Photo credit: Greg Rosenke

Design Schools Shaping the Sports Industry with Top Programs for Equipment and Apparel

Header: Greg Rosenke

Leading an active life is at the base of any healthy lifestyle, so it’s no wonder that at a time where health and well-being are considered invaluable, sportswear and equipment design are gaining more importance. Inclusion is also at the forefront of every design field, which makes studying sports design and all of the human needs behind it a must. From the need for equipment and apparel designed for people with physical impairments to the general desire to have more aesthetic-focused products, there is still a lot of ground to cover in the industry.

Curious about which universities were offering courses covering sports-centric design, D5 did some research and came up with a list of the best sports equipment and apparel degrees out there. In these higher education institutions, innovation and sustainability are put on a pedestal as their staff invites students to analyze the world’s needs and figure out what the future of sports can look like.

Savannah College of Art and Design – (M.A. and M.F.A.) Sneaker Design

The Savannah College of Art and Design is one of the most prestigious universities in the field, welcoming ambitious students every year and hosting some of the most brilliant minds as professors. Studying here means that you’ll not only be in the centre of the US’s design scene but also be constantly inspired by your peers and professors – plus, the curriculums are some of the most complete out there. 

More sneaker design-focused, SCAD’s M.A. in Sneaker Design offers students the opportunity to learn all there is to know about this fast-growing field of design. What is interesting about this M.A. is the approach to designing athletic sneakers. Here, students will learn all there is to know about how sneakers differ from sport to sport, where innovation is missing, and how to complete and manage all stages of creating a wearable sneaker: designing, prototyping, manufacturing, and distributing.

Photo credit: Savannah College of Art and Design
Photo credit: Savannah College of Art and Design

L’École de Design – (BA) Product Design (French)

This French “state of the art” university is known worldwide for the quality of their design courses. When going through D5’s comprehensive interviews with designers from all over the world, we can see that many have attended L’École de Design, where they not only made connections in the design sphere but also learned everything they needed to give the world a bit of their creativity.  Established in Nantes, the university was founded in 1988 and has since been a promoter of innovation and sustainability. 

L’École de Design offers a BA in Product Design that, among other areas, studies how to design sports equipment. Taught in French, this BA gives its students the ability to work autonomously by teaching them technical and artistic skills. With their multidisciplinary approach, students work among themselves to provide the world with an answer to its many social, economic, and ethical issues. 

Photo credit: Queffelec Jean-Charles
Photo credit: Queffelec Jean-Charles

University of Oregon – (M.S.) Sports Product Design

The University of Oregon is located in the US and has been pushing the boundaries of knowledge for more than a century, having welcomed many intellectuals and designers alike. Their Portland campus houses arts and design courses where students are invited to let their creativity out while learning both traditional and innovative skills.

Their M.S. in Sports Products Design focuses on sustainability, athletic performance, marketing and branding, and innovation methodology, preparing students for a hard profession and introducing them to more than 800 sports product companies in the area. Students also learn human physiology, which is very important for sports equipment design, as well as biomechanics and technology. With this M.S., graduates can not only work for major athletic brands but also start their very own company.

Photo credit: University of Oregon
Photo credit: University of Oregon

London Metropolitan University – (M.A.) Product Design

The London Metropolitan University is known for its hands-on approach to teaching, inviting students to gain real-world experience through collaborative academic projects and by introducing them to communities and companies. With an array of quality facilities where workshops are never-ending, brilliant faculty members, and a continuous stream of art exhibitions, students are constantly meeting design in their day-to-day lives.

London Metropolitan’s M.A. in Product Design is located at the School of Art, Architecture, and Design, where a collaborative and multidisciplinary approach to education is applied. Through this approach, students learn all the skills needed to create, communicate, and evaluate, making them the professionals we need for the future. Through learning about different issues and creative sectors, students gain insights on how to figure out the needs and wants of consumers, as well as how to address them in the best way possible. 

Photo credit: London Metropolitan University
Photo credit: London Metropolitan University

University of Borås – Sports and Outdoor Clothing Design (Online)

Located in Sweden, the University of Borås is known worldwide for its Swedish School of Textiles, where problem solvers (how the university addresses its students) work on addressing issues of sustainability and consumption.

Here, the Sports and Outdoor Clothing Design course is held online, making it easier for students from all over the world to participate in these comprehensive lessons. Students are taught about all of the different design tools and methods used in the development of clothes and footwear, learning about different activities and functions, textiles and technologies, and even biometrics.

Photo credit: The University of Borås, Anna Sigge
Photo credit: The University of Borås, Anna Sigge

University of the Arts London, London College of Fashion – (BA Honours) Fashion Sportswear

Prestigious on its own, the University of Arts London has been part of the artistic British community for over a century, adding to the trends and innovations of the modern era and of our contemporary times. However, we want to talk about the London College of Fashion, where inclusive education encourages students to question the past, the present, and the future to reach inventive solutions to address the many challenges of our times. 

Its BA Honours in Fashion Sportswear strives to make its students question how sportswear affects our daily lives and how it can be improved. The approaches taught in this BA are many, so any student can feel welcomed even if their passion isn’t very mainstream. Sportswear can be functional or more fashion-focused, so students are taught how to consider sport, science, technology, fashion trends, and cultural contexts when designing the next hit sports equipment.

Photo credit: University of the Arts London
Photo credit: University of the Arts London

De Montfort University – (BA Honours) Product Design 

With a history spanning 200 years, De Montfort University has been evolving throughout the decades to accompany the innovations of our world. Currently, the university is known for the excellency of their teaching staff, inviting students to learn and create so that we can keep evolving as a society – much like the university has since the 19th century.

De Montfort University offers a BA Honours in Product Design at its Art, Design, and Humanities school. Here, students learn how to address product design and its many fields, such as sportswear design, in a human-centric way, focusing on functionality and aesthetics alike and on how to go about the market and its challenges. From creative to technical aspects, the curriculum gives students a chance to learn everything they need to make it big in their chosen fields. Prototyping, marketing, manufacturing processes, and conscious practices, among other aspects of design, are some of the skills a student of this BA can expect to acquire at the end of the degree.

Photo credit: De Montfort University
Photo credit: De Montfort University
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