Study programme Industrial Design

Recognised as the oldest course in the field of Design and Industrial Design in the Netherlands, the study programme has been taught at the KABK since 1950. It builds on this long tradition in Industrial Design and focusses on translating a strong personal vision into applied design. Using artistic research, cultural consciousness and technical innovation in the industry as a basis to work from.

Today’s world creates the need and necessity for designers who can help develop solutions to the challenges we face. We believe that the field of industrial production encloses the possibility for designers to shape the world of tomorrow. By reconsidering and redesigning the conventions in the world of industrial production, designers can contribute to a more conscious, meaningful and culturally diverse world.

Applied Design

The Master Industrial Design (MID) programme is perfect for the designer who wants to design products within an applied context. The need for these designs can come from different angles; a briefing from a client or the designer’s personal vision or assigned issue.

The designer’s approach is focused on meeting the criteria that are formed by the context in which a product is made and used. Within the MID programme the ability to create is challenged and sharpened to apply personal design skills to specific needs and criteria that come from working within a complex industrial and societal context. The design can be anything: it can be a mass-produced consumer product or a single unique object. It can be a digital application, a system or even a brand or material.

Design Research

The MID course is focused on setting up a design project in which a specific research question forms the starting point and basis of the design. Artistic research and methodical design is eminent to the approach the course takes. Artistic research is focused on deducting and construing meaning and is complementary to scientific research in which obtaining knowledge is the primary target.

Within the design projects of MID we research the meaning within the industrial field; materials, techniques, production methods and products. Scientific research can be applied within projects but will be complemented with artistic research that reflects on the context of culture, history, identity and society.

The method and approach of the research can differ. It is related to the objective, of the research or research question(thesis). It can be hands-on investigation into materials, cultural-historic research on utensils or tools and the way products are/where used. The research is always in support of the overall design concept and is set up accordingly.

The results of the research are materialised and captured in a design. Throughout a project research and design influence each other. Within MID we design research and research design.

Industrial Field

We use a broad definition of ‘industry’ to incorporate new developments and traditions in the field. We approach industry as a coherent whole that includes concept, product, material development, production, technology, distribution, communication, market, user, design and positioning. Lifetime, maintenance, ageing, repair and disassembly are also regarded as important factors.

Our focus is to educate designers that aim to work in a meaningful and critical way within the industry. Through exploration and research into industrial processes and production methods our students are able to mend, bend and optimise the chain of production thus creating more relevant and sustainable approaches to product design and consumption. Industrial Design as the intersection of culture, economy and ecology.

Character of the course

The Master is a compact programme with an extensive network in the industrial field. The teachers involved in MID all work in the industry and bring their network and expertise to the collective knowledge and culture of the course. The programme contains projects directly from the industry and includes excursions as well as workshops from external professionals. Overall the programme has a strong link to the work field. The small scale of the department allows for an intense and personal study trajectory and high quality, creative, professional coaching. At the same time MID is part of the KABK and has access to their comprehensive network and extended facilities.

Admission requirements