History of industrial design departments in universities

Hey all,

I’m currently writing on a short paper about “the history of industrial design departments in universities 1995 - 2005”

The information on the homepages of the universities I looked at is insufficient and the e-mails I wrote didn’t present the results I wanted either… Since my deadline for the paper is one week from topic selection I’ll have to finish until tuesday.

I was hoping that you could tell me anything about the following topics:

  1. Can you tell me anything about the number of industrial design programs in the US between 1995 and 2005 or where to get such statistics?

  2. Is there any information on the number of students participating in industrial design studies in the US?

  3. Were there any special regulatory changes between 1995 and 2005 (which? why?)

  4. Did special difficulties arise due to accreditation / approval by NASAD or any other institution?

  5. Where do you see the “stronghold” / important center of industrial design education in the US?

  6. How did cooperation with business schools and/or firms develop between 1995 and 2005?

  7. Do you have any other information concerning the development of industrial design departments between 1995 and 2005 that you see as important?

Looking forward to your quick responses!

(MSc. Student)

Great questions, I’d certainly be interested in reading the paper. The history of ID programs in general I think is pretty interesting, most seem to date beck to the 1950’s and many evolved out of Architecture programs or became cross breads between Architecture and Graphic Design programs. I believe Ohio States was actually a part of the GD program early on.

Unfortunately, I’m guessing these questions will require a lot of fact finding that might need direct contact with Universities, and being that most US schools are on break right now, you might have trouble getting the answers.

One the faculty of U.Cincinnati was on the first NASAD accreditation panels (I believe they used UC’s curriculuum at part of the template)
IDSA’s Education or special interest section of Design History, and NASAD would be the only places to get numbers.

but that might not have all the schools that included classes but not majors and probably not even all those (lots of places ignore accreditation)

my guess of the two major trends are 1. the spread of co-op or internship as a requirement for graduation, 2. the rise of the Art Institutes. Cross-functional studios may have begun during that time frame but weren’t widespread.

sounds like an interesting paper…best of luck.