Product Design

The widespread application of new methods of distribution and production are now providing major new opportunities for today’s product designers.

Product Design is about constantly examining the relationship between products and their users. There are all kinds of products and they are everywhere, from the purely functional to those that make a statement. At its core, product design is all about questioning and redefining that which already exists. This is why product designers develop meaning and think about appearance.
Emerging technologies have already triggered fundamental debates on the future of well-established ideas regarding product design, the use of products, and the product economy. The widespread application of new methods of distribution and production are now providing major new opportunities for today’s product designers.

An important aspect of the study programme is the discovery and development – by literally ‘getting your hands dirty’ – of (new) materials and production processes. You could even go one step further: by not being afraid to dismantle that which already exists, in both a physical and a conceptual sense, as well as in terms of production and distribution. In doing so, you will develop new ideas and new ways of using products; you will explore in depth the practical consequences of designing. Examples of these consequences include dimensions such as environmental and social sustainability. As a product designer, you are thus not limited to working with existing instruments; you can also adapt these instruments, or even design your own. This goes beyond the product itself: product design is not limited to tangible objects, but may also result in a process or a service. To summarise: product designers are experimental, research-driven, collaborative and entrepreneurial professionals who are able to imagine how products can change our future.

Cover project: Let's PLAY by Lisanne Meester.

Knowledge & skills

  • Conducting hands-on research
  • Concept development
  • Drawing techniques (analog and digital)
  • Knowledge of materials
  • Production techniques and crafts
  • Making detailed working prototypes
  • Presenting your projects for different audiences
  • Enterpreneurship
  • ...and more

An object should be judged by whether it has a form consistent with its use.

Bruno Munari

Career opportunities

  • Product designer for diverse industries
  • Concept developer
  • ...and more

Next to 13 majors and three Practices WdKA offers its students high-tech meeting interdisciplinary spaces - Stations.

Stations are the place for creating prototypes, experimenting, remixing and improving your ideas. All of the Willem de Kooning Academy’s students and staff members are welcome to work in our Stations, regardless of their major specialisation, minor, elective module or study year. The Stations are where you can explore the viability of your ideas and find out how to turn them into fully-functioning creations.

Want to study at Willem de Kooning Academy?

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Experience 4 years at WdKA

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Product Design

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Britt van den Berg
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The Master of Unusual Materials

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Product Design

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