Program Overview

Interested in design? Engineering? Art or science? The Industrial Design course is a hands-on summer program for high school students. It explores the potential of design not only in objects and spaces but in thinking, methodology, and ways of seeing. As students form a philosophical foundation from which to design, they will investigate not only the “how?” but also the “why?” of the discipline. Through hands on making and experimentation, students approach projects conceptually, considering the goal of the project as well as the “peripheral” outcomes – constantly putting their work in the context of the world.

Industrial Design students in lab
Summer College students in Industrial Design lab

Physical prototyping and building are supplemented by group discussions and explorations of contemporary trends and concepts within the design world. Students analyze examples from the marketplace and work through guided investigations of their design and manufacturing processes. These precedents help guide the students’ own design development as they work toward the realization of new product prototypes, transforming from consumers into future designers.

Working closely with their professor, students are guided through a design development practice typical of contemporary design studios. Ideation, development, and prototyping are introduced as steps in a cyclical, iterative process. In the ideation phase, students learn to brainstorm and build upon ideas by sketching new forms and functions. They work both individually and in small groups to analyze the form and usability of their ideas, working past obvious solutions and generating the seeds of meaningful design proposals. In the development and prototyping phases, these design ideas are tested, revised, and developed, moving from sketches into models and functional prototypes. As each class comes to a close students fabricate their designs, creating working products that embody the design thinking and formal poetry they have developed during the course.

I had no idea what industrial design was going into the class and I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it, but I tried it and I ended up finding out that industrial design is a really interesting subject! It deals with designing products for people. It’s kind of like going behind the scenes and making an impact on the things people use in their everyday lives, and I just thought that was really cool. The teacher showed us a fascinating video on what industrial designers do and he gave us great projects. He gave us feedback on our work and helped us improve. Also, he wanted us to leave the class with stuff we could use for a portfolio which I really liked that they did! Summer College was a great experience because I got a taste for what college life is like. We had a substantial amount of free time and we had to budget our own time and decide for ourselves what we wanted to do with that time. That is what college students have to do and it is not easy, but going to Summer College let me experience that first-hand and try it out before it happens to me for real.   -Rubin P., Summer College Industrial Design student, 2018.

Program Objectives

  • Expand your design portfolio
  • Exercise the design process
  • Going from art to part
  • Discover passion of design
  • Learn to see and exercise high level of craft
  • Envision and realize ideas

Learn more about Industrial Design:

Program Dates & Details Eligibility Requirements Program Cost Program Requirements Typical Day Faculty Bios

Program Dates & Details

Session Dates

Session I: June 29 – July 12, 2019
Duration: 2-weeks


Credit: Noncredit
Grading System: Pass/Fail

Eligibility Requirements

Students must be a minimum of 15 years of age by the orientation and move-in date. For full Summer College admission requirements, view the Admissions Overview and Eligibility page.

Apply Now!

Program Cost

Program Costs:

  • Residential: $3,360*
  • Commuter: $2,566*

*Please visit our Program Costs page for more detailed information. Program rates are subject to change and will be approved by the board of trustees in March.

Program Requirements

Student Expectations

This is an academically rigorous, college-level program. Students are expected to complete nightly homework assignments and actively participate in group projects. Students are expected to attend all classes every day, arrive on time, and meet all academic obligations. Free time will vary as each program is unique, as is the subsequent workload.

Typical Day

Tentative Schedule

Students at their final exhibition
Students at their final exhibition

This class runs Monday – Friday, for the two-week duration. From 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. students will sketch ideas, work on design projects, presenting design work, and build a working prototype.

When class is over, and on weekends, students can look forward to various Summer College trips and activities. Check out our Campus Activities page for more information!

End Event

The program offers an end event to showcase the students’ designs. This end event will be held during the last day of class on Friday, July 12, 2019. Parents are welcome to attend! There will be coffee and donuts!

Final Academic Obligation

Students are permitted to leave on Friday, July 12, 2019 after 4:30pm upon the completion of the end event. If students have any questions regarding their final academic obligation, we encourage them to reach out to their instructor. Please refer to the Move-Out page for important information regarding the checkout process.

Faculty Bio

Ralf Schneider – Assistant Professor, School of Design

Ralf Schneider is an assistant professor of industrial and interaction design in the School of Design, College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University. As a designer and design educator, he offers combined European and American design values.

Prior to coming to Syracuse University, Schneider was an assistant professor at the Wentworth Institute of Technology (WIT) in Boston and taught industrial design coursework at the University of Cincinnati (DAAP).

Schneider earned a diploma in product design at the Kunsthochschule Berlin Weißensee in Berlin, Germany. A competitive stipend from the German government (Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst) supported graduate coursework at the University of Cincinnati (UC), where Schneider was awarded a master in design degree in 2005. He worked as an associate director/senior design researcher at the Live Well Collaborative, founded by Procter & Gamble and UC with a unique mission to foster the collaborative, interdisciplinary design process between industry leaders and academia. In this role Schneider worked with Hill-Rom and P&G on various projects.

Schneider is interested in solving complex problems with interdisciplinary teams. His current research focuses on factors that influence creativity, as well as design technology.