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Product Design Curriculum

All programs’ curricula are developed in response to Program Learning Outcomes, which signify what students learn within a degree program or emphasis area. All program learning outcomes respond to overarching Institutional Learning Outcomes. View the Product Design program learning outcomes here

Show All Foundation Course Descriptions
Fall - Foundation (Show All)
Course Course Number Credits
Life Drawing I FNDT180 3
Life Drawing I

Sequenced instruction provides rigorous training in the use of gesture, anatomy, and structural figure drafting. Drawing the human figure from the inside out fosters an understanding of complex visual relationships. Upon completion of the course, students are able to analyze the human form and to view it as a complex perceptual model for the larger realm of visual experience.

Principles of Design FNDT115 2
Principles of Design

This course is a sequenced investigation of various organizing principles using traditional and contemporary media. Students learn fundamentals of value manipulation as determinants of visual order. Elements of visual literacy provide a basis for the study of compositional fundamentals, including focal point(s), directional elements, and visual weight.

Lab fee $30

Drawing and Building Form FNDT160 3
Drawing and Building Form

Students study form in both two-dimensional rendering and three-dimensional building through drawing and building objects. Skills of relational measurement, compositional organization, and the placement of form in space inform both drawing and form-building activities. Drawing techniques such as perspective and isometric projection facilitate successful form generation.

Writing in the Digital Age ENGL107 3
Writing in the Digital Age

Students will explore the ongoing cultural, technological and social changes that impact our ways of reading and writing, and what does it mean to be literate in the digital world. A minimum grade of "C" (2.0) is required to pass this course.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of ENGL090 or placement through the Writing Placement Assessment.

Introduction to Visual Culture AHCS120 3
Introduction to Visual Culture

Introduces issues and theories that are critical to the field of Visual Culture and representation in art and design.

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Spring - Foundation (Show All)
Course Course Number Credits
Life Drawing II or
Creative Practices and Responses
FNDT182 or
FNDT171
3
Life Drawing II

Structural drawing and perceptual skills are expanded through study of the figure's relation to environment, life-scale, movement, and draping. Students discover individual sensibilities of mark making and aspects of personal vision, through a variety of traditional and experimental drawing media and techniques.

Prerequisite: FNDT180 Life Drawing I
Recommended for students planning to select Digital Media, Fashion Design or Toy Design as their major.

Creative Practices and Responses

A second-semester Foundation course focused on exploring practices of creativity that bridge art/ design disciplines. Students are exposed to a diverse range of concepts, materials, and methods for working creatively. In class activities promote the documentation of individual creative processes and the synthesis of intuitive, culturally constructed, and personal impulses into inventive visual responses. Recommended for students planning to select Product Design as their major.

Connections through Color and Design CAIL101 3
Connections through Color and Design

A second-semester Creative Action studio course introducing students to contextually-based problem solving using fundamentals of color and design. Students learn Munsell color theory and practical aspects of color mixing such as value, hue and chroma. Students apply these skills in solving problems that engage the larger community, transdisciplinary practice, research, and collaboration.

Drawing Studio or
Form and Space
FNDT192 or
FNDT161
2
Drawing Studio

Students transfer and expand on acquired skills from Drawing and Building Form with the addition of color, problem finding, complexity of idea, and the introduction of Adobe Illustrator as a compositional tool. Acquisition of research skills, an exploration of modern and contemporary notions of cityscape and landscape, and the introduction of more varied drawing media fosters students' realization of aspects of personal vision.

Prerequisite: FNDT160 Drawing and Building Form

Form and Space

Students employ acquired skills transferred from Drawing and Building Form to explore and exploit materials as well as to discover unique processes in creating novel form. The study of three-dimensional design expands to encompass meaning construction, composition and research as students engage the more complex issues of form and space.

Prerequisite: FNDT160 Drawing and Building Form
Recommended for students planning to select A/L/I, Fashion Design or Product Design as their major.

Elective FNDT145 1
Elective

Foundation year students can pick any Foundation Elective to fulfil this requirement. See the department or the Course Catalog for more information.

Birth of the Modern AHCS121 3
Birth of the Modern

Explores the key issues, problems, and events in art, history, music, literature, science, and design associated with and resulting from the social and cultural changes that occurred in the modern world.

Ways of Knowing LIBS114 3
Ways of Knowing

An interdisciplinary theme/issue driven project based course for first year students. This course will be paired with another course in a different discipline that is exploring a similar issue/theme. See Department for course offerings.

