Bachelor of Fine Arts Industrial Design

The BFA in Industrial Design (ID) will appeal to hands-on, tangible learners who will complete the program with a significant portfolio that reflects their potential. Studio format courses cover specific materials, processes, and fabrication techniques. A substantial number of technical courses in science and math plus computer-aided design/manufacturing/engineering (CAD/CAM/CAE) develops skills to draw, create, and interact with objects. Traditional art and design-allied fields are represented with courses in drawing, graphic design, and experience design. A unique aspect of this program is its emphasis on designing embedded objects requiring the student to also study computer hardware and software. Unlike traditional programs in industrial design, CDM’s ID program includes marketing, management and sustainability classes.

Industrial designers work as either entrepreneurs or on established teams in larger companies. Students create under the constraints of what is possible and practical using established manufacturing techniques. Our curriculum addresses designing, making and scaling through an iterative process from prototyping to large-scale manufacturing.

Degree Requirements
Eugene Jarvis  

Idea Realization Lab

The Idea Realization Lab (IRL) and IRL2 are student-driven makerspaces that include a variety of state-of-the-art fabrication facilities like 3D printers, thermal formers and molding, and more. The IRL supports several types of rapid prototyping technologies including Inventables X-Carve, laser cutters, and precision multi-axis CNC milling machines. Students have access to leading-edge engineering software tools to bring innovative ideas to life.

Faculty Research & Creative Activity

metal pedal platform

Nate Matteson led the design team that created the 0xEAE Boost, designed to be a robust, modular, and extensible pedal platform both inside and out. Inside the Boost is an artistic misappropriation of an early 1970s phono preamplifier built around a discrete operational amplifier topology—along with protection from over-voltage, reverse polarity, and electrostatic discharge. Outside is an enclosure designed around maximum separation between precision controls and stomp switches, and a low center of gravity for maximum stability—while also paying homage to the innovative design histories of the Tone Benders and Fuzz Faces.

nurses and doctors with PPE  

Illinois PPE

DePaul students, faculty, and staff led the way on a $125,000 funded project to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to the people of Illinois and our neighbors. Participating students prototyped, developed, and fabricated thousands of pieces of PPE, applying their learning to a real world challenge. In addition to fabricating face shields, the group designed and developed bus barriers for the Menominee Indian School District, goggles for doctors and clinicians, and face masks.

two students infront of a custom arcade game  

Industrial Consulting Group

Students in the Consulting Group work with professional partners to gain extensive experience and a portfolio of projects before graduating. The group has designed hacker conference badges equipped with interactive game consoles, collaborated with oncologists at the University of Chicago to design a microscope slide scanner that connects to a mobile phone and an app, and built a video game arcade cabinet with a console featuring games made by DePaul students.

two students with a lot of parts on table  


Students and faculty in the Idea Realization Lab (IRL) designed and coded 1,700 custom badges for Thotcon, the Midwest’s largest hacking conference. The interactive badges contain an alternative (screenless) interface with a circuit board that plays a video game.

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