In 2003, the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design established a new degree of Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design, the first of its kind in a four-state region covering Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and New Mexico.
The Industrial Design program emerged from an established and respected university in one of the largest and most dynamic urban centers: Houston. The resources and environment of this city provide an ideal learning context for the discipline of Industrial Design with resources unique to the metro area, such as NASA, the Texas Medical Center, and diverse industrial entities.
“The Industrial Design program is rapidly taking its place as the premier program. Its award-winning students and faculty add an additional layer of rigor to the college’s platform of integrated disciplines: Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Industrial Design. The degree program in Industrial Design focuses on applied research, critical thinking, technology, and the art of making. Its curriculum emphasizes generative and discovery-oriented learning. Attention to craft and design innovation is further enhanced by a premier digital fabrication facility, the Burdette Keeland, Jr. Design Exploration Lab.” - Dean Patricia Belton Oliver, FAIA
The emerging context of education in the development of digital information technology can be summarized and characterized by the keywords of accessible, flexible, virtual, ubiquitous, connected, collaborative, authentic, and learner-centered. This conceptual frame for understanding the world can be linked to design education and practice.
The education model for the Industrial Design program at the College of Architecture and Design focuses on addressing a new structure of learning by connecting and integrating design knowledge in new, useful, and meaningful ways for the student.
The ID program emphasizes the learner’s generative and discovery-oriented learning, explained in the following design pedagogy:
- Integrated Learning
Today’s rapidly changing world demands Industrial Design students possess a broad base of cross-boundary knowledge and skills enabling them to deal with complex problems more effectively. Integrated learning clarifies the blurred boundaries between design studies and design activities, which include a wide spectrum of social acts and its process.
- Collaborative Learning
Collaborative learning is defined as a learning process emphasizing cooperative efforts between instructors and students. Collaborative learning is an important cognitive strategy based on the social construction of knowledge, which leads to deeper processing and understanding than learning without collaboration.
- Project-oriented Learning
Design learning emphasizes process-oriented problem solving as reflective practice. The practical and pragmatic aspects of design knowledge can be enhanced by a series of workshops and industry-sponsored projects. Implementing design knowledge comes from “learning by doing.”
The program for the Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design degree is a four-year curriculum of at least 132 semester hours. The degree includes the university’s required core curriculum and 19 hours of elective courses. Because of the mutual and overlapping bonds of Architecture, Interior Architecture and Industrial Design, the programs share a common first-semester curriculum.
Students interested in the Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design should follow the procedure for application to the College of Architecture and Design. Degree plans are not official unless/until students meet with their Academic Advisors.
Projects and Recognition
Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) Student Merit Award (SMA) Winners
Top five graduates in the US recognized by IDSA
Arvin Abadilla (2010)
Leo Chen (2011)
Jonathan Seto (2018)
Timothy Joe Undergraduate SMA Winner + Kristi Bartlett Graduate SMA Winner (2019)
International Housewares Association (IHA) Student Design Competition Awards
1st in 2012, 2013, 2014; 2nd in 2019
UH ID Program Ranked Among Best in the World
Industrial Design Degrees Top 30 (Undergrad): UH ID program ranked #4
Sustainable Products on Viewing During “ID+Green” Showcase
Wearable Technology Highlights UH Industrial Design Showcase