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Product and furniture design

Product and Furniture Design

Your world has been carefully designed with you in mind, from the handle on your toothbrush to the interface on your phone. Study product design and you’ll learn how to strategically plan, create, and test your own ideas.  If you want to build a better park bench from recycled materials, design a better toaster or create a new delivery system for an assembly line, the only limit is your imagination. We’ll guide you through the design process from concept to development to market.

Explore your options

Study product design at Unitec and you’ll delve into consumer psychology as you develop products that are useful, creative and designed with a sustainable future in mind. You’ll spend lots of time in studio developing your creative ideas as well as your technical skills. You'll use the latest CAD software to produce your designs, and develop them in our metal, wood, plastics, glass and ceramics workshops. You’ll get to show off your hard work in the campus galleries and at the end of year graduate show. 

Your tutors will be there to guide you at every step. Many of them have their own successful design businesses and are known globally. The product design degree is industry aligned with real world experience in mind. It’s no wonder our graduates have gone on to win ECC Young Designer of the Year.


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Programmes and study path

Start with a programme that suits your qualifications and/or experience, then progress to a level that achieves your goals.
New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Level 3) 3 Full-time for 16 weeks or part-time options available Entry into further study at certificate or diploma level. February or July
New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Level 4) - Art and Design 4 Full-time for 16 weeks or part-time options available. This programme prepares you for further study toward a career in art and design in creative industries February or July
Bachelor of Creative Enterprise 7 Three years full-time or part-time options available Artist, Photographer, Graphic designer, Product designer, Motion graphics designer, Independent craft practitioner, Art/ Design Educator February or July
Bachelor of Design and Contemporary Art 7 Three years full-time or part-time options available Graphic designer, Photographer, Artist, Motion graphics designer, Illustrator, Packaging designer, Product designer, Curator, Art/design educator, Gallerist, Animator February or July
Postgraduate Certificate in Creative Practice 8 Six months full-time or one year part-time February or July
Postgraduate Diploma in Creative Practice 8 Full-time for one year or part-time for two years Artist, Creative director, Curator, Digital artist, Director, Graphic designer, Photographer, Producer, Visual artist February or July
Master of Creative Practice 9 Full-time for 18 months or part-time for three years Artist, Art director, Product designer, Graphic designer, Director, Photographer, Experience designer, Producer, Production designer, Sculptor, Visual artist, Performance designer, Service designer, Curator, Actor for theatre, film and television, Choreographer, Filmmaker February or July


There are table saws, overhead sanders, lathes and big band saws in the wood room. And you can weld, roll, form, mill and turn metal in the metal workshop. You can also use the rapid prototyping 4-axis milling machine and laser cutter.

Want to work with hard materials like glass and stone? You can use the cold finishing (diamond tooling) room with saws, grinders, drills, sandblasters and polishing tools. There’s also a ceramics studio and a kiln room with eight kilns where you can fire your creations.

The plastics room has vacuum formers, benders and a rotational moulder, which is ideal for model making. You can use mould-making room to cast anything from resins and rubber to glass and ceramics.

There’s plenty of computer access for designing your products too, and specialist software including SolidWorks, Rhino and Graphisoft ArchiCAD for you to practise with. You can also use SimaPro and Ecoinvent – a life cycle inventory database that identifies the impact of your design on the environment and its carbon footprint.