Design PF

Industrial Design: The program

‚IT`S SO TASTY‘ by Antonia Doering, 2020/21

We want to enable our future industrial designers to work independently and innovatively and guide them to develop their creative potential backed up by sound knowledge. The basis for this is laid by the teaching of artistic design, art, cultural and media sciences.

We impart an understanding of entrepreneurial contexts, brands and marketing as well as the necessary legal foundations. In addition, technology and engineering aspects of product development, ergonomics and human-machine interface are part of the curriculum.

Our students learn to carry out design projects independently and with clearly defined time and result targets, we familiarize them with methods of information procurement, development and documentation of solution steps. Modern design, presentation and working techniques also quickly become part of their repertoire. Theoretical knowledge is tested in practical project work, and networked work as well as the ability to work in a team are trained in interdisciplinary courses, which are an integral part of the training.  

‚In Control‘ by Norman Ganter, 2021/22

Since especially in the field of industrial design the representation of complex ideas by means of scribbles, renderings, technical sketches and CAD models, as well as the transfer of technical data is of great importance, these areas are taught in detail and practically by specialists. Our school also has excellently equipped workshops and production machines that enable design ideas to be implemented and tested directly as visual models.

Interdisciplinary work is explicitly encouraged and also promoted through cooperation with renowned company partners and universities. In international comparison, German Industrial Design and the education of its students have an outstanding reputation. The Industrial Design program in Pforzheim has a great tradition, first-class connections and cooperations, and successfully demonstrates its capabilities every semester in a large show of work.

Study focus CLASSICS and DIGITAL

Starting with the winter semester 2022/2023, we will offer two models for entering the program:

Focus DIGITAL: without pre-internship

As part of this program focus, students can use digital model-making techniques (3D printing). They take part in the digital workshop course and complete their models by hand in the workshops, avoiding work on special machines.

‚Darstallungstechnik 2 - Sketch - Mices‘ by Niko Mergenthaler
‚Baumhaus‘ by Beate Killi, 2011

Focus CLASSIC: with 6 months of pre-study internship 

After successful completion of the preliminary internship, students take part in both the analog and digital workshop course. Afterwards, they can make full use of the ID workshops for model making and/or also use digital model making techniques (3D printing).

The 6-month preliminary internship can be completed in the following companies: 
1.) entirely in a model making company, or
2.) two or more months in a model making company, the remaining time in a woodworking company (joinery, carpentry, carpentry, woodturning, restoration company).

In justified exceptional cases and with prior approval by the study program and the examination office, a 6-month preliminary internship in one (or two) woodworking companies can also be recognized in individual cases.

Note on starting the study program: The study program can only be started after the pre-study internship has been completed. After passing the qualifying examination, you will therefore still complete the preliminary internship first and then start the first semester, i.e. you must include the duration of the internship between the qualifying examination and matriculation when planning your start of studies. 

Example: If you apply to us by the application deadline of October 30 and still have to complete the pre-study internship after the qualifying examination, you will not start your first semester in the summer semester, but only in the following winter semester.

Course of studies

Design is not possible without a deep understanding of function and technical possibilities in the self-image of the course. Design theory, manufacturing technology, materials technology and innovative technical possibilities are therefore covered in detail. However, despite all the specialist knowledge, the focus is on applicability to the daily tasks of the designer - the course content is practical and meets the requirements of working as an industrial designer. The close network, the industry contacts and the projects carried out together with companies enable the course of studies to train designers in a way that is up-to-date and practical for industry.

Industrial Design at Pforzheim University offers in-depth knowledge, particularly with regard to the human-machine / human-environment interfaces, and carries out practice-oriented research and projects. Ergonomics and usability are as much in the foreground as averting risks, increasing efficiency and sustainability in terms of the environment and individual health. Joint projects with partner universities, projects with industry and interdisciplinary work within the university enable an intensive exchange and a high standard of education.

In the projects, independent design approaches, form languages and solution strategies are developed and implemented with the help of the design tools learned. The tasks of the projects are always practice-oriented, cooperation with companies, institutions and / or other departments is desired. In the project work, the major design project of each semester, new product concepts are developed and implemented in design on the basis of intensive research and analysis. 

The course teaches all phases of the design process from planning to conception and design to realization. Interdisciplinary projects with other courses of study at the university (engineering, business administration and law) or with partners from industry train communication skills, interdisciplinary work and the ability to work in a team. Short projects with major design firms and special short projects round off the training.

The internship semester in the 5th semester is an integral part of the program, it is supervised by the program and flanked with supporting teaching offers. During the practical semester, the student gains practice-oriented insights into later professional life. He/she works actively in companies on design-relevant tasks and documents the results. A stay abroad during the course of study is expressly encouraged, as it provides invaluable experience for the student and broadens his/her perspective and refines his/her design approach.

Applicants need a good spatial and perspective understanding, drawing skills, an interest in materials, and above all, enthusiasm for intelligently designed products. Craftsmanship and prior knowledge of working with metals, plastics and wood are beneficial, but will also be taught during the internships.