Faculty of Design Product Communication Course

Product Communication Course

Studying the design of the future, heading out into the world

Product design deals with a diverse range of products in the world, from the items we use every day like mobile phones and household appliances, to medical equipment, automobiles and robots.

Their role changes greatly as times change. What is needed is not something that is "cool" or something that will sell a lot, but the ability to make things that will be convenient for affluent lifestyle and society in the future.

The Product Communication Course provides students with a unique education in those changes. In addition to practical classes on the foundations of design—material, form, function—there are classes on researching and producing ideas that match consumers' needs, as well as classes for acquiring indispensable digital skills in designing mobile phones and touchscreens, and environmentally conscious future design. Further, there are also projects where students design actual products and public facilities in cooperation with corporations and government.

SEIKA's practical way of studying is widely acclaimed, and many graduating students go on to become designers at major electronics, automobile or sports product manufacturers.

Product design continues to evolve and a few years from now further major developments will be seen. You will be at the forefront of this, solving the dilemmas of humanity as a designer with the ability to change the world.

Four Years in the Product Communication Course

  • 1st Year

    Learning beautiful color and form hands-on

    The Department of Product Design curriculum features four core areas: Theory and Knowledge, Shaping, Materials, and Computer Design Skills.

    In the first year of the Production Communication Course, students learn the foundations of 2D and 3D molding and design in order to express form that is beautiful. They learn to make three-dimensional objects using flat paper, seeking to create robust but beautiful form with limited materials and conditions. In other classes students produce ideas and sketch them, before creating models from clay or cardboard. This first year cements the foundations of how to shape ideas into form.

    Students also learn about design history and color in order to understand design from a theoretical perspective, while also learning through hands-on experience. By working with materials like lacquer, bamboo and copper, students learn about material qualities and how to deal with them. The curriculum engages both minds and hands in this first step towards being able to design things from one’s own ideas in a form that is beautiful.

    1st year
    1st Year Goals
    Proficiency in shaping ideas into form. Deepening knowledge of materials.
  • 2nd Year

    Design ideas born out of the relationship between people and objects

    Applying the skills and knowledge acquired in the first year, students now learn more advanced product design. They research the relationships between people and products, and between society and products while becoming conscious of how designers work in the real world. They experience analyzing this and the whole process from actually planning a product through to its design.

    One example of the tasks given to students in the classes considering the relationship between people and things is a project to design body protection for snowboarding. Though the usual response is to come up with a stylish design, the class starts by researching the structure of the skull, since one of the roles of the product is to protect the head, and so students must understand the relationship between the body and the product. At the same time, they also need to consider visibility and functionality on snow slopes.

    There are also classes dealing with theory, including universal design, which engages with the relationship between people, things and the environment, especially for the elderly or disabled. In order to become a professional designer, students learn over the year the various necessary perspectives on the situations in which products are used and by whom.

    2nd year
    2nd Year Goals
    Learning process and acquiring the perspective and thinking necessary to be a designer.
  • 3rd Year

    What are the vehicles used in response to natural disasters?

    Students spend this year choosing the specific design areas they are interested in, and then further deepening their expertise in them.

    In the Transportation Design class students are set the task of planning and designing an automobile that can function under the difficult conditions of a natural disaster, or to consider wind or hydraulic power as an energy source. Not just designing for automobiles and railways that already exist, students also design for emergencies such as natural disasters or for future environments. Students can also collaborate with corporations on marketing research and try their hand at designing promotions and tools for a major confectionary manufacturer.

    The year sees students considering how society can be improved in the future through design, acquiring the production and presentation faculties to be able to develop their designs in the outside world.

    3rd year
    3rd Year Goals
    Deepening specialties, and acquiring the ability to design with society and lifestyle in mind.
  • 4th Year

    Creating the society of the future through design

    In this year students decide their own topics from what they have studied till now, and then divide into different seminar classes to work on their graduation projects.

    One student who designed a wheelchair had this idea: Since there are various obstacles outside, such as steps, slopes and gutters, how about making a wheelchair that could ride over these so users could look after themselves? Another student designed walking shoes for women, which help you to walk in an attractive way that does not tire you out, and corrects muscle or skeletal distortions or lopsidedness. Each design was born out of the desire to improve society and the way people live.

    Design contributes to humanity, to society and to the future of the planet. The product design abilities students acquire after four years on the course are as vast as this.

    4th year
    4th Year Goals
    Tackling design that improves society and lifestyle, while also being beautiful.

Career paths after graduating from the Product Communication Course

Many graduates from the Product Communication Course go on to work at major corporations. The knowledge and skills acquired over the four years are highly regarded in society. Moreover, the classes where students engage with product development and promotion campaigns in partnership with industry and regional government give students proficiency in planning and production. Combining the ability to make things, along with management and direction skills, ensures students become professional designers who will make the society of the future convenient and affluent.

Career choices

  • Product designer for a manufacturer
  • Product planning that utilizes direction abilities
  • Working in a marketing department that discovers consumer needs
  • Designing toys and playground rides that are fun but safe

Other career options

  • Hobby product designer
  • Toy designer
  • Car designer
  • Furniture artisan
  • Eco product designer
  • Household appliance designer
  • Robot designer
  • Transportation designer
  • Art director etc.

Product Communication Course Faculty Members (in Japanese)