This course explores a fundamental challenge of embodying a solution in a physical form: what materials and forms are the best choices?

While many technical requirements for creating products define the materials to use and drive product form, designers are also actively defining a company’s brand expression through form and materials. This course looks to examine influences of advanced technology, environmental concerns, and competitive positioning on material and form choices. Topics discussed include: products and performance, craft and maker movement, emotion and brand, and form and material futures.

Learning Objectives
Students will gain a strong understanding for the role materials play in the design of products, the influences on those choices, and how the interplay of form and materials create significant user experiences and beautiful products. Students will gain knowledge of material use as it affects form, brand identity, technology expression, ergonomics, manufacturing methods, and cultural preferences.

Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this course students will be able to:

  • Understand how desired performance drives materials and form
  • Articulate fundamentals of 20th century product form and materials
  • Evaluate the cultural and social implications of product form and material choices
  • Effectively conduct form trends and materials research