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Industrial Design

Academics . Industrial Design . Overview

Industrial Design

The Industrial Design program at the Cleveland Institute of Art consistently ranks as one of the top programs in the country. In fact, we are known for producing graduates who work at the top of their field, solving real-world problems and becoming successful entrepreneurs.

Our rigorous curriculum centers on research, conceptualization, and refinement. This approach provides you with a strong understanding of the innovation process, users, market forces, manufacturing, sustainability, and business practices. As an Industrial Design student, you will develop skills in visual communication, form development, and presentation as well as strengthen your knowledge of manufacturing, ergonomics, and marketing. You also will study drawing, modeling, and computer-aided design, which are critical to developing and communicating ideas.

Collaboration is an integral part of our program, and our faculty use solution-driven methods to teach students in a supportive, energetic classroom environment. As an Industrial Design major, you will explore broad design concepts and problems, and learn how to critically evaluate and refine solutions. You will work with students from other CIA programs, colleges, and businesses as well as several international companies to expose you to real-world challenges. Each spring, you also will participate in CIA’s annual Spring Design Show. This exhibition of student work will allow you to refine your skills, gain firsthand exposure to industry practices, and network with professional designers.

Our goal is to balance your growth in fundamental knowledge and skills with your individual areas of interest to prepare you for a career. As an Industrial Designer, you will design consumer products, such as, cars, toys, furniture, footwear, and more. In addition, you will design a product's user experience, interface, appearance, and also determine the manufacturing methods. You could even invent solutions to fulfill society’s unmet needs and reinvent existing products.

Real-world experience for real-world careers
What may best set CIA apart from other colleges of art and design is its commitment to engaged practice. CIA’s Engaged Practice provides you opportunities to learn through experience by working on real-world projects with external partners or clients, or in the public sphere—all before graduation.

These opportunities allow you to put your classroom and studio knowledge to work in a professional setting while still being guided by faculty. You’ll learn what it takes to meet clients’ expectations, and you will emerge with confidence that will serve you as you launch your career.

What can I do with a degree in Industrial Design?

Featured Alumni Profile

Brian Peterson - Car Designer + Artist

Student goes from motorcycles and welding to design at CIA
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Student goes from motorcycles and welding to design at CIA

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Meet Your Professors view all

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Dennis Futo

Adjunct Faculty

Dennis is an educator, designer and founder of InsightDesign, LLC, a full-service product design consultancy d...more

Cores + Connections

Our connections are your connections.

While at CIA, you'll learn from the masters through our rigorous, world-class curriculum and connect with working professionals to begin your career.