With its regained independence, it seemed that the faculty had to reinvent itself. The organisation prepared for a move to what many considered to be a colossal building on the Landbergstraat. The curriculum was also revised radically, in several phases. First of all, the old Bachelor’s programme was tackled in an all-out attempt to offer a range of divergent subjects and disciplines in an integrated programme. Three new Master’s programmes were introduced in 2006, which both reflected the old disciplines and even the research groups and captured new developments. These English-taught Master’s were Design for Interaction (Dfl), Integrated Product Design (IPD) and Strategic Product Design (SPD). Healthcare remained a separate and succesful specialisation.
The faculty’s new building was a converted workplace, meaning that the faculty had an impressive and multifunctional entrance hall at its disposal. The hall was eventually equipped with comfortable workplaces, and tables and laptops took the place of the workbenches where first-year students had diligently sawed and filed away. The hall also functioned as a venue for large events. Each year, the diverse population of the Construction Faculty proved an irresistible draw for other Delft students during various celebrations.
“Where students would be filing and sawing, there are now workplaces with laptops”
The adaption of the hall was symbolic of the changes that had been made to education at the faculty of Industrial Design. The degree programme had once begun with a single professor and an enthusiastic staff of practitioners, mostly with technical backgrounds. From 2000, the faculty increasingly managed to carve out a clear place for itself in the international scientific world. A rapid rise in the number of theoretical insights was combined with ideas about the designer who had not so much knowledge of the design and technological aspects of a product, but more the ability to assess what should be made and how the new design would function in society.
After 2000, a new generation of professors would investigate new directions in design. With professors such as Jan Schoormans and Eric Jan Hultink, the department of Marketing and Innovation Management grew and contributed to market-oriented product development. Researchers on semantics developed ideas on design and experience and on design in a social-cultural context. These ideas were successfully applied in teaching and research by the research groups led by Paul Hekkert and later by Pieter Desmet and Pieter Jan Stappers.