Design Academia - 国公立デザイン系大学会議

New Design Education Starting in 2020

Kyushu University School of Design was formed in 2003 when Kyushu Institute of Design merged with Kyushu University. The institute was established in 1968 with four departments, namely Environmental Design, Industrial Design, Visual Communication Design, and Acoustic Design. In 1997, the department of Art and Information Design was established as the fifth department.

Since the establishment, there have been numerous social issues involving a change in values, such as declining birth rate and aging population, global environmental problems, and the sustainability of economic activities. As such, it is necessary to reexamine design education, given that the design field is expanding due to the present issues.

Currently, the field of design is expanding from its traditional focus on shapes and colors into a wide area of products and services.  It includes experiences and value creation processes, and even social systems and business models. Also, the concept of design is not limited to solutions for existing challenges. It includes the creation of the question “could the future be like this”? As a result, design-related industries are seeking “high-level designers” with the ability to traverse the fields to respond to these changes.

To provide an education that responds to the expansion of the design field and changes, Kyushu University School of Design reviewed and revised the organization. It will integrate the current five departments into one department with five courses. These courses are designed to allow flexibility and reorganized to cultivate high-level designers sought by society while inheriting the existing academic identity of the faculty.

Educational Purpose

The aim of the School of Design, as a department that practices the “humanization of technology,” is to cultivate creative high-level designers with the scientific knowledge of engineering and technology, deep insights on humanity and society, with the rich understanding that enable the appropriate response to societal situations. Also, to have broad global perspectives and academic knowledge on creativity.

Diagram of the expanding design

Features of the New School of Design

  • Introduction of a flexible and diverse educational program to respond to new societal challenges (one department, five courses)
  • Deepening 50 years of traditional design education (integrating arts and sciences + practice-based education)
  • Teaching genuine knowledge and skills required for innovation
  • Implementing design with a multifaceted consideration of a society in which all people can live comfortably
  • Focusing on global design trends and cultivating people who can work internationally

Features of the Educational Curriculum

  • Select the subjects that you are interested in from a wide variety of subjects from all the courses
  • Systematically learn the fundamentals of design in Year 1 and Year 2
  • Gain practical design skills in project-based classes
  • Take multidisciplinary project-based classes and graduate studies that are taught by multiple teachers from related fields
  • Students can take up the international program if desired

Five Newly Established Courses & International Program

Environmental Design Course

Cultivating comprehensive designers who can create better environments such as architecture, cities, green spaces, and landscapes.


Industrial Design Course

Cultivating designers with a broad perspective to create products, living environments, and services while considering the consumer’s viewpoint.


Future Design Course

Cultivating high level designers to process an integrative design ability for things, services, vision and society using design discipline as a tool.


Media Design Course

Cultivating high-level designers who will apply new media technology to attempt creative designs.


Acoustic Design Course

Cultivating designers who possess an astute sense of sound, a high level of technical knowledge, and a comprehensive design ability.


International Program (Taken while belonging to the course)

In Year 2, to acquire the necessary skills for studying abroad through English lectures and exercises. In Year 3, to study at established universities which are leading in the area of design in Europe, the United States or Asia. Upon returning to Japan, to present the experiences and knowledge learned. International Program Participant will receive a bachelor’s degree and a certificate of completion for the International Program.