Introducing New Design Disciplines into a Traditional Industrial Design Program


Millennial, Service Design, Transformation Design, Experience Design, Sustainable Design


The disciplines of design and design research are rapidly transforming. Sanders and Stappers (2013) illustrate how traditional design disciplines focused on product are being replaced with emerging disciplines focusing on “people in the context of their lives.” As an industry veteran and experienced design educator, I am well versed in the traditional method of effectively making consumer-oriented objects, but in the rapidly evolving world of contemporary design this expertise seemingly becomes less relevant each year. This paper reviews the quiet reframing of our sponsored third year industrial design studio course to explore aspects of emerging design disciplines, sharing five student projects that demonstrate the natural evolution in mindset from product-oriented to context-oriented problem definitions. Finally, it discusses how these emerging disciplines align with the values of the millennial generation and the importance educators include training in new disciplines to remain relevant in the contemporary design world.

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date





Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor