In the last few years, the field of Industrial Design has gone through dramatic changes.

We have seen the revolution in digital technology, which allowed billions of people around the globe to connect, communicate, and share information.

We have witnessed a wave of mass creativity, which started to erase the old distinction between consumers, producers, and designers by allowing wider audiences to participate in the creative process.

We have observed the convergence of industrial design with scientific research—from biology and genetics to artificial intelligence and robotics­—allowing things from the realm of science fiction to take shape in real life.

We have at last begun to address problems of the “other 90%” of the world, trying to solve problems of poverty, hunger, energy, health, and other troubling issues of the disadvantaged world population by design.

We have come to realize our responsibility for the planet’s climate and limited resources, and for our handling of the environment, industry, and agriculture.

The Industrial Design program at Pratt is set to prepare students to become professional designers of the 21st century, capable of tackling these momentous changes.

Whether working with industry or acting as entrepreneurs, students will be able to create products, systems, and environments which help to innovate and improve everyday objects and situations.

To become professionals, students learn aesthetic values of visual abstraction, from line and color to development of complex three-dimensional form.  Students study to practice design as an iterative process that includes ideation, sketching, prototype making, and testing of their projects. Hands-on skills, learned in a model shop, are complemented with digital skills, practiced in computer labs. From their sophomore year on, students are taught the importance of critical thinking: the art of observation and discovery, and ability to uncover and formulate real-world problems in need of design solutions.

Faculty members in the Industrial Design department are professional educators and designers; many of them are principals of their own successful businesses and recipients of prestigious industry awards. Throughout their years of study, students are exposed to cultural richness and diversity of New York City, with its world-class museums, galleries, and art and design events. Brooklyn, in particular, has recently become a hot spot of young entrepreneurial craft and design culture, and students can learn a great deal from immersing themselves in the activities of the bustling contemporary design scene.

Four years at Pratt will set each student on a path toward a rewarding and culturally relevant career, which can be tailored to specific interests and abilities.  

The Program’s Structure (Bachelor of Industrial Design)

Pratt B.I.D. alumni are designers, artists, educators, entrepreneurs, researchers, and corporate leaders. This diversity comes from a program of study that allows freedom to explore. In the sophomore and junior years students take core courses, which provide grounding in drawing, color, 3-D form, model-making, and digital computer skills. At the same time they take design studios, which introduce them to critical thinking, problem solving, and environmental responsibility. A variety of studio options are open in the junior and senior years where students can take specialized studios that respond to their individual interests and skills, such as:

Product design
Tabletop and Food design
Shoes and Athletic gear
Exhibition design
Interdisciplinary design

By the end of senior year students complete a capstone studio, which follows students’ choice of subject and delineates the direction of their future careers. The capstone studio project is presented at the annual Design Show, a public event attended by industry leaders and potential employers.

The department offers study-abroad exchanges with a number of leading European design schools, and a summer program in furniture making in Copenhagen through the Danish International School.