In 2003, the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design established a new degree of Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design, the first of its kind in a four-state region covering Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and New Mexico.
The Industrial Design program emerged from an established and respected university in one of the largest and most dynamic urban centers: Houston. The resources and environment of this city provide an ideal learning context for the discipline of Industrial Design with resources unique to the metro area, such as NASA, the Texas Medical Center, and diverse industrial entities.
“The Industrial Design program is rapidly taking its place as the premier program. Its award-winning students and faculty add an additional layer of rigor to the college’s platform of integrated disciplines: Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Industrial Design. The degree program in Industrial Design focuses on applied research, critical thinking, technology, and the art of making. Its curriculum emphasizes generative and discovery-oriented learning. Attention to craft and design innovation is further enhanced by a premier digital fabrication facility, the Burdette Keeland, Jr. Design Exploration Lab.” - Dean Patricia Belton Oliver, FAIA
The emerging context of education in the development of digital information technology can be summarized and characterized by the keywords of accessible, flexible, virtual, ubiquitous, connected, collaborative, authentic, and learner-centered. This conceptual frame for understanding the world can be linked to design education and practice.
The education model for the Industrial Design program at the College of Architecture and Design focuses on addressing a new structure of learning by connecting and integrating design knowledge in new, useful, and meaningful ways for the student.
The ID program emphasizes the learner’s generative and discovery-oriented learning, explained in the following design pedagogy:
- Integrated Learning
Today’s rapidly changing world demands Industrial Design students possess a broad base of cross-boundary knowledge and skills enabling them to deal with complex problems more effectively. Integrated learning clarifies the blurred boundaries between design studies and design activities, which include a wide spectrum of social acts and its process.
- Collaborative Learning
Collaborative learning is defined as a learning process emphasizing cooperative efforts between instructors and students. Collaborative learning is an important cognitive strategy based on the social construction of knowledge, which leads to deeper processing and understanding than learning without collaboration.
- Project-oriented Learning
Design learning emphasizes process-oriented problem solving as reflective practice. The practical and pragmatic aspects of design knowledge can be enhanced by a series of workshops and industry-sponsored projects. Implementing design knowledge comes from “learning by doing.”
The program for the Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design degree is a four-year curriculum of at least 132 semester hours. The degree includes the university’s required core curriculum and 19 hours of elective courses. Because of the mutual and overlapping bonds of Architecture, Interior Architecture and Industrial Design, the programs share a common first-semester curriculum.
Students interested in the Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design should follow the procedure for application to the College of Architecture and Design. Degree plans are not official unless/until students meet with their Academic Advisors.
Projects and Recognition
Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) Student Merit Award (SMA) Winners
Top five graduates in the US recognized by IDSA
Arvin Abadilla (2010)
Leo Chen (2011)
Jonathan Seto (2018)
Timothy Joe Undergraduate SMA Winner + Kristi Bartlett Graduate SMA Winner (2019)
International Housewares Association (IHA) Student Design Competition Awards
2nd in 2020: Antoinette Louw "Ruf" Small Dog Protection Vest
1st in 2012, 2013, 2014; 2nd in 2019
UH ID Program Ranked Among Best in the World
Industrial Design Degrees Top 30 (Undergrad): UH ID program ranked #4
Sustainable Products on Viewing During “ID+Green” Showcase
Wearable Technology Highlights UH Industrial Design Showcase
EunSook Kwon, Ph.D.: Director & Professor of the program
Research Areas: design thinking & strategy, healthcare and social impacts
Teaching: junior studio, graduate program
Awards: Most Admired Educators of 2011 and 2015 in architecture, interior design and industrial design by Design Intelligence, Director General of Seoul Design Olympiad 2008
Mark Kimbrough: Associate Professor, Instructional
Research Areas: design branding and practice, design management
Teaching: digital sketching, senior and graduate studio
Awards: IDEA awards, Founder of Design EDGE
Jeff Feng: Associate Professor
Research Areas: medical design, furniture
Teaching: junior and graduate studio, integrated design practice
Awards: IDEA awards, Design Director at Metaphase
Adam Wells: Assistant Professor, Instructional
Research Areas: materials & manufacturing, design research
Teaching: foundation studio, materials & manufacturing, design research
Awards: Most Admired Educators of 2016 in architecture, interior design and industrial design by Design Intelligence
George Chow: Assistant Professor
Research Areas: Sustainable and Social Impact Design, Service Design, Computer-Aided Design
Teaching: sophomore studio, CAID, sustainable design, graduate program
Awards: IDEA, Red Dot, iF awards
Luisa Orto, Ph.D.: Lecturer, Assistant Professor at College of the Arts
Research Areas: Art History and Conservation, Design History
Teaching: Design History I and II
Specialties: Twentieth-Century Italian Art & Design, Scandinavian Art & Design
Gordon Vos, Ph.D.: Adjunct Professor, Human Factors Technical Discipline Lead at NASA
Research Areas: Haman Factors, Human Performance Assessment, Human Systems Integration
Teaching: Human Factors, Advanced Human Factors
Specialties: Integrated research with data analysis and utilization
Kelly McCormick: Lecturer
Professor of Practice and Managing Director of RED Labs at the University of Houston
Research Areas: Entrepreneurship
Teaching: Design Business and Practice
Specialties: Program Director for the NSF I-Corps grant
Don Suttajit: Lecturer
Research Areas: Graphic Design, Branding, Web design
Teaching: Visual Communication