Inside Rensselaer
* Supercomputing: Celebrating the CCNI
Product Design and Innovation studio courses combine a technical education with the multidimensional product development and invention process.
Rensselaer Chosen Among the Top 60 Design Schools in the World
Rensselaer has been counted among the 60 “most forward-thinking design schools” in the world, according to BusinessWeek magazine’s second annual survey of the best design schools around the globe. The ranking appears in the publication’s Oct. 15 issue.

To compile the list, BusinessWeek called upon an international panel of expert design and brand consultants, academics from business and design schools, and executives with expertise in design or innovation strategy to recommend interdisciplinary design and business programs whose curricula they respect and whose graduates they have hired, according to the publication.

BusinessWeek then conducted their own interviews with professors, students, and alumni from the recommended colleges. Programs that “use the real world as their classroom, were tuned in to contemporary business issues, and whose graduates have proved themselves capable of bringing creative talent to the corporate world not only as designers but as strategists and leaders” were selected for the list.

“We are proud to be positioned among the top 60 design schools in the world,” said Rensselaer Provost Robert Palazzo. “Through interdisciplinary courses such as Inventor’s Studio and Introduction to Engineering Design, and degree programs such as Design, Innovation, and Society, Rensselaer is committed to developing students in every discipline who have strong analytical skills and the ability to understand, to innovate, and to solve complex problems.”

A collaborative program of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, the School of Engineering, and the Lally School of Management and Technology, Rensselaer’s highly interdisciplinary Design, Innovation, and Society (DIS) program prepares students to design new products, services, and media while considering the social needs and environmental concerns of the 21st century.

Students enrolled in the DIS program complete seven hands-on design studios focused on a range of topics including the product development process, industrial design and aesthetics, and the impact of new and emerging technologies on design.

Studios are taught in advanced technical facilities such as the School of Engineering’s O.T. Swanson Multidisciplinary Design Lab, where students solve real engineering challenges for some of the world’s biggest and most innovative companies, and the Product Design and Innovation Studio — a sky-lit space that accommodates drawing, modeling, computing, and team conferencing and presentations.

“The Design, Innovation, and Society program at Rensselaer combines a technical education with a solid understanding of the economic, ethical, cultural, and political dimensions of product development and the invention process,” said John Harrington, dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. “Graduates are well positioned to work as leaders of design and innovation in a range of environments — from multinational corporations seeking ways to address diverse markets, to specialized organizations creating innovative solutions to local community problems.”

Rensselaer’s bachelor of science degree in Design, Innovation, and Society (DIS) gives students the option to obtain a studio-based degree alone, or in combination with mechanical engineering, management, or communication.

To learn more about Design, Innovation, and Society, go to
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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 1, Number 6, October 25, 2007
©2007 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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