In recent years Taiwan sees the growing demand for professional designers equipped with innovative visions and state-of-the-art skills, thanks to the government's push for several projects to upgrade our nation's competitive edge that would transform us from equipment manufacturers to design innovation and that would only be made possible by enhancing Taiwan's innovative design ability.
The need to transform our nation's industrial structure from an agglomeration of OEMs to a fleet of brand-name makers is translated into our emphasis of original designs and the great demand for trained designers.
As a primary supplier of innovative design practitioners, the Department of Design at National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (hereinafter referred to as “the Department”) not only continues its efforts to integrate design practice and theory into student's training courses, but also constantly expands its programs into new areas of design studies and works on better strategies towards international visibility and student's awareness of business practices, with a view to placing the Department among the top-ranking design programs in Asia and globally.
The Department's history from its founding up to the current status can be divided into the following three stages of development:
In 1991, the Graduate Institute of Engineering (now named the Graduate Institute of Applied Science and Technology) founded a “Program of Design Technology,” from which the Department originated. The formal Master Program of Design was not launched until 1992.
With the attainment of the university status and the school's renaming as National Taiwan University of Science of Science and Technology (NTUST) in 1997, the College of Design was founded together with its Department of Design, with four-year vocational college students enrolling in two Bachelor Programs of Industrial Design and Commercial Design. The mission of the Department then was to cultivate industrial designers as well as commercial designers much needed in Taiwan's industries back at that time.
During this period, the Department saw the need to instill research efforts and help students maintain currency with professional requirements for their future career, beyond the original goals of technical and practical training. The Department's programs and their curricula had been adjusted a few times to reflect the need and tendency to keep abreast with the growth in design industry. In 2000, the Graduate School of Design was founded with both Master and Ph.D. Programs, with the dual objectives to cultivate high-level design professionals and establish a stronghold in design academics
One year later, a new master program for continuing studies was set up in 2001 to help design practitioners keep updated with their design concepts and new technology. With the rapid development in high-tech industries, a new track of information design was added to the master programs in 2003 to train designers with expertise in digital and interactive media technology.
In coping with the ever-changing industries in Taiwan and the new trend of technological diversification in design education, the Graduate School of Design was integrated into the Department of Design as an integral department consisting of both undergraduate and graduate programs so as to reallocate resources. As a result, the Department's education have been redirected towards four new tracks, based on the faculty member's expertise and professional development, namely, product design, visual communication design, digital media design, and design management.
In the future, the Department will continue to review our objectives and curricula so as to fulfill our mission to create a diversified environment for learning state-of-the-art design concepts and know-how and to cultivate well-balanced design professionals with international vision, localized humanists thinking, and interdisciplinary learning.