The core elements of industrial design education at METU Department of Industrial Design are the design studio courses and the open jury system. Taking 12 hours per week each semester, design studio courses aim to deliver professional education via hands-on practice. These are conducted in the four design studios, one for each year of studio education, where every student has their own workspace. Each semester students are expected to carry out a number of design projects, increasing in complexity as students progress through the program. Each project is concluded in an open jury where completed projects are evaluated by a jury composed of department members and professionals from the industry.
The third year Industrial Design studios regularly collaborate with industry partners, communities and civil society organizations for projects that foreground sustainability criteria and participatory practices. Developing an individual design approach, style and context-awareness are educational objectives at this stage.
The fourth year industrial design education focuses on university-industry collaborations with diverse sectors. At the final design studio course before graduation, the Graduation Projects course, each student is expected to develop an individual design project by collaborating with a partner from the industry. The aim is for students to reflect the skills and the individual design approach they have developed throughout their education via a rehearsal of their professional life after graduation. The Graduation Projects Exhibitions have been staged every year since 2002 in the METU Culture and Congress Centre, with extensive participation from the university, industry and alumni.
The design studio courses are accompanied by compulsory courses that provide students with in-depth technical and theoretical knowledge and skills. The curriculum includes courses on visualization and modelling techniques, covering freehand drawing, technical drawing, model making and computer-aided 3D modelling; and theoretical courses on elementary physics, structures, materials, manufacturing techniques, ergonomics and user research, marketing, design management, design history, and cultural and critical aspects of design. The curriculum also includes an extensive range of hands-on and theoretical elective courses that offer specific skills, knowledge and experience, from jewellery design to multimedia design. In addition, students are required to carry out summer practices in manufacturing companies and professional design offices.
The program provides students with design skills and knowledge to cope with diverse problem areas in industrial design without being restricted to fields of specialization. Our graduates are proficient at creatively defining and solving problems, planning and managing the design process, and conducting design-centred research, with an awareness of and sensitivity towards sociocultural and technological contexts.