For a small, industrial arts college founded in 1884 to improve textile manufacturing, the 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs at Philadelphia University use their fair share of technology.
From product design with a new look at innovation to maker culture with an embrace of a connectivity to the web to art and fashion with entrepreneurial sustainability, the school’s leafy campus near East Falls in northwest Philadelphia is absorbing an interesting take on technology into its legacy of creation.
Watch a video look at the school’s innovation-heavy industrial design program.
Some of the bigger new efforts at the school, which has a student body of fewer than 4,000, include the following:
- In January, a new 38,500 square foot university building dedicated to combine design, engineering and commerce into one location will open: the DEC Center. Watch below a time lapse view of the building being built.
- The industrial design programs, which involve the intersection of technology and product design and are among the school’s signature degrees, are some of the most technology-driven focuses at the school.
- Other programs, such as interactive design and media, also have a strong technological component to them.”What we do is we communicate through leveraging technology,” Director of Interactive Design and Media Sherman Finch said. This includes mobile design including iPhone, iPad, and other mobile device program designs to smart objects like smart chairs or clothing and smart architecture.
- The university is also launching the first, full-degree programs in geodesign. The program will focus on collaborative design projects for communities and solving real world problems like global warming and disaster mitigation.
“The technology is key to this program. It incorporates GIS, which is Geographic Information Systems, and also BIM, which is Building Information Systems and we’re hoping LIM will be available soon which is Landscape Information Systems,” Phillips said. “It combines the technology with design process, and what makes it different from the past it here the designers are in control.”
The master’s of science degree in geodesign will be offered starting in the fall of 2013 with an accelerated course in GIS being offered during the second summer session in 2013.
Finch also helps place students in jobs and internships and said the program has a high rate in helping students receive job and internship placement. Students have had internships with companies such as Comcast, QVC Media, One Trick Pony and other high-end web firms.
“The list [of job opportunities] kind of goes on, and on and on,” said Finch. “We have a student right now who has a full-time position at Rockstar Games and is working on the Grand Theft Auto that is about to come out.”
Learn more about Philadelphia University’s wide variety of programs at www.philau.edu.
This report was done in partnership with Temple University’s Philadelphia Neighborhoods program, the capstone class for the Temple’s Department of Journalism.-30-