Within its unique approach, this Bachelor's degree program provides emerging designers with a dynamic inter-disciplinary education that links innovation and creativity through the transformation of ideas into marketable products.
KPU's Product Design degree provides a rigorous, hands-on education that combines a solid foundation in practical design principles such as construction and economics with design, with manufacturing and marketing. Whether engaging in robust academic studies, intensive design studio sessions or collaborating with industry partners, graduates of this program complete their studies poised for success as professionals.
While product design covers a wide range of industries, KPU's program provides particular emphasis on the design and manufacture of recreational gear and technical goods, sportswear and accessories, protective, safety and rescue equipment to name a few. Students will also explore product design in medical, industrial and technological contexts as well as everyday consumer goods. These types of products are consistent and growing in demand by all sectors of society, ranging from children, adults and seniors to persons with disabilities and medical needs.
KPU faculty's strength and expertise provides a world-class balance of academic rigour and instruction with hands-on, practical immersion from industry leaders and cutting-edge innovators. The Product Design program has been carefully developed to uphold high academic standards and industry partnerships to ensure our graduates meet the needs of the global economy. Successful graduates develop a deep understanding of the connection between product design, industry, and the market and are empowered to undertake leadership positions in design practices aimed at advancing the industry.
The stunning geography of British Columbia provides the perfect backdrop to earn a Product Design degree. Working in collaboration with professional associations and industry designers, graduates can expect to develop and design products that are relevant for Canadian and international economies, providing innovative solutions for emerging needs that can improve people's everyday lives and well-being.
Product Design is a four-year, selective entry degree program consisting of 120 credits of course work organized into eight semesters of full-time study. The Product Design program provides an interdisciplinary education that consists of three major streams: Creativity and Innovation, Technology, Interdisciplinary and Leadership, all woven into an integrated curriculum and timetable.
Students will develop knowledge, skills and abilities from a variety of domains within these three streams that link design and technology to an understanding of social, cultural and historical contexts through elective access to the wide range of courses available. Students will become skilled in applying design theory and processes with an emphasis on critical thinking and creative problem solving, and originate and produce products that focus on transforming pliable materials, such as natural and synthetic fibres, wood, and metal; understanding the constraints and potential of digital technologies; collaborating with industries and markets; and creating responsible leaders in society for the challenges of today and tomorrow.
Credit for Previous Learning
Students may be eligible to obtain credit for segments of the Product Design program with results from courses taken in other programs at KPU, or at another institution. All applications for the transfer of credits will be assessed on an individual basis.
If you are an applicant with professional experience in the product design industry we welcome your inquiry about how you may acquire credits through Prior Learning Assessment (PLA). All applications for the transfer of credits are assessed on an individual basis, typically through a portfolio and interview process. For more information how to apply for transfer credits or PLA, visit kpu.ca/transfercredit.html.
Who Studies Product Design?
Applicants to design programs come from diverse backgrounds and age groups. You may be applying to the Product Design program as a graduate from high school, or you may be transferring from another KPU program, or from another institution, or you may be a design professional, wanting to upgrade your credentials. We'd be delighted to receive your application and discuss your possible educational pathway with you.
Perhaps your background includes an active interest in recreation, sports, dance, special occupations or an ambition to improve the design of items related to these pursuits. Or, perhaps you are an entrepreneur wanting to improve the quality of life for groups under-represented by product design. Your creative skills might be in drawing, painting, photography, computer graphics, sculpture, crafts and other 3D work. You might simply be inventive and enjoy making gadgets and taking them apart. Whatever your profile, you are likely to be a risk-taker, problem-solver, willing to push boundaries, able to work independently and in teams, and engage in a rigorous design education.
It is strongly recommended that you have basic skills in English communication, word processing, basic mathematics, plus an awareness of product design, with ideas about how to improve current products and processes – in Canada and internationally.
Because of the varied profiles of our applicants, we will work with you to construct an educational pathway suitable to your goals. Our aim is to ensure that your time at KPU is enriching and enjoyable.