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Show All Sophomore Year Course Descriptions
Fall - Sophomore (Show All)
Course Course Number Credits
Product Design Studio I PRDS200 3
Product Design Studio I

Students master the elements of visual literacy and the organizational principals of design and apply them to translating ideas into form. Design intent is emphasized through the meaningful manipulation of line, plane, volume, value, texture and color in 2D and 3D projects. Students present their work in a series of critique sessions to faculty and industry professionals. 

Integrated Design Creative Process I PRDS220 2
Integrated Design Creative Process I

Students develop their individual creative process through the exploration and manipulation of materials and methods to express a visual response to a theme or content. Demonstrations and hands-on projects expose students to a variety of materials and methods as means to stimulate curiosity, exploration, invention and solution finding and developing an aesthetic eye and personal vision. Students begin to organize and integrate their work into a portfolio adn webstie. 

Visual Communication I PRDS252 3
Visual Communication I

This project-based studio develops hand-drawing skills as a core skill and primary tool in the ideation process and communication. Students develop skills in sketching and rendering with emphasis on form, perspective, dimensionality, and surface characteristics. Students explore varied media techniques to foster personal vision and style. Course projects complement the main Design Studio I/II projects.
Co-requisites: PRDS200/201 Design Studio

Digital Design I PRDS272 2
Digital Design I

This course integrates 2D graphics and 3D computer-aided-design (CAD) as a means to communicate ideas and as a process for design and digital modeling. The emphasis of Digital Design I is the use of graphic design as a means to complement hand drawing skills. Students learn to integrate layout, typography, image manipulation, and storytelling, as a means to communicate and persuade. Digital Design II focuses on 3D (CAD) as a means to translate visual ideas into technical and three dimensional renderings that can be used for rapid prototyping, laser cutting and CNC equipment to produce parts for fabrication and model building. In class projects complement the main Design Studio I/II projects.
Co-requisites: PRDS200/201 Design Studio I/II

History of Product Design AHCS225 3
History of Product Design

An introduction to the relationship between design and functionality in objects with an emphasis on understanding designed objects in their broad sociocultural context. (Required for all Product Design majors.) 

Creative Action Lecture * CAIL200 3
Creative Action Lecture
Creative Action Liberal Arts electives enable students to work in transdisciplinary teams with a community partner. Emphasizing collaborative methodology, synthesizing diverse perspectives, creativity, critical thinking, clear communication, and information literacy, students engage in issues that extend beyond the traditional classroom. See department for course offerings.
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Spring - Sophomore (Show All)
Course Course Number Credits
Product Design Studio II PRDS201 3
Product Design Studio II

Students master the elements of visual literacy and the organizational principals of design and apply them to translating ideas into form. Design intent is emphasized through the meaningful manipulation of line, plane, volume, value, texture and color in 2D and 3D projects. Students present their work in a series of critique sessions to faculty and industry professionals. 

Integrated Design Creative Process II PRDS221 2
Integrated Design Creative Process II

Students develop their individual creative process through the exploration and manipulation of materials and methods to express a visual response to a theme or content. Demonstrations and hands-on projects expose students to a variety of materials and methods as means to stimulate curiosity, exploration, invention and solution finding and developing an aesthetic eye and personal vision. Students begin to organize and intergrate their work into a portfolio and website. 

Visual Communication II PRDS253 2
Visual Communication II

This project-based studio develops hand-drawing skills as a core skill and primary tool in the ideation process and communication. Students develop skills in sketching and rendering with emphasis on form, perspective, dimensionality, and surface characteristics. Students explore varied media techniques to foster personal vision and style. Course projects complement the main Design Studio I/II projects.
Co-requisites: PRDS200/201 Design Studio

Digital Design II PRDS273 3
Digital Design II

This course integrates 2D graphics and 3D computer-aided-design (CAD) as a means to communicate ideas and as a process for design and digital modeling. The emphasis of Digital Design I is the use of graphic design as a means to complement hand drawing skills. Students learn to integrate layout, typography, image manipulation, and storytelling, as a means to communicate and persuade. Digital Design II focuses on 3D (CAD) as a means to translate visual ideas into technical and three dimensional renderings that can be used for rapid prototyping, laser cutting and CNC equipment to produce parts for fabrication and model building. In class projects complement the main Design Studio I/II projects.
Co-requisites: PRDS200/201 Design Studio I/II

Contemporary Issues AHCS220 3
Contemporary Issues

Addresses a variety of issues in art, design, film, and culture from 1960 to the present. Students may focus on fine art, mass media, or design, or popular culture. More than one course may be available, see the Course Catalog and consult the department and/or your advisor for more information.

