2012-13 University Calendar
 Kwantlen Polytechnic University  Calendar  2012-13  Faculty of Design  Product Design: Bachelor of Design

Product Design: Bachelor of Design


This new Bachelor's degree program in Product Design aims to fill the void between industrial design and fashion design. As a student in this brand new and dynamic inter-disciplinary curriculum at Kwantlen, you will learn to become a product designer working in a defined area of the discipline linking creativity and innovation through the transformation of ideas into marketable products. This degree is amongst the first of its kind in Canada that focuses on the growing demand for the design and manufacture of recreational gear, technical goods, and related products. Examples include: recreational gear, sportswear and accessories; protective, safety and rescue equipment; specialty occupational wear and outfits; shelter and transportation devices. Various sectors of society such as persons with disabilities or cultural requirements, to children, adults and seniors are all starting to demand such soft products in their daily life, work, or leisure.

British Columbia is the perfect geographical setting for you to earn your Product Design degree. Working in collaboration with professional associations and practising designers, as a graduate of this program you 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 wellbeing.

The Product Design (DEPD) program has worked closely with industry to ensure a design curriculum that meets the needs of the marketplace for when you graduate. As a successful DEPD graduate, you will understand the connection between product design, industry, and the marketplace. You will be able to take a leadership position in design practice with a clear understanding of advancing industry needs.

The Degree

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 you with an interdisciplinary education that consists of three major streams: Creativity and Innovation Stream, Technology Stream, Interdisciplinary and Leadership Stream, all woven into an integrated curriculum and timetable.

You 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 at this unique polytechnic university. You will be 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.

Key features of this program include:

Visit the program's website at kwantlen.ca/productdesign or attend one of Kwantlen's public information events for more information about Product Design at Kwantlen.

Credit for Previous Learning

You may be eligible to obtain credit for segments of the Product Design program with results from courses taken in other programs at Kwantlen, 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 kwantlen.ca/transfercredit.html.

Student Profile

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 Kwantlen 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 as 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 – globally and in Canada.

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 Kwantlen is enriching and enjoyable.

Career Opportunities

Product design is a relatively new and evolving design field, but with many very successful companies in Vancouver, known around the world for excellence in recreational and technical gear. There are also many opportunities that you 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:

You could work independently as entrepreneurs, as staff designers for existing design studios, retailers, manufacturers, or as independent consultants.

Program Admission Requirements

In addition to Kwantlen's General university admission requirements, including the undergraduate-level English Proficiency Requirement, the following program admission requirements apply:

* Successful 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.

Admission decisions to this program are based on interim grades therefore proof of grades must be submitted in accordance with the following deadlines:

For all other applicants, proof of having met the program's English proficiency requirement must be provided by March 31st.

Any applicant who has not submitted proof of grades by the specified dates will be removed from the list of eligible applicants.

Program Requirements

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.

Note: DEPD courses are assessed Tuition Category 2.a.3 tuition and fees for domestic students.

Year 1: Fundamentals & Discovery


All of:
  DEPD 1100 Design Methods and Materials 3 credits
  DEPD 1110 Visualization for Product Design 3 credits
  DEPD 1120 Computer Fundamentals 3 credits
  DEPD 1130 Design Thinking 3 credits
  ENGL 1100 Introduction to University Writing 3 credits


All of:
  DEPD 1210 Three-Dimensional Design: Product Design 3 credits
  FIND 1150 Designing For Humanity  3 credits
  DEPD 1220 Digital Technologies for Product Design 3 credits
  DEPD 1230 Transformative Thinking for Product Design 3 credits
  FIND 1220 Interdisciplinary Design History II 3 credits

Year 2: Exploration & Divergence


All of:
  DEPD 2310 Design Explorations 1: Materials & Fasteners 6 credits
  DEPD 2320 Material Technology 3 credits
  GDMA 2140 Communications Design, Consumerism and Popular Culture 3 credits
  MRKT 1199 Introduction to Marketing 3 credits


All of:
  DEPD 2410 Design Explorations 2: Materials in Context 6 credits
  DEPD 2420 Production Technology 3 credits
  DEPD 2430 Socio-Cultural Issues in Design 3 credits
  DEPD 2431 Human Factors for Product Design 3 credits

Year 3: Engagement & Practice


All of:
  DEPD 3510 Design Engagement 1: Leisure and Sports Gear 6 credits
  DEPD 3520 Production Technology-Sourcing 3 credits
  DEPD 3530 Semiotics for Product Design 3 credits
  Elective* 3 credits


All of:
  DEPD 3610 Design Engagement 2: Special Protective Gear 6 credits
  DEPD 3620 Product Manufacturing 3 credits
  DEPD 3630 Industry Experience 3 credits
  Elective* 3 credits

Year 4: Convergence & Realization


All of:
  DEPD 4710 Design Convergence 1: Research & Ideation 6 credits
  DEPD 4720 Products & Business Scenarios 3 credits
  MRKT 4177 Contemporary Issues in Marketing 3 credits
  Elective* 3 credits


All of:
  DEPD 4810 Design Convergence 2: Realization & Praxis 9 credits
  DEPD 4831 The Business of Product Design 3 credits
  Elective* 3 credits

* Students are required to complete four elective courses of 3 credits each in years 3 and 4.  Kwantlen courses numbered 1100 or higher as well as transfer credits will be accepted. Students who plan to use upper level courses are advised to confirm prerequisites requirements.

Other Information

Lab Fees

The Product Design program will require payment of a yearly lab fee that increases in each year of the program. Please consult the program's website for details.

Laptop Program

It is expected that the Bachelor of Design in Product Design will require all students to have a laptop computer starting in year two of their program.

A student-owned or lease program option is under review.

Credential Awarded

Upon successful completion of this program, students are eligible to receive a Bachelor of Design, Product Design.

Last Updated: Aug 9, 2012

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