Product design is an evolving design field. Locally, however, there are many very successful companies in Vancouver, known around the world for excellence in recreational and technical gear. There are also many opportunities that students might consider, overseas, in countries noted for manufacture of these items.
Upon graduation, you will have produced an extensive portfolio of innovative work, including a major research and development project that combines all the skills and knowledge necessary for this field. You would be prepared for such careers as:
- Product designer
- Industrial designer
- Product developer
- Product buyer
- Product production supervisor
- Environmental designer
- Packaging designer
You could work independently as a consultant, an entrepreneur, as a staff designer for an existing design studio, retailer, or manufacturer.
Faculty's website: kpu.ca/design
Department's website: kpu.ca/productdesign
In addition to the Faculty's Admission Requirements, which consist of KPU's undergraduate English Proficiency Requirement, the following program admission requirements apply:
- Portfolio Review and Interview Session
- Qualified applicants will receive an invitation to the required Portfolio Review and Interview session. Alternative arrangements are possible for students who live outside the Greater Vancouver Region and who cannot attend in person. It is, however, in the best interest of applicants to make every effort to attend in person.
During the portfolio and interview process, faculty members evaluate each applicant for suitability for admission.
The Bachelor of Design, Product Design (DEPD) program consists of 120 credits, organized into eight full-time semesters, over a four-year period.
You may complete electives and other general education courses prior to entering the program, or at any time during your program. See "Electives" below.
Note: DEPD courses are assessed Tuition Category 2.a.3 tuition and fees for domestic students.
|DEPD 1100||Studio 1: Design Methods||3|
|DEPD 1110||Visualization for Product Design||3|
|DEPD 1130||Design Thinking||3|
|DEPD 1140||Model Making||3|
|ENGL 1100||Introduction to University Writing 1||3|
|DEPD 1220||Digital Technologies for Product Design||3|
|DEPD 1240||Computer Fundamentals||3|
|DEPD 1250||Construction Technologies||3|
|FIND 1150||Designing for Humanity||3|
|FIND 1220||Design History: 19th Century Onward||3|
|DEPD 2310||Studio 2: Design Content||6|
|DEPD 2320||Material Technology||3|
|DEPD 2330||Transformative Thinking for Product Design||3|
|DEPD 2331||Human Factors for Product Design||3|
|DEPD 2410||Studio 3: Design Context||6|
|DEPD 2420||Production Technology||3|
|DEPD 2430||Socio-Cultural Issues in Design||3|
|MRKT 1199||Introduction to Marketing||3|
|DEPD 3510||Studio 4: Design Engagement||6|
|DEPD 3520||Production Cycle: Manufacture and Strategies||3|
|DEPD 3530||Semiotics for Product Design||3|
|DEPD 3610||Studio 5 Design Implementation||6|
|DEPD 3620||Product Development for Manufacturing||3|
|DEPD 3630||Industry Experience||3|
|DEPD 4710||Studio 6: Design Evaluation||6|
|DEPD 4720||Products & Business Scenarios||3|
|MRKT 4177||Contemporary Issues in Marketing||3|
|DEPD 4810||Studio 7: Design Projections||9|
|DEPD 4831||The Business of Product Design||3|
Completion of ENGL 1100 with a minimum grade of “C” (or an approved writing intensive course at the 1100 level or higher) is a graduation requirement. It is recommended that this course be taken prior to Year 2.
During their third and fourth years in the DEPD program, students are required to complete 12 credits of electives. Electives must be KPU courses numbered 1100 or higher, and may not include courses in FASN, FIND, FMRK, GDMA, or IDSN. Students are encouraged to select a range of elective courses that both broaden their learning and also assist them in their design studios and technology workshops.
This program is delivered in an e-mobile environment that uses laptop computers and specific software. Students are advised NOT to purchase a personal laptop computer until specifications and requirements have been provided to successful applicants.
Upon successful completion of this program, students are eligible to receive a Bachelor of Design, Product Design.