In 1995 a new programme of study “Design Education” was established at the Faculty of Engineering (LTH). Upon completion, students were awarded a “Konstnärlig högskoleexamen i konst och design, 270 hp” “Master of Industrial Design.” 

In 1999 the programme was revised and renamed “The Industrial Design Programme”. Students received the same degree but then based on 300 higher education credits. A 30-credit compulsory course, Practical External Training, was added to the curriculum. The number of students admitted was increased by 15 and 30 places were planned for the 5-year programme starting in 1999. This was made possible by strong financial support from the IKEA Stichting Foundation. The motivation for the donation as expressed by Ingvar Kamprad was that the new industrial design programme aimed to be the bridge between aesthetics and technology. Thanks to the donation the students were housed in a new design building, inaugurated in 2002. 

In November 2004 as a result of the Bologna Declaration, the Board of Education for the Industrial Design Programme applied to the Board of LTH for permission to divide the programme into a 3-year Bachelor and a 2-year Master’s Programme. At the time there were several government commissions working on the implementation of the Bologna Agreement. The Board of LTH decided to wait for new general implementation directives. The governmental proposition entitled Ny värld – ny högskola suggested that the existing degree “konstnärlig högskoleexamen i konst och design” should be discontinued. On 1 January 2007 the old degree was repealed and the new general degrees “konstnärlig kandidat” and “konstnärlig master” were adopted. 

On 29 May 2008 after the evaluation of the original five-year Industrial Design Education and validation of the new three-year Bachelor’s Programme, the vice chancellor of Lund University announced the establishment of a new educational programme of 180 higher education credits leading to a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Design. 

In autumn 2007, the first students were accepted into this programme. They will graduate in the spring of 2010, at which time they can apply to the Master’s Programme.

Research studies and research

In the field of research in the area of industrial design, the Department of Design Sciences currently has one professor of industrial design, one senior lecturer and one guest senior lecturer. An artistic professor of industrial design is being sought. Six students have been accepted into the PhD programme.

The goal of research is to develop scientifically based knowledge, tools, methods and processes that can be of practical use to industrial designers in their work. In addition, research from a life cycle perspective shall provide indepth insights into the holistic development of products, as well as into the relationship between people and products’ functional and aesthetic qualities along with their symbolic value. Consumer products are an important application area for research where people’s experiences, wishes and needs are in focus. A current project in that field is “PLUS products”, products primarily targeting older users but also desirable and functional for other age groups.

Other aspects of research include design and innovation management, where (among other things) the interplay between industrial designers and small and medium sized companies is examined and developed, as well as intellectual property rights in the field of design. Industrial design at LTH is part of the national design research school, CDR, which is financed by the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet).