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Industrial Design @ Virginia Tech


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#1 Cyberdemon

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 01:26 AM

The Industrial Design program (http://caus5.arch.vt.edu/)at Virginia Tech (http://www.vt.edu) is a 4 year undergraduate or 2 year masters program.

All students start out in a general design year where you learn basics of form, drawing, color, and materials alongside all students in the college of Architecture and Urban Studies. This includes architects, landscape architects, industrial design. There is a strong inclusion of architecture in the program.

The faculty for industrial design includes current IDSA president Ron Kemnitzer. The facities include a fully equipped wood and metal shop, including Laser CAM, rapid prototyping, and CNC machines available to students. Students have access to dark rooms, full size plotter printers, as well as printing and ceramics studios.

Students spend a lot of time studying and learning to work with different materials. Most students can expect to be proficient in model making and woodworking after the first two years. There is an increased focus on learning to work with "green" materials and processes, and the effect of design on the world as a whole. The average studio size is roughly 25 students per year in the Industrial design program.

Lectures from outside guest speakers are frequent and often are given by employees of well recoginzed international design firms. Virginia Tech is an accredited design school and a student chapter of the IDSA.

Questions about the program, faculty, and University are welcome.

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#2 Guest_kranjerj_*

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 03:26 PM

I love the pyramids. natural light is so beautiful in burchard.

#3 Cyberdemon

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 06:54 PM

Welcome to the forums. I'm guessing my email rant last night carried some weight. :D

#4 Guest_SelfishGene_*

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 01:16 AM

I had a couple questions about the school if you dont mind?

I have been looking at schools on the east coast and vt is one of them. I was wondering if there were any other time besides the fall i can apply ? I really dont want to wait another year to get in because im a little late.!
Is vt more hands on then say Georgia tech, NC Univ, im really urged to start school, but would rather go to a more hands on school.?
Is it possible to take classes at a diffrent school, only to transfer over credits? If not and had to wait a year to get in. Any recomended courses i should take?
Ive been studying Industrial design now for a lil bit but really could use some help-advise, other then machines .
Thank you

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 03:31 PM

the pyramids look like the ones at the louvre in paris

I've heard a lot about this school, I know it's a really good school and all, but how's the student life and the area around there?

#6 Cyberdemon

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 10:42 PM

I had a couple questions about the school if you dont mind?

I have been looking at schools on the east coast and vt is one of them. I was wondering if there were any other time besides the fall i can apply ? I really dont want to wait another year to get in because im a little late.!
Is vt more hands on then say Georgia tech, NC Univ, im really urged to start school, but would rather go to a more hands on school.?
Is it possible to take classes at a diffrent school, only to transfer over credits? If not and had to wait a year to get in. Any recomended courses i should take?
Ive been studying Industrial design now for a lil bit but really could use some help-advise, other then machines .
Thank you


Regarding admissions, you would need to check with the admissions office directly. I do not know the specific cutoffs for dates. I don't believe you can apply for spring semester as your first semester, because of the order classes are given. This may be different for transfers.

Is VT more hands on - what is your definition of 'hands on'? At VT you'll spend a lot of time, especially during the first two years building all of your projects. Theres a strong focus on traditional design/build projects like furniture, toys, lighting, and other similar projects that are all expected to be built. The woodshop/metal shop is where you will spend a lot of time during those years. The shops are also available for personal projects - I've had friends who have built everything from bikes to guitars using the school facilities.

Yes you can transfer over credits - this is again something you would need to talk to someone at the school about. You can always take your liberal arts classes (english, science, psychology, etc) at a community college and then transfer them in - but you need to check with the schools before hand to make sure that the courses you take will carry over - some classes won't transfer over for credit.

the pyramids look like the ones at the louvre in paris

I've heard a lot about this school, I know it's a really good school and all, but how's the student life and the area around there?


Blacksburg is a great area. It's a rural atmosphere so it certainly isn't the same vibe you would get from living in NYC and going to Pratt. Most students are very big into outdoor activities - kayaking, offroading, mountain biking, athletics, etc. Theres also a very big nerd community if you prefer staying inside and playing video games. :( My personal favorite is the mountain backroads that are an absolute blast to drive on.

I spent 5 years in Blacksburg and still go back every 6 months to visit. It's an exceptionally diverse town thanks to the schools population.

Heres on picture I took a few years ago from the nearby new river. A great spot for kayaking, tubing, or just sitting on the rocks enjoying a beer.

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#7 Guest_AutomóvilVerde_*

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 06:42 AM

I don't know if I really want to go to a rural school. What's the closest big city nearby?

I don't mind going to a school with nerds, since I love gadgets and technologies :( and I'm sure it would help in ID.

Nice picture, looks like a really nice place.

#8 Cyberdemon

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 07:08 AM

I don't know if I really want to go to a rural school. What's the closest big city nearby?

I don't mind going to a school with nerds, since I love gadgets and technologies :( and I'm sure it would help in ID.

Nice picture, looks like a really nice place.


Since I'm from New York I would say there are NO big citys "nearby". Washington DC is about 4 hours away, NYC is 8.

I was born and raised in New York and I got sick of big-city living very quickly. Living in an apartment the size of a box, paying $6 for a beer, etc just drains you. There is a wonderful simplicity to living in the south. I had a giant apartment, lots of extra money, etc.

To each their own though.

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 07:25 AM

well I have lived in dallas all my life. open spaces, but a big city, just not the nyc type of city... so 4 hours is nothing. So just driving distance to dc is cool.

but being a small town are there trips to design firms and stuff like at some of the other colleges? and when you graduate is it easy to get a job since it's not close to a big city?

#10 Cyberdemon

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 08:23 AM

Design firms - probably not so much. During my tenure at VT the best we got was to visit the motorcycle museum/office of one of the heads of IBM design. Awesome trip, but it was more about his wicked Ducati collection over his design studio. :( We did have plenty of trips though - whether it was to an IDSA conference, NC State Portfolio reviews, or off-site class project.

I got a job a few months out of college thanks to connections of a professor. To date I believe a few other of my classmates got dedicated ID jobs with many taking jobs in web, graphic, or other design professions. Quite a few also went for a masters.

At the end of the day your school doesn't mean much - if you can get your foot in the door and have a great portfolio no one will care what school you're from. It's just a matter of making sure you have a really strong set of skills. VT has definately caught up in knowing the skills students need. They are heavily involved with the IDSA (with both a prior IDSA president and education VP as full time staff) which helps in the connection department.

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 09:01 AM

I know the school doesnt relly matter for the jobs, but i know a few schools have good connections with companies so it's easier to get that first job.

just wondering, where do you work now?

#12 Guest_SelfishGene_*

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 07:35 PM

just wanted to know how many test there were throughout the year, compared to building things, vt sounds really nice thanks for your help!

#13 Cyberdemon

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 11:05 PM

I know the school doesnt relly matter for the jobs, but i know a few schools have good connections with companies so it's easier to get that first job.

just wondering, where do you work now?


I work at Motorola's Enterprise Mobility group designing rugged handheld computers.


just wanted to know how many test there were throughout the year, compared to building things, vt sounds really nice thanks for your help!


This depends on the class. In studio (your primary 6 credit course every semester) there are no tests. Many other ID specific classes don't have tests but rather require you to do some kind of projects. There are certain classes that do have tests, such as human factors, design research, materials and processes, etc. Those are all classes where it's about reading and making sure you understand the written material.

You will also have tests in your non major classes obviously like science, english, math, etc.




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