New industrial design program off to a promising beginning at Iowa State

AMES, Iowa - The Board of Regents has given the go-ahead. Faculty members are on board. Classes are under way. And the new Bachelor of Industrial Design program is off to a promising beginning in the Iowa State University College of Design.

The first of its kind in Iowa, the new degree program is one of only 10 in the Midwest.

Industrial designers help to create the things we use every day: toothbrushes, telephones, computers and cars.

The four-year degree consists of one year in the College of Design's freshman core design program followed by three years in the professional bachelor's program. The first 20 students were admitted into the professional program for fall 2010.

"We have an opportunity to craft a rich, relevant and state-of-the-art program that truly addresses the opportunities created by seismic shifts in the industry over the last decade," said program director David Ringholz.

"Our program will extend beyond traditional product design to address issues of economic development, social responsibility, environmental stewardship and global community," he added.

Ringholz and assistant professor Seda Yilmaz are teaching the first two courses in the new program this semester: Industrial Design Studio I: Form and Visualization, and Introduction to Industrial Design. Students also will take courses in business, engineering, materials, human factors, research, creative thinking and computer-aided design. And they can expect to work in the field through internships and study abroad before they graduate.

"With the addition of this program, the College of Design achieves its aim to offer comprehensive training in all of the traditional design disciplines," said Luis Rico-Gutierrez, dean of design. "Every element of daily life with which people interact is now addressed by our programs, distinguishing our college as a leader in the field.

"In creating the industrial design program, we met extensively with ISU's other colleges, particularly with engineering and business. Their support has been critical. We will collaborate actively with other programs on campus to make this a truly multidisciplinary degree."

Ian Wilson, a double major in industrial design and environmental studies from Nevada, is excited to be among the first students in the new program.

"I was very interested in the industrial design program because it combines both creative and problem-solving skills," he said. "It is also a very open field where I can choose my industry and work in an area that interests me. I would love to work in the audio industry designing equipment to be used in the recording and live sound fields."

"Working with other colleges at Iowa State will create a diverse degree and also allow me to mold my experience," Wilson added.

More information on the Iowa State Bachelor of Industrial Design program is available online at