The green light to set up a new Department of Industrial Design at TU/e was given in the autumn of 2000. This was preceded by extensive discussions with people at TU/e and in industry. The results of a poll among a large number of companies were the decisive factor for the TU/e Executive Board to add Industrial Design to the university’s range of courses.

The questionnaire showed that the business community is very keen to hire academically schooled Industrial Design engineers, provided their education concentrates on the design of intelligent products, systems and services in a societal context. It was also clear that companies want people with a multidisciplinary background in both technology and design.

From January to September 2001 a small, enthusiastic 'construction team' worked on setting up the new department. Developing a curriculum based on a new educational model was the motor behind all the other activities, such as providing information to prospective students, recruiting staff, and designing and organizing a specially tailored space for the planned educational model: the Studio Lab by local architect and TU/e alumnus Bert Staal.