2015 2 Column Inner

Industrial Design

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The field of industrial design is concerned with the appearance and usefulness of manufactured goods. When creating products, industrial designers think about technical performance, environmental concerns, human comfort, and aesthetics. 

Since industrial designers are employed wherever products are produced, they play a central role in the innovative processes that result in corporate entrepreneurship and the commercialization of new technologies. Industrial designers are typi­cally hired as consultants or on the design staff of a corporation and work on projects including automobiles, public transit systems, human-powered and single person vehicles, furniture, appliances, house wares, electronic equipment, tools, toys, packag­ing, machine tools, medical equipment, business machines and displays.

Whether you have your sights set on inventing and developing new product designs for an established corporation, working as an industrial design consultant, or starting your own company, adding entrepreneurship coursework to your industrial design degree is invaluable.

Entrepreneurship courses at UC are helping industrial design students develop the cross-functional understanding and managerial decision-making skills they need to become the industrial design professionals of tomorrow.

Industrial design students that include entrepreneurship courses among their breadth of knowledge (BOK) elective classes get a well-rounded education and the ability to set themselves apart from other industrial design graduates in the job market.

There is substantial demand for industrial designers that understand entrepreneurs and their small/medium sized businesses. Researchers report 90-95% of businesses are small/medium sized and these businesses create nearly 70% of new jobs each year in the USA.


By studying entrepreneurship, you will be able to develop important skills and experience:

a. Assessing your personal readiness to launch and manage your own business
b. Launching a revenue generating small business in a classroom environment
c. Estimating customer demand and the potential of a market for your services
d. Forecasting revenues, expenses, and cash flows
e. Assessing the health of businesses, business opportunities, and industries
f. Managing relationships and consulting to real world clients/customers
g. Designing new venture plans including all business functions

Student Recommendations

Industrial design students that have studied with entrepreneurship faculty consistently report above average classroom experiences that are relevant to their careers as industrial designers. Here’s what they say:

"Throughout my experiences in entrepreneurship classes, I’ve been exposed to businesses, local ones and case examples, to learn in a way that’s applicable and relevant. I now know how to solve complex problems in a way that I wouldn’t have been able to without taking entrepreneurship classes. For those of us who want to create new ventures, this is the perfect way to get an overall view of starting a business and running it in a way that keeps you more relevant than with just the design process and skills."

Lauren C., Independent Design Contractor


Click here to apply to the entrepreneurship minor.

Address questions to Professor Thomas Dalziel ("Dr. D") or an academic program advisor in the Undergraduate Programs Office, as needed. We're here to help you!