Student working on clothing

Applied Design

Applied design at Hampshire encompasses product and industrial design, appropriate technology, alternative energy and transportation, creative electronics, and universal design.

The Hampshire College Center for Design provides students with an experiential education in applied design, invention, and social entrepreneurship through design and innovation for social change.

A combination of courses, internships, independent study, and collaborations with businesses and organizations allows students to learn about design and fabrication; develop prototypes and business plans; and create enterprises that improve people's lives.


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Associated Faculty

donna cohn
Associate Professor of Applied Design
Hampshire College Professor Thom Long
Five College Associate Professor of Architecture and Design

Student Project Titles


Sample First-Year Course

Design for the Greater Good

Students in this class will work collaboratively on community oriented design projects with established local groups. We will consider how designed objects or environments can encourage positive human interactions, energy and resource conservation, and physical well-being. This is a practical, hands-on design class in which we will learn how to research community needs, problem solve, and work with the realities of limited resources.


Sample Courses at Hampshire


Through the Consortium


Facilities and Resources

The Center for Design

The Center for Design offers a laboratory for the exploration of design and fabrication. It is open to all Hampshire students, and includes a shop equipped for working with metals and plastics as well as a design lab for manual and computer-aided design. Students may use the facility for academic and personal projects.

There are no prerequisites to use the facility, and all skill levels are welcome.

Picker Engineering Program at Smith College

Smith College's Picker Engineering Program, the first and only engineering program at a U.S. women's college, takes a unique interdisciplinary approach to the rigors of design by emphasizing the designer's social relevance and social responsibility. By placing the program firmly within the context of a liberal arts education, the engineering classes at Smith bridge the traditional boundaries between the sciences and the humanities (in a very Hampshire-esque fashion!).

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Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002