The mission of Umeå Institute of Design is to generate, transfer and mediate knowledge and competence within the field of industrial design. The education focuses on the planning and forming of industrial-made products, systems and services. The students acquire a general competence to work as professional industrial designers within several different product areas and in various work situations. The education at Umeå Institute of Design should be viewed as a professional education at university level. The stated goal is that the graduates will be employable in both a national and international job market.
Since the start in 1989 we have collaborated in student projects and research projects with a couple of hundred Swedish and foreign companies, Swedish authorities, organizations or municipalities as well as research groups. If one adds to that all the degree projects this number becomes significantly higher. To an ever increasing extent project collaboration is being carried out with foreign companies and foreign research groups. Our students are increasingly invited together with students from other international design educations to joint projects. In the research group a large number of research projects are carried out; many of them within the framework for multi-year research programmes. An example of this is a multi-year research programme financed by ABB in Västerås, a research programme that has been financed since 1997 by AB Volvo, the three-year research programme financed by Umeå municipality, amongst others. This large component of international students makes the study environment at the Umeå Institute of Design international in its character. Via the international students who have graduated and now work in companies all over the world, new contacts with companies are continually created and our international network grows constantly. Through our system to constantly engage professional industrial designers as advisors and lecturers we have many excellent relationships with the Swedish industrial design core and this in turn contributes to the students’ employability. The cooperation with representatives from the professional core takes place even at student admission, discussion of the profession’s development and in the degree projects. Here follows a list of different types of partnerships that we have: Partnerships with schools: Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm – research Lund Institute