Product Design Program Graduates Inaugural Class

May 7, 2018

On Friday, May 11 the inaugural class of product design seniors will present their capstone projects. This first class of students is the result of seven years of hard work by College of Design faculty and staff, in particular, Associate Professor Barry Kudrowitz who is head of the Product Design program. Kudrowitz reflects on the journey the program has taken in this interview.

Product Design's first graduating class with professor Barry Kudrowitz
Product Design's first graduating class with professor Barry Kudrowitz

What’s been the best part of shaping the Product Design Program?

The students are the best part of this program and that is why I’m doing it. The state of Minnesota and all of the Twin Cities’ product companies also benefit from a local industrial design program. It’s been great working closely with the industry to craft this degree.

How does it feel to have the first-class graduating?

I’m overjoyed for these students. I’ve only seen product design minors walk across the stage at commencement and so this is going to be an important moment for me.

Where do you see the future of the program going?

I’m always thinking of ways to improve the program but I also try to be mindful of how changes can impact students. We are proposing a master’s degree in product design and I am also entertaining the idea of new tracks within the undergraduate program: user experience, service design, traditional ID, and/or product engineering.

What advice do you have for students interested in the Product Design Program?

This is not a traditional industrial design program. Our program is unique in the United States and is more like the industrial design engineering found in Northern Europe. The students who get accepted into this program need to be ready to excel in both the artistic and technical skills required in the design industry.

Learn more about this Friday’s capstone presentations and our Product Design program.

In May 2018, the College of Design’s Product Design Program graduated its inaugural class of undergraduate students.

Ten years since it launched and one name change later, Toy Product Design (now Product Innovation Lab or iLab) remains one of product design's most popular courses.

The following post was written by product design student Sarah Prescott.