The industrial design courses started to be offered at METU Department of Architecture in 1969 by the American industrial designer David K. Munro are the first courses on industrial design in Turkey. Established as a separate unit in 1979, METU Department of Industrial Design became the first Turkish member of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID) in 1981. In the present era, the Department offers an extensive portfolio of undergraduate and graduate programs: A four-year undergraduate program leading to a Bachelor of Industrial Design (B.ID.), an interdisciplinary Master of Science (M.Sc.) Program in Industrial Design, a joint international M.Sc. Program in Design Research for Interaction with Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), and a Ph.D. program in Industrial Design.
As one of the pioneering and leading providers of undergraduate industrial design education, the Department attracts students with the most competitive profile in Turkey. The Department has an educational approach encouraging critical and reflective thinking. Design studios and associated open juries are considered as the core educational environments, where student projects are conducted in collaboration with local, national and international industrial partners from diverse sectors. The Department has for over ten years now staged a graduation projects exhibition at METU, open to the public who have witnessed student work advised by nearly one hundred different participating firms. In recent years, the Department has also taken significant steps towards integrating design considerations for sustainability into its educational approach. Our Department is committed to empower our graduates to become creative, visionary, socially and environmentally aware members of the local and global professional design community.
The aim of our graduate programs is the generation and dissemination of designerly knowledge, tools, techniques and methods based on design research. The graduate programs have contributed to the education and training of design researchers having significant impact on both academia and industry in Turkey and abroad. Since 2003, the METU/BILTIR UTEST Product Usability Unit has been supporting industry-funded research projects carried out by graduate students of the Department. The Design Research for Interaction joint program with TU Delft has created a significant opportunity for international exchange and collaboration, with graduates becoming specialists in research and design for user-product interaction. In addition to pursuing research projects funded by industry or government, our graduate students have also integrated studios as research environments into their theses, for the purpose of developing tools, techniques and methods for improved industrial design education and practice.
The Department has international student and staff exchange agreements with design schools across the world including Australia, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and USA. We are active participants in local design events, competitions, fairs and exhibitions as well as international design events, research symposia and networks. We have hosted a number of international workshops with partner schools from Belgium, Germany, Greece, Israel and the Netherlands. Graduates of METU Department of Industrial Design contribute to the creation of locally and globally renowned products and systems, whilst others fulfill academic leadership positions at industrial design departments across Turkey. METU is recognized as one of the most prestigious educational institutions in Turkey, and it was ranked among the top 15 design institutions in the Americas and Europe region in the Red Dot Design Ranking 2011 Design Concept category.