Industrial Design and Interior Design

I am currently trying to decide between industrial and interior design for my undergrad degree. Unfortunately, industrial is not offered at my college, but I am exploring my options in transferring. Both programs will take about the same time to complete (3-3.5 years of school).

I talked to my interior design advisor today and I wanted to share some of her opinions to see how you would respond. I’ll set them up like this:

  1. An undergrad degree in interiors with a grad in industrial would be a very good combination (this might make sense for me because I am interested in designing furniture, appliances, furnishings, etc., but also consumer electronics and others)

  2. Interiors focuses on the human scale, while architects focus on the grander scale and industrial designers can focus too much on the product instead of the person using it. (I’m sure some of you will disagree with that.)

    Any advice you have about education or the different fields of design would be appreciated beyond belief. :slight_smile:

Well, there’s been a lot of views of this thread, but not replies. I also found a similar thread from a few months ago that no one ever touched.

Why? Does no one have an opinion? Or is it a stupid question? Or has it actually been covered somewhere that I haven’t found?

If you want to design the things you mention (furniture, appliances, furnishings, etc., but also consumer electronics and others), you’ll need and ID (Industrial Design) education. Interior Design doesn’t cover any of those things.

I’d suggest go for ID, and at the very least I think the skills you learn will be more transferrable and applicable then Interior Design. I’m not sure about which program you are looking at, but in most cases that I’m aware of Industrial Design is a Bachelor level course, while Interior Design is normally a college trade course or at best something tacked onto a BA. The B.I.D will get you much further, IMHO.



I am contemplating the same issue, but as it pertains to graduate school. I went to Ohio State and received my BSID with an emphasis on interior space design. The OSU program has changed somewhat since I finished in 1998, but as far as I know, it is still multidisciplinary–encompassing interiors, visual communications and product design.

I had a solid foundation year with studios in all 3 disciplines and chose my focus at the end of that year. My remaining coursework, while interiors based, stressed design thinking, research, ergonomics, and process driven solutions that seem to be the norm in Industrial (product) design programs. In general, I don’t think this type of education is as common in most Interior Design programs.

I guess, in essence, I agree with rkuchinsky. Get your undergrad in Industrial Design. That said, I see the design of environments as more than just furniture and finishes.

To me it seems that studying Industrial as undergrad then Post grad in Interior design is a better combination

Thanks everyone for the comments!

This comment really stuck with me. I wish you would explain more of what you think interior design is. I’m afraid my view of it is perhaps too narrow. I have a passion for creating environments, but I find it hard to reconcile that with the demands of pragmatism, etc. in interior design.

Also, I would be much more comfortable with interior design at my school if it was more interdisciplinary. I know they incorporate graphic design and communications, but I don’t know if there is much in the way of objects. There is not much flexibility in the course sequence either. This is why SAIC seems like a really cool program to me.