LAS Sophomore Elective * LIBS214 3
LAS Sophomore Elective

More than one course may be available, see the Course Catalog and consult the department and/or your advisor for more information.

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Show All Junior Course Descriptions
Fall - Junior (Show All)
Course Course Number Credits
Product Design Studio III PRDS302 3
Product Design Studio III

This intermediate level project-based studio is divided into three areas of study; hard goods (durable products), soft goods (non-durable products) and package design and the various families of materials and processes involved in these areas of study. Students select one on the three areas of study per semester. In all three areas, a professional designer (mentor) presents a design problem to be solved for a target market or consumer group. Students learn to research the user experience, identify solutions, and develop wellconceived and well executed ideas, and present their concepts for critique to professionals. 

Integrated Design-Design Thinking III PRDS320 2
Integrated Design-Design Thinking III

Focuses on the process of creativity to enhance personal vision, creative insight, problem solving and innovative thinking. Through a series of projects, students learn to think laterally and express their ideas through the integration of lifecycle research, resourcing, art and design processes, materials and methods and various technologies.

Product Development Studio I PRDS332 3
Product Development Studio I

This project-based course introduces the development cycle of products after the design cycle has been completed. In the first semester, emphasis is placed on preparing products for domestic and overseas manufacturing and requirements related to safety, performance and user experience. In the second semester, student advance their product development skills and learn marketing and distribution strategies, branding, and line extensions.

Digital Design III PRDS370 2
Digital Design III

An advanced computer lab intended to build upon principles introduced in Digital Design II. Students explore various 3D software applications to expand CAD design skills and the use of computer program output information for computer-aided rapid prototyping technology, fabrication methods and presentation.
Co-requisites: PRDS302/303 Design Studio III/IV 

Math for Artists and Designers * MATH136 3
Math for Artists and Designers

Explores the connections between math and art in two and three dimensions. The class includes an exploration of Escher’s work, tiling the plane, fractals, and the golden ratio. It also covers topics such as graphing equations and geometric constructions.

LAS Upper Division Elective LIBS314 3
LAS Upper Division Elective

This course can be an upper division Art History or upper division Liberal Studies elective. See the Course Catalog (pdf) for examples of upper division elective offerings or see the Department and/or your Adviser for more information.

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Spring - Junior (Show All)
Course Course Number Credits
Product Design Studio IV PRDS303 3
Product Design Studio IV

This intermediate level project-based studio is divided into three areas of study; hard goods (durable products), soft goods (non-durable products) and package design and the various families of materials and processes involved in these areas of study. Students select one on the three areas of study per semester. In all three areas, a professional designer (mentor) presents a design problem to be solved for a target market or consumer group. Students learn to research the user experience, identify solutions, and develop wellconceived and well executed ideas, and present their concepts for critique to professionals. 

Integrated Design-Design Thinking IV PRDS321 2
Integrated Design-Design Thinking IV

Focuses on the process of creativity to enhance personal vision, creative insight, problem solving and innovative thinking. Through a series of projects, students learn to think laterally and express their ideas through the integration of lifecycle research, resourcing, art and design processes, materials and methods and various technologies. 

Product Development Studio II PRDS333 3
Product Development Studio II

This project-based course introduces the development cycle of products after the design cycle has been completed. In the first semester, emphasis is placed on preparing products for domestic and overseas manufacturing and requirements related to safety, performance and user experience. In the second semester, student advance their product development skills and learn marketing and distribution strategies, branding, and line extensions. 

Creative Action Studio * CAIL300 2
Creative Action Studio

An upper-division interdisciplinary studio course offering unique core content that shifts from term to term. This studio affords students the opportunity to engage with professionals from various fields and expand their notion of problem solving beyond their major in public site real world challenges.

A limited choice of CAIL300 courses will count for the Sustainability Minor.
Please see the Interdisciplinary Studies Director.

Social Science * SSCI210 3
Social Science

More than one course may be available, see the Course Catalog and consult the department and/or your advisor for more information.

Anatomy & Ergonomics: Human Factors NSCI319 3
Anatomy & Ergonomics: Human Factors

Uses the principles of physics to understand human anatomy as a mechanical system. Emphasis is placed on physiological issues related to age, gender, and physical disabilities. Consideration is also given to the implications of these principles for applied ergonomics. (Required for Product Design majors.) 

