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. 


Idea Realization Lab

The Idea Realization Lab (IRL) is a 4,500 square foot makerspace that includes 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.

DePaul University students zoom call

Student Project

Prof. Matteson is working with students from the Graphic Design, Game Design, and User Experience Design programs each Thursday night in spring quarter on Zoom, designing and building guitar pedals. Students without any experience working with circuits are developing basic skills in soldering and construction, more advanced students are beginning to explore the design and modification of circuits. For more information contact Prof. Matteson.

Faculty Spotlight

metal designed guitar

Nate Matteson led the design team that built the Obstructures' Model 34, the thinnest electric bass guitar on the market, and the only bass made entirely of aluminum. Awards include gold medals in both the 2019 European Product Design and the 14th Annual International Designer of the Year Award in Other Products designs/Other Products designs.


Inspire DePaul

DePaul is collaborating with the Robert Bosch Tool Corporation (Mount Prospect, IL) and their subsidiary Dremel, as well as groups at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Public Libraries, the Nation of Makers, and makerspaces and makers around the state to address the immediate, critical need for personal protective equipment (PPE) for Illinois healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitals large and small are in dire need of this equipment to protect their staffs from the virus. DePaul faculty member Jay Margalus, director of DePaul's Idea Realization Lab (IRL), is leading the effort to marshal a network of labs like the IRL across the state to create much needed protective equipment for healthcare workers using 3-D printers. Donate at

nurses and doctors with PPE  

Illinois PPE

We're volunteer makers, educators, librarians, scientists, museum staff, and public servants fabricating personal protective equipment (PPE) for the State of Illinois. The Illinois PPE Network is comprised of individuals from DePaul University, Northwestern University, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Public Libraries, the Museum of Science and Industry, the Chicago Peace Fellows, and Illinois makerspaces, libraries, and schools. To learn more about the Illinois PPE network, request personal protective equipment, or if you can assist with PPE fabrication, visit

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. At the conference, Faculty Jay Margalus and Rudy Ristich led a workshop about the design and development of the badge, and the code to hack it.

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