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Design Innovation programs stand out in national rankings

January 05, 2009

Annual rankings from America’s Best Architecture & Design Schools published by DesignIntelligence has just been released, and the programs and faculty of one of ASU’s newest units – the School of Design Innovation – continue to be highly recognized and ranked for excellence.

The tenth annual, 2009 edition confirms the College of Design’s capacity for maintaining strong programs and momentum over the long term. For the first time, the publication ranked schools according to a system that combined five scoring criteria, including the results of 10 years of rankings and opinion surveys and independent analyses. The ASU College of Design was identified as a school “With High Distinction,” the second tier of a five-tier ranking system and in good company with Pratt University, Rhode Island School of Design and Rice University among others.

In rankings of the individual design degree programs, the Interior Design undergraduate program ranked ninth and the graduate program ranked sixth nationally. The Interior Design program has ranked in the top ten programs for all ten years of the publication’s surveys.

The Industrial Design undergraduate program is ranked 13th and graduate program ranked 10th and has been ranked in the top 15 industrial design programs for the last three of the four years that America’s Best has been ranking industrial design programs. In addition, the Industrial Design program was ranked seventh in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for 2008.

Though America’s Best is concerned with ranking programs, it also identifies other points of reputation and excellence in design schools. Industrial Design Associate Professor Prasad Boradkar was named one of the “Most Admired Educators of 2009” by the publication, only one of 26 individuals noted. Boradkar is the project leader for InnovationSpace, an entrepreneurial joint venture among the College of Design, Ira A Fulton School of Engineering and W.P. Carey School of Business. InnovationSpace received the 2008 ASU President’s Award for Innovation, and Boradkar was awarded the inaugural Faculty Achievement Award in Design Imperatives from the Office of the Provost in 2007. Chosen with extensive input from hundreds of design professionals, academic department heads and students, this recognition as an educator covers the disciplines of architecture, interior design, industrial design and landscape architecture. Boradkar is only one of two associate professors noted among a list of deans and department leaders. The list also includes architect Robert A.M. Stern, landscape architect James Corner and design educator Theodore C. Landsmark.

The School of Design Innovation in the College of Design combines the Industrial Design, Interior Design and Visual Communications Design programs and the Master of Science in Design and Master of Healthcare and Environmental Design degree programs into one administrative unit. As units concerned with the future of design and the accompanying issues of sustainability, social responsibility in practice and production and collaboration in the professional world, the grouping of these units provides a basis for strengthening connections between faculty, students and curriculum that have been ongoing within the college in practice.

DesignIntelligence is the leading organization for surveying educators and practitioners to rank the schools that are best preparing students for practice in the design fields. Though DesignIntelligence does not rank Graphic Design/Visual Communication Design programs, student awards and alumni success from this program are proof of the continuing excellence and preparation for professional practice that this program embodies. This year, Visual Communication Design students won top awards for international design competitions for Microsoft Imagine Cup’s Interface Design Challenge in Paris and first place for a print public service announcement for the Center for International Disaster Information.