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Show All Senior Course Descriptions
Fall - Senior (Show All)
Course Course Number Credits
Product Design Studio V PRDS402 3
Product Design Studio V

This is an advanced level project-based studio course. In the first semester, a visiting industry professional (mentor) presents a design project(s) to be solved and work with the faculty to guide and critique the student work. In the second semester students create their own capstone design project from ideation through to a prototype and work with faculty and partner with industry professionals for guidance and critique. 

Integrated Design - Advanced Design Thinking V PRDS420 2
Integrated Design - Advanced Design Thinking V

This course explores emerging technologies and interaction design based upon user experience research. Students apply functional analysis techniques, task and user modeling methodologies that lead to strategic thinking and validating their designs. Emphasis is on developing a proficiency in communicating and presenting complex information in simple terms for client presentation and product development. In class projects complement the main Design Studio and capstone project.
Co-requisites: PRDS 402/403 Design Studio V/VI 

Advanced Product Development Studio III PRDS432 3
Advanced Product Development Studio III

An advanced project-based studio course that focuses on new project management methodologies related the development cycle of products from design through to the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of the product. Students develop a project development plan for their own projects and present it to industry professionals. In the second semester, students work with professional mentors in applying product development methods in the fabrication of their own projects. 

Digital Design IV PRDS472 3
Digital Design IV

The course focuses on a wide range of strategies and skills required to organize accumulated work into a market-ready professional portfolio, website, or presentation. Emphasis is on developing a proficiency in tactical presentation strategies that deliver impact with visual and rhetorical force that will persuade the audience. In-class projects complement the main Design Studio, capstone project and Senior Show projects. 

Capstone LIBS440 3
Capstone

A required senior- level course where students identify and critically reflect on a theme that intersects with their own studio practice, discipline, and/or identity and their work in Liberal Studies. The Capstone is the signature course and culminating expression of the Liberal Arts program.

A minimum grade of “C-" or better is required to pass this course.

Note that Creative Writing, Art History, Cultural Studies, Sustainability minors, and Fine Arts majors take specific Capstones. Please see department for courses.

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Spring - Senior (Show All)
Course Course Number Credits
Product Design Studio VI PRDS403 3
Product Design Studio VI

This is an advanced level project-based studio course. In the first semester, a visiting industry professional (mentor) presents a design project(s) to be solved and work with the faculty to guide and critique the student work. In the second semester students create their own capstone design project from ideation through to a prototype and work with faculty and partner with industry professionals for guidance and critique. 

Integrated Design - Advanced Design Thinking VI PRDS421 2
Integrated Design - Advanced Design Thinking VI

This course explores emerging technologies and interaction design based upon user experience research. Students apply functional analysis techniques, task and user modeling methodologies that lead to strategic thinking and validating their designs. Emphasis is on developing a proficiency in communicating and presenting complex information in simple terms for client presentation and product development. In class projects complement the main Design Studio and capstone project.
Co-requisites: PRDS 402/403 Design Studio V/VI 

Advanced Product Development Studio IV PRDS433 3
Advanced Product Development Studio IV

An advanced project-based studio course that focuses on new project management methodologies related the development cycle of products from design through to the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of the product. Students develop a project development plan for their own projects and present it to industry professionals. In the second semester, students work with professional mentors in applying product development methods in the fabrication of their own projects. 

Digital Design V PRDS473 2
Digital Design V

The course focuses on a wide range of strategies and skills required to organize accumulated work into a market-ready professional portfolio, website, or presentation. Emphasis is on developing a proficiency in tactical presentation strategies that deliver impact with visual and rhetorical force that will persuade the audience. In-class projects complement the main Design Studio, capstone project and Senior Show projects. 

LAS Upper Division Elective LIBS314 3
LAS Upper Division Elective

This course can be an upper division Art History or upper division Liberal Studies elective. See the Course Catalog (pdf) for examples of upper division elective offerings or see the Department and/or your Adviser for more information.

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* These courses may be taken during the fall or spring semester.


The curriculum displayed is meant to provide an overview of the current semester’s offerings in this department; it does not represent all degree requirements for the Major or Area of Emphasis. These can be found in each student’s Course Catalog (identified by the year in which one would have entered the college as a Foundation student), which can be found here. If you have questions regarding your specific curricular requirements and/or Course Catalog, please contact Academic Advisement Coordinator Carrie Malcom at cmalcom@otis.edu or (310) 846-2550.