Creativity and technical know-how are the main ingredients of the Industrial Product Design (IPD) programme at Howest University of Applied Sciences, where designers of the future learn in the extensive maker labs of the Industrial Design Center in Kortrijk.
Starting in the 2022 academic year, Howest will offer an English-taught version of the IPD bachelor’s programme to both local and international students. This hands-on design training programme, with sustainability at its core, is the ideal path for those with a curious mind, a love for creating, and a passion for innovative problem solving. In the programme, students can research and develop innovative products and solutions to help make the world a better, more sustainable, and user-friendly place.
“We don’t just teach our students how to solve problems presented to them but also to anticipate potential problems and to always be one step ahead with the solutions.”
Becky Verthé, IPD Academic Director
Designing “things” better together
The IPD is a three-year, professional bachelor’s programme that focuses on both the teaching of fundamental theoretical knowledge and competence-based training. Students are guided by a team of experienced instructors in close collaboration with industry experts.
The IPD curriculum incorporates all phases of the design process, from ideation and concept selection to prototyping, testing and production. Creating a design that is ready for production – materialization lies at the heart of this programme.
In state-of-the-art workshops, students are immersed in a world of creativity where they are encouraged to develop and test their ideas freely. Over the course of three years, students complete countless projects and design assignments and develop their own style which they express through their products.
In the second year, students choose one of three minors in order to focus their attention on the area of design that most interests them.
Design for Identity focuses on the styling and aesthetics of products, with an eye on the consumer.
Design for Industry looks at the more technical aspects of product design and develops understanding of the engineering details of production.
While impact is never far from a designer’s mind, the minor in Design for Impact allows students to address bigger-picture issues, including sustainability models, to help counter the real-world problems of today and tomorrow.
Unique in Flanders and Beyond
“When asking students to explain the difference between the programme at Howest and other schools they, of course, mention the advanced prototyping and accessible facilities. But the thing they come back to over and over is the extensive teamwork. In other schools, design is seen as individual work whereas we see it and promote it as teamwork. The unique approach to teamwork combined with extensive collaborations with companies allow the students to feel like they are truly professionals in the making.”
Becky Verthé, IPD Academic Director
Year after year, students from Howest’s IPD programme are recognized for the outstanding quality of their work.
Throughout the programme there are numerous opportunities to connect with experts in the field, and the extensive professional network of the instructors, combined with the programme’s solid reputation for producing quality candidates, plays no small part in ensuring an impressive array of internship possibilities and a high level of job security after graduation. Students in IPD are also provided with international exchange opportunities.
State-of-the-art Industrial Design Center
Courses for Industrial Product Design are given at the Industrial Design Center on the Howest campus in Kortrijk, a UNESCO City of Design and a place brimming with historical and cultural heritage.
Surrounded by established industry names and forward-thinking start-ups, the modern campus at the heart of Kortrijk provides the perfect environment to spark students’ creativity.
Representing more than 25 years of product design experience, the Industrial Design Center (IDC) is an open knowledge center for both Howest University of Applied Sciences and Ghent University, and brings experts from the worlds of industry, research, and education together to make and co-create.
“I chose IPO because of the great impact you can have on the environment and society as a whole, because you can motivate and encourage people through the products you design.”
J. Depuydt, student
For more information, you can find the complete programme here: Industrial Product Design at Howest.
For a taste of what IPD students at Howest get up to, visit their website or find them on Instagram at @howestipo, or visit the Howest website for information on all the other English-taught programmes offered.