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BFAIndustrial Design

Invent the products and environments of the future with elegant, human-centered design.

Overview

Solve complex problems

Industrial design students create beautiful, meaningful, and sustainable design solutions. With equal emphasis on design thinking and the craft of making, we challenge you to push material boundaries and identify unique opportunities. You’ll learn to master the entire design process, from iteration to validation, as you collaborate with classmates, renowned faculty, and leading industry partners.

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Design in a world-class school of art

The Industrial Design program is perfectly positioned within one of the top schools of art in the country. You’ll learn from the immense talent of your peers and draw inspiration from art history, critical theory, and studio courses that span disciplines. We’re also located in the heart of the Bay Area’s innovation corridor, surrounded by architecture and design firms, startups, and leading technology companies.

Studios + Shops

Investigate diverse materials and methods

CCA Viewbook 2016 - Industrial Design - Investigate Diverse Materials

You’ll work on a wide range of projects in studios, focusing on investigative design, material exploration, model-making, and concept validation. You’ll develop essential skills in sketching and drawing, 3D and 4D computer-aided design, sewing, welding, prototyping, woodworking, digital rendering, storytelling, and presenting. In the Hybrid Lab, an interdisciplinary space for making, you can experiment with digital fabrication tools, electronic knitting machines, iOS and Android tablets, soldering stations, and 3D printers.

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Gain real-world experience

During their third year of coursework, students intern for a Bay Area company or design firm. This is a great opportunity to explore a specific interest, such as product or user interface design, in a professional setting. In the past, students have completed internships at fuseproject, Frog Design, Heath Ceramics, IDEO, Lunar, The North Face, Pixar, Timbuk2, and Williams-Sonoma. View sample course descriptions

Sponsored workshops and studios are another hallmark of the Industrial Design program. Students work on real products and design solutions for some of the most innovative companies in the world. Our recent partners include Adobe, Audi, Bosch, Intel, Workday, and Volkswagen.

Your design life at CCA

  • Collaborate with architecture and interaction design students
  • Work with industry partners in sponsored studios
  • Build to test your concept’s viability
  • Intern with Bay Area companies or design firms
  • Research, prototype, and present a senior thesis project
  • Create a cohesive industrial design portfolio

Faculty

Leaders in design innovation

Our faculty are practicing industrial designers who have made products for some of the biggest brands in the world, including Intel, Jawbone, and Nike. With a range of aesthetic styles and interests, they help students identify a unique path and fine-tune their design voice.

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Corey Jones, Chair of Industrial Design

Chair Corey Jones is a multidisciplinary designer with an extensive background in fabrication and media processes. His personal work is focused on objects that blur the line between functional and fine art. Outside of CCA, Jones is a freelance industrial designer, working on product design, identity development, and brand strategy for clients like Sony, Lexus, and SpoonRocket. Jones has also helped create a number of public exhibits, including the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial and the Ice Falls in Norman Foster’s Hearst Tower in New York.

David Gonzalez

David Gonzalez, Assistant Chair of Industrial Design

Assistant Chair David Gonzalez is inspired by thoughtful storytelling, meaningful invention, sustainable practices, and a little rule-breaking. As a multidisciplinary designer in both product development and industrial design, Gonzalez has led many projects in brand identity, consumer electronics, computer hardware, packaging, soft goods, user experience, and more. His work has been recognized with awards from the Industrial Designers Society of America, Business Week, i-D Magazine, iLounge, and the Consumer Electronics Show.

Curriculum

We think with our hands

Every undergraduate student participates in the First Year Core program, an opportunity to explore a wide range of materials and tools. Faculty from many different disciplines guide studio projects, group critiques, and discussions on foundational theory to help set students up for success.

BFA Industrial Design

Core Studio

Drawing 1
3 units
2D, 3D, and 4D
9 units

Industrial Design Major Requirements

Design Communication Suite
12 units
Modelmaking
3 units
Industrial Design 1–5
15 units
Materials and Manufacturing
3 units
Industrial Design Investigative Studios
3 units
Senior Thesis Research
3 units
Senior Thesis Project
3 units
Professional Practice (Portfolio and Internship)
3 units

Additional Studio Requirements

Interdisciplinary Studio
3 units
Diversity Studies Studio
3 units
Studio Electives
9 units

Humanities + Sciences Requirements

Writing 1
3 units
Writing 2
3 units
Introduction to the Arts: Antiquity to Early Modern
3 units
Introduction to the Modern Arts
3 units
Foundation in Critical Studies
3 units
Media History: History of Industrial Design
3 units
Literary and Performing Arts Studies (200 level)
3 units
Philosophy and Critical Theory (200 level)
3 units
Social Science/History (200 level)
3 units
Science/Math (200 level)
3 units
Visual Studies (200 level)
3 units
Humanities and Sciences (300 level)
9 units
Diversity Studies Seminar
3 units
Humanities and Sciences Electives (200 or 300 level)
3 units

Total 120 units

Careers

Shaping the world through industrial design

Our students emerge from the program with a robust skill set that empowers them to become specialists in everything they take on. They apply their real-world experience from internships to a variety of fields, including aerospace, consumer electronics, education, healthcare, luxury goods, and renewable energy. Alumni go on to found their own design studios, freelance for larger companies, exhibit as studio artists, and more.

Potential career paths

  • Industrial designer
  • Owner of a design studio or consultancy
  • Product designer
  • Furniture designer
  • Materials engineer
  • Product manager
  • Creative director
  • Studio artist
  • Entrepreneur

News + Events

What’s new with design at CCA?

How to Apply

Join our community of design thinkers

Our students are passionate about creating objects that improve people’s lives. For some, the Industrial Design program is a way to experiment with shape, aesthetics, and the emotional expression of an object. Other students want to work within a very specific environment or field, such as mechanical engineering or technology education. They all share a desire to tinker with technology, prototype, and push their craft in exciting directions.

Find your creative community at CCA

Apply now