Frequently Asked Questions


Below are some of the most frequently asked questions by students and parents.

We also want to be readily available for any other specific questions you may have about the program. Please call, email or schedule a tour for our undivided attention.

What do Industrial Designers Do?

Briefly stated: just about anything that applies to creating new, three-dimensional products, spaces and things that take you places. In the areas of consumer product design, the following description was sourced from the U.S. Department of Labor:

“Industrial designers develop the concepts for manufactured products, such as cars, home appliances, and toys. They combine art, business, and engineering to make products that people use every day. Industrial designers focus on the user experience in creating style and function for a particular gadget or appliance.”

Broadly applied, industrial designers also imagine and design new architectural spaces, both interior and exterior for businesses, public spaces, healthcare, schools and universities, hotels and hospitality and residential homes. They also can apply their skills to creating landscapes, both real and imaginary, in the form of video gaming and the movie industry. Industrial designers typically do the following:

  • Consult with clients to determine requirement for designs.

  • Research who will use a particular product, and the various ways it might be used.

  • Sketch out ideas or create renderings, which are images on paper or on a computer that provide a better visual of design ideas

  • Use computer software to develop virtual models of different designs.

  • Create physical prototypes of their designs.

  • Examine materials and production costs to determine manufacturing requirements.

  • Work with other specialists such as mechanical engineers or manufacturers to evaluate whether their design concepts will fill a need at a reasonable cost.

  • Evaluate safety, appearance, and function to determine if a design is practical.

  • Present the design and demonstrate prototypes to clients for approval.

Do prospective students need to have in-depth art experience?

No. Industrial designers do use rapid sketch rendering, drawing and other “fine art” style visual tools to communicate their design vision, but they also use many other tools including scale models, software, in-depth user research, business modeling, etc. While students with fine art experience are usually more comfortable with the media, our process emphasizes form and function, just as much as aesthetic. However, sketching for communications is a skill taught at the ICC and it is a skill used in industrial design.

Are there website that prospective students can visit to learn more?

We are glad you asked! Our list is far from comprehensive, but it will provide links specific to the Industrial and Innovative Design major as well as some of the current work that is being done in the field of industrial design.

Where is the ICC located?

The ICC is nearly 14,000 square feet of studio space on a professional “creativity campus” in the north suburb of Columbus, called Powell. The facility is a former barn that was built in 1929, and over the years has been home to engineering and industrial design firms that have created some of the most recognizable products in the world. Today, we share the 6 acres with start-up companies, consulting firms and design firms, which creates a professional atmosphere. Further, the rural setting is nestled into a small creek valley, surrounded by woods, and provides a perfect backdrop for creativity thinking!

Our address is: 1266 A Manning Parkway Powell, OH 43065 USA

Manning Parkway is approximately one mile north of I-270 (the Columbus outerbelt), off of State Route 315. Our lot is the second curb cut on Manning Parkway after turning off of 315. The main entrance to our studio is marked by flags in the center of the main building.


Why Columbus, Ohio?

Columbus is home to some of the top industrial design firms in the country, and is a vibrant area for the arts, sports, and culture. Being in the community gives us ready access to professionals, and their facilities, and allows for relationship building and networking for the program and our students. Further, the major-specific ICC campus provides a focused and professional atmosphere for students to start preparing for, and making the transition into a work setting.

Where do the students live while studying at the ICC?

Students rent homes or apartments during their junior and senior years at the ICC. The studio is located in a north, residential suburb of Columbus, and has almost 2,000 individual apartment units within a five-mile radius of the studio! Further, it is very competitive so prices are reasonable. Prior to arriving at the ICC, students have multiple opportunities to choose their housemates by interacting with them in their elective coursework on main campus and by getting to know ICC upperclassmen at various events.

How expensive is housing near the studio?

By and large, Columbus is a very affordable place to live, especially compared to either coast or larger metropolitan areas of the US. Typically, and depending on the number of roommates, students spend around $300 each per month to share a two bedroom townhouse with three other roommates. Obviously, if a student desires their own private room or additional amenities, the price may increase. The ICC maintains a list of complexes in the area and can help with “local knowledge” when students are choosing their housing.

How does financial aid, tuition and other administrative processes work?

Students are enrolled at Cedarville University just the same as all other students, and administratively, everything is the same, except students are studying in our design studio instead of main campus. While at the ICC campus, students are considered “off campus” students of Cedarville University. With this responsibility, each student is expected to live by Cedarville University guidelines as outlined in the Cedarville Student Handbook.

Do I need special hardware or software for the program?

No. The ICC maintains a digital rendering lab, high-resolution color output printer, a 3D printer, and access to many of the current software suites used by industry. While many students do bring their own personal laptops, tablets, and other devices, they are not necessary.

On main campus students are required to attend chapel daily? What happens at the ICC?

Chapel is a unique experience for Cedarville students, and they will be attending daily chapel during their freshman and sophomore years. The ICC can’t replicate that experience, but we have created a program that is developed and maintained by our own Spiritual Life Development Director that is aimed at students developing their own personal faith and developing a vision of how to put that faith into action in the community and their future workplace. Students assemble weekly for a chapel time, lead and participate in worship, lead weekly devotions with their classmates, are in mixed groups for small group studies, are required to get involved in a local church, and are also presented with numerous Christian activities and ministries in central Ohio, including the Campus Crusade for Christ chapter at Ohio State. While at the ICC, it is time for them to “own” their faith.

I like to play sports. What opportunities do I have while studying industrial and innovative design?

During your first two years on main campus, nothing is different than any other student athletic experience, whether on scholarship, through clubs, recreational or intramural. For the last two years of the program, college athletes should contact ICC administrators prior to making a commitment to the program to discuss logistics and viability. Additionally, while at the ICC in Columbus, you’ll be close to some excellent biking and jogging paths, recreational leagues for soccer, hockey, golf, multiple ice rinks, and numerous private and community recreational centers.

How do I schedule a tour?

The best way to experience the ICC culture, see Columbus and learn firsthand about the Industrial and Innovative Design program offered by The International Center for Creativity in partnership with Cedarville University is to schedule a personalized tour. We will take the time to show you around and help bring clarity to your questions.


Students in the industrial and innovative design program study consumer product design, transportation design, interior space design and exterior space design