Lab, and iPat (Institute for People & Technology;
  • Interactive Product Design with campus connections to academic programs in Interactive Computing, Psychology and the GVU (Graphics Visualization & Usability Lab) along with our own Interactive Product Design Laboratory.

Within this framework, graduates will enter the design profession or continue advanced design research with distinct capabilities in specialized technical areas. Our aim is to fortify the designer’s role in humanizing links between people and technology through purposeful integration of aesthetic, functional, utilitarian, economic, sustainable, social, and cognitive considerations.

I invite you to join us in this effort—as a student, as a supporter, or as member of our industry network—as we continue to build and strengthen our design expertise. 

Jim Budd
Professor and Chair
School of Industrial Design