Interdisciplinary Design Studio

Program Dates: May 24, 2023 - June 30, 2023

This is a five and a half week intensive program that will focus on collaborative problem solving and design thinking. Students will be divided into groups and asked to identify a specific situation dealing with the human condition. This might include a design exploration with Adidas drawing inspiration from the students' travel in Europe or designing for refugee situations, diminished capacity, medical, or even disaster relief. It is important that students find an area of interest within these complex and multidimensional problems to single out a particular focus with which they truly empathize. Students will study the area and using design thinking, conceptualize, theorize, and then propose solutions and systems for solving or improving the situation. This might be a product, event, environment, or process, or combination thereof. This past summer we collaborated with Adidas to redesign the iconic Samba. Before that this project was done in conjunction with Doctors Without Borders. A second individual project will also be done, dealing with design history and influence utilizing Prague's rich canvas of buildings and objects. Utilizing 3D print technology will be part of this exploration. Students will also travel to areas in Czechia including Cesky Krumlov, Brno, and Mikulov. Each of these towns offers unique opportunities.  Cesky Krumlov is one of the best examples of a baroque castle in Europe and boasts a unique medieval experience for the students. Brno boasts the Tugendhat Villa, Mies Van Der Rohe architectural masterpiece. And Mikulov hosts the Czech design festival each May that the students will attend.



Prague is the capital and largest city in the Czech Republic, the 13th largest city in the European Union and the historical capital of Bohemia. Situated on the Vltava river, Prague is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of 2.7 million. The city has a temperate oceanic climate, with relatively warm summers and chilly winters.

Prague is a political, cultural, and economic centre of central Europe complete with a rich history. Founded during the Romanesque and flourishing by the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque eras, Prague was the capital of the Kingdom of Bohemia and the main residence of several Holy Roman Emperors, most notably of Charles IV (r. 1346–1378). It was an important city to the Habsburg Monarchy and its Austro-Hungarian Empire. The city played major roles in the Bohemian and the Protestant Reformations, the Thirty Years' War and in 20th-century history as the capital of Czechoslovakia between the World Wars and the post-war Communist era.

Prague is home to a number of well-known cultural attractions, many of which survived the violence and destruction of 20th-century Europe. Main attractions include Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, Old Town Square with the Prague astronomical clock, the Jewish Quarter, Petrín hill and Vyšehrad. Since 1992, the extensive historic centre of Prague has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.

The city has more than ten major museums, along with numerous theatres, galleries, cinemas, and other historical exhibits. An extensive modern public transportation system connects the city. It is home to a wide range of public and private schools, including Charles University in Prague, the oldest university in Central Europe. 

Brno is a city in the South Moravian Region of the Czech Republic. Located at the confluence of the Svitava and Svratka rivers, Brno has about 380,000 inhabitants, making it the second-largest city in the Czech Republic after the capital, Prague, and one of the 100 largest cities of the EU. The Brno metropolitan area has more than 600,000 inhabitants.

Brno is the former capital city of Moravia and the political and cultural hub of the South Moravian Region. It is the centre of the Czech judiciary, with the seats of the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, the Supreme Administrative Court, and the Supreme Public Prosecutor's Office, and a number of state authorities, including the Ombudsman, and the Office for the Protection of Competition. Brno is also an important centre of higher education, with 33 faculties belonging to 13 institutes of higher education and about 89,000 students. 

Ceský Krumlov is a town in the South Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic. The historic centre with the Ceský Krumlov Castle complex is protected by law as an urban monument reservation, and since 1992, it has been a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its well-preserved Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture. 

Mikulov is a town in Breclav District in the South Moravian Region of the Czech Republic. It has about 7,500 inhabitants. The historic centre of Mikulov is well preserved and historically significant and is protected by law as an urban monument reservation. (Source: Wikipedia)



All program participants will be enrolled in both classes. All participants must be Industrial Design majors. 

Course Prefix

Course Name



IND 3530-103

Prague Studio


Michael Rall

IND 3531-104

Focus Class Studio


Donald Corey


Faculty Leaders

Mr. Michael Rall
Associate Professor
Department of Applied Design


Michael Rall is an Associate Professor of Industrial Design and Assistant Chairperson of the Department of Applied Design at Appalachian State University where he teaches both studio courses and those built around CADD development. Michael has shown his work internationally at Top Drawer London (2021), IDS Toronto (2016), and Zona Tortona (2009). In addition, design work that he has contributed to has been shown at IDS Toronto (2014), Salone Satellite (2011) and the Barrett-Jackson Car Auction (2011). With an eye for style and function, he specializes in the CADD of a wide range of products from Furniture to Housewares.


Mr. Donald Corey
Department of Applied Design

Donald Corey is a Professor and Coordinator of the Industrial Design Program at Appalachian State University. He hopes to connect with the people who use his designs on an emotional level; adding play to the ordinary and a little fun to life.  Mr. Corey's designs have been showcased at international design events in Milan, Italy; Toronto, Canada; Sydney, Australia; Copenhagen, Denmark; London, UK; and New York, USA. He runs the design firm The Other Edge, Inc. located in Raleigh, North Carolina with clients in furniture, medical, architectural, and gift industries.


Program Cost: $4,686

Program cost includes meals, lodging, in-country transportation. 

Estimated Additional Expenses


Tuition - Resident

$152.54 / credit hour

Tuition - Non-Resident

$172.54 / credit hour

Personal Expenses




Meals (not included in fee)




Please note that non-billable costs are estimates only and will be affected by personal spending habits, currency fluctuations, etc. Prices listed