Design is a set of disciplines that bestows form and order to virtually all that humans make or theorize. It innovatively promotes understanding, simplifies use, improves safety, instills confidence, increases efficiency, and adds value through a process that focuses on useful, useable and desirable attributes of products, systems or communications. Practiced within a corporate setting or in a research institution, design is an enabling catalyst, collaboratively increasing advantage and expanding opportunity between the sciences, business, engineering, and the humanities.

Amber by Alisa Rantanen

Amber, A. Rantanen (see case study)

Responsibly practiced, design aspires to produce, promote and implement utility through deep sensitivity for human need and aspiration. Frequently understood as commercially driven, design at Notre Dame expands the definition to also serve the underserved through an interpretation that often ignores profit in favor of identifying and solving important social needs of the person and the environment.

Locus, E. Murphy (see case study)

Applying a broad understanding of contemporary material, process and situational challenges to the human condition, designers define their place as researchers, looking forward in time and engaging conceptual alternatives to future possibilities. Industrial design distinguishes itself in academic research by bringing an empathic approach to creative endeavors that serve the three dimensional product needs of consumers, makers and promoters of tools and products. Visual communication designers translate awareness of need into visual communication, applying a two dimensional medium, as well as interaction and motion for purposes of efficiently conveying complex information.

First year students may choose to study either industrial design, visual communication design, or create a hybrid of these two programs plus other areas of art.

Brandon KeeleanDesign Student Profile: Brandon Keelean

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Questions about design? You can contact Director of Undergraduate Studies Emily Beck.