Industrial Design Program Matching Growth

Updated on June 23, 2013

Cedarville University’s industrial and innovative design (IID) program will expand its program by increasing learning space, purchasing new equipment, and adding staff for its International Center for Creativity in Columbus. The expansion will begin in May.

When classes finish in May, construction on the ICC will add nearly 1,000 square feet of studio space. The project will also create a dedicated model shop for full scale models of products and structures like retail display systems, home appliances and automobiles. Jim Stevenson, president of the ICC, said the expansion will also provide space for the necessary tools, and students will receive guidance from industry professionals for their projects.

“Many of our pipeline projects will require the ability to do light fabrication work in a 1:1 scale, so when we might be designing a new retail store display system, in-home appliance, or dashboard for a concept vehicle, for example, the shop will give us that room for not only the objects but also for the shop tools we’ll need as well, said Stevenson.”

Industry specialists in the areas of model building, wood and metal fabrication, painting and finish work from throughout central Ohio will supplement the faculty and supporting instructors with professional guidance, trade tips and real-world examples of concept models to enhance the classroom work.

In addition to expanding the studios, Terry Chamberlain, chair of Cedarville University’s Department of Art, Design and Theatre, and Stevenson say they are in the process of hiring new instructors to teach the growing number of IID students. Next year, 30 juniors and seniors will study at the ICC, which began in 2010.

Bill Mowry was hired this year and served as the spiritual director for the program. In his role, he supports a professional ethics course, mentors students and organizes Bible studies and community ministries. Mowry is also an international trainer for the Navigators.

Cedarville’s partnership with the ICC and IID program has grown rapidly. The major currently includes four study tracks: consumer product design, transportation design, exterior space design and interior space design. Students spend their first two years on Cedarville’s campus, and then gain real-world experience at the ICC studios.

Three students graduated from the program in 2012. Laura Backer is a industrial design consultant with Priority Designs in Columbus, and Mark Taylor is a freelance designer in Virginia. Gabe Pyle has been hired as the ICC program coordinator and will begin graduate studies in the fall.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University attracts 3,400 undergraduate, graduate and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Celebrating 125 years of inspiring greatness, Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at

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