Industrial design is a soft science that aims to explore the intrinsic needs and desires of the human being and develop theories and application methods for the design of new products, systems, and services that satisfy such needs. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, industrial design explores knowledge and methods for design development, drawing from plastic art, science, technology, and the humanities. The advancement of science and technology has led to innovation in production technology and materials and has resulted in radical changes in lifestyles. Such rapid change creates incessant demand for new designs for home appliances, office goods, computer and communication equipment, robotic products, automobiles, aircraft, digital media, and environmental systems. In particular, industrial design is taking on a greater role in creating effective and value-added products and systems, from the basic concept development process to the substantiation process. As digital technology expands, the role of designers has grown to focus on user experiences as well as the exterior design of hardware.
As Korea’s first design department to be established in a science and engineering education institute, which occurred in 1986, ID KAIST (the Department of Industrial Design of Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) is a successful model of a systematic approach to design education, research, and commercial collaboration. ID KAIST leads a new paradigm of design-centric creative convergence with outstanding and enthusiastic students and professors from interdisciplinary backgrounds. It currently holds 210 students and faculty members, with around 150 undergraduates, 30 master’s-level students, and 30 Ph.D. students, led by 12 full-time and 10 part-time professors.
Based on the motto “Shape the Future: Design for a Better World,” ID KAIST’s objectives lie in training global design experts who lead the front end of innovation. These experts have the ability to create pioneering businesses and understand hidden human needs, influenced by the science, technology, and society area of inquiry and relying on knowledge of engineering, technology, and human behavior. ID KAIST also aims to serve as a world-leading research-centered design education program by building a multidisciplinary knowledge base.