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Programs / Industrial Design

Program Details

Industrial designers are responsible for the concept, the design and the details that are worked out before the manufacturing process of any product can begin. They work behind the scenes to determine the features, appearance, materials and ergonomics of the many products—from toasters to cell phones—that we use every day.

Carleton’s unique, internationally respected Industrial Design (ID) program, offered through the School of Industrial Design, blends a design studio component with applied sciences, such as math and physics, and social sciences, such as psychology and business. The program focuses on process—from concept and design through to manufacturing and the everyday use of the product. There is also an emphasis on the context and social purpose of design.

In the first year of the program, you will take courses in math, psychology, economics and physics. Other courses will introduce you to the profession, help you evaluate products according to the principles of design and manufacturing and teach you basic design methods and techniques. As you move through the program, you will learn to balance academic studies and design studios. You will work on drawings, models, mock-ups and simulated products, as well as learn about materials, marketing, environmental issues, users’ needs and user testing. In the final year of the program, you will participate in the School’s Annual Graduation Exhibition, which is well attended by visitors and industry employers.

In Carleton’s Industrial Design program, you learn by doing—inside and outside of the classroom. You can gain valuable practical experience by participating in one of the following programs.

  • Co-op: Co-op employment usually begins after third year, and you will have the chance to work with leading Canadian design-oriented manufacturers and design offices.
  • Internships: You will spend a minimum of 12 weeks as a design intern, and these opportunities exist in Europe, Hong Kong and China, as well as in Canada and the United States.