“Product design” refers to the design of mass-produced items (products).
Students must be aware that this field also includes the design of intangible “things” related to the lifestyles, emotions and other characteristics of the people who use them.
First-Year ― Obtaining necessary skills while cultivating perspectives and compositional abilities
Because product design involves work with products that are deeply related to people, emotional aspects, individual and family lifestyles, society as a whole and other such factors, designers must have a deep interest in society and people in general while also possessing the ability to identify and solve problems. During first-year studies, students learn about people, society, design and other specialized areas centering on product design while simultaneously cultivating skills necessary for product design work (drafting, sketching, modeling, etc.). More specifically, students work with products such as tape cutters during the first semester, and during the second semester they work with home appliances, kitchen tools and other, more difficult themes that carry restrictions based on operation and place of use, experiencing all steps of the design process from conception to completion of mockups. We cultivate foundational elements that are also necessities in the product design field—including perspectives and compositional abilities—while also helping students build their portfolios with an eye toward future employment.
Creating works in accordance with specified conditions and restrictions in order to enhance skills further
Second-year students pursue research and design efforts further based on compositional abilities, knowledge and expressive abilities cultivated during their first year of study. For example, one class may require students to think deeply about the meaning of hakaru (meaning measure, weigh, estimate, plan, etc.) and then create a design based on that concept, or else to design a piece of playground equipment that takes contribution to society into consideration as well as place of use, target age range and so forth. In other words, our classes enable students to experience real-life processes encountered in product design workplaces in order to understand what is expected of them as designers and how designers solve the various challenges with which they are faced. During the second semester, students take on three different subjects at once: Each of these revolves around a unique theme and demands different skills from students, and this period can be quite challenging for students because the three different subjects must be taken on simultaneously. However, students can utilize 100% of what they learn in future endeavors. Each student has the opportunity to search out new approaches to product design through creation of actual works.