Stanford Joint Program in Design

Stanford Joint Program in Design

Joint Program in Design

Mission A joint design program of Art and Engineering. Focus on innovation, research, & design of new products.
Established 1958
Official name Stanford Graduate School of Product Design
Enrollment 25 (all graduate)

The Joint Program in Design is one of the professional schools of Stanford University, in Stanford, California. It is generally considered the leading design school in the United States ["America's Best Architecture and Design Schools", "Design Intelligence", page 84-102, vol. 12, November 2006] . The school offers degrees in Mechanical Engineering and in Fine Arts/Design.


The school was founded in 1958. It has 3 full-time faculty. It maintains very close links with the venture capital, finance and technology firms of nearby Silicon Valley.

Admissions Statistics and Student Profile

The school has historically been the most selective program at highly selective Stanford. For the class which entered in 2001, approximately 4% of applicants were offered admission. Only 10-15 students each year to the 2 year program. There are ~300 total alumni.Fact|date=August 2008

Stanford's Design program dates from 1958 when Professor John Arnold, formerly of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, first proposed the idea that design engineering should be human-centered. This was a radical concept in the era of Sputnik and the early Cold War. Building on Arnold's work, Bob McKim (Emeritus, Engineering) along with Matt Kahn (Art), created the Product Design major and the graduate-level Joint Program in Design. This curriculum formalized in the mid-60's, making the Joint Program in Design (JPD) one of the first inter-departmental programs at Stanford or other nationally prominent Universities. The texts in those days were McKim's recently published "Experiences in Visual Thinking", and Jim Adams', "Conceptual Blockbusting, a Guide to Better Ideas". The "loft" was a bootleg attic space in Building 500 that the University didn't know about (and the faculty pretended didn't exist). ME101: Visual Thinking was the introductory class for all product design students and the class included four "voyages" in the Imaginarium, a 16 foot geodesic dome that presented state-of-the art multimedia shows designed to stimulate creativity.

The Loft moved to its current location behind the Old Firehouse. Bob McKim went Emeritus; Matt Kahn, Rolf Faste and David Kelley continued instruction in the tradition of merging art, science and needfinding though the 80's and 90's. Forty-some years later ME101 is still taught, and the Mechanical Engineering Department and the Department of Art continue this historic collaboration with faculty drawn from both schools for instruction.

Prominent alumni and faculty

Abraham Farag, Sparkfactor Design

Andrew Wolf,

Brian Rulifson,

Bruce Schena,

Chris Cavello,

Chris Luomanen,

Chris Miksovsky,

Chuck McCall,

Claudia Truesdell, Sparkfactor Design

Dante Pauwels,

Dave Duff,

David Owens,

Debbie Driscoll,

Deena Rosen,

Denise Vorhees Gershbein,

Dev Patnaik,

Edward Browka,

Jeff Spivack,

Jen Schlee,

Jeremy Faludi,

Jessica Cohen,

John Edson,

Kiersten Muenchinger,

Louis Hsiao,

Maria Mortati,

Maximiliano Goldschwartz

Michael Barry,

Miguel Praca,

Mike Simmons,

Mike Strasser, Think2Build LLC

Patrick Fenton,

Ramon Alarcon,

Robert Miros,

Ross Evans,

Sascha Retailleau,

Scott Beckerman,

Sophia Wang,

Tim Sheiner,


ee also

*Silicon Valley
*Social responsibility

External links

* [ Official Web Site]
* [ A wiki of suppliers, classes, designer, and resources for designers]

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