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* Product Design and Innovation (PDI)

The dual major program in Product Design and Innovation is jointly offered by the Schools of Engineering, Architecture, and Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.

PDI prepares students to become the innovative designers who develop the advanced products and technologies for the new century.

Built around a Design Studio every semester, PDI combines the sophistication of Rensselaer’s building science curriculum with the vision of the humanities and social sciences disciplines. These studios help students to explore and develop their creativity while building a portfolio of design experiences continuously throughout all four years.

The building science curriculum provides a fundamental education in building science and architectural design through basic and advanced courses in structures, environmental and construction systems, as well as physical and theoretical approaches in design.

The science and technology studies curriculum provides a fundamental education in the economic, ethical, cultural, and political dimensions of product development and innovation, including numerous case studies of successes and failures that will give students the opportunity to learn what it takes to be effective design team leaders.

Design experiences range over a breadth of problems, from larger systemic problems to smaller focused problems, so that students have a broad exposure to all the different applications of design practice. Some fall and spring semester studios are taught as a sequence to give students experience with the design process from conception to implementation.

Learn more about the Product Design and Innovation program

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Entrepreneurship
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In 1999, a group of faculty members from three schools across Rensselaer’s Troy campus had an idea: What if we looked beyond the scope of typical industrial design or engineering programs to develop a program that melded the technical sophistication of design and engineering disciplines with the social and cultural aspects found in an arts and humanities education?
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Today, what started as a wild idea has become an internationally renowned program, recently earning Rensselaer recognition as one of the 60 “most forward-thinking design schools in the world,” according to BusinessWeek magazine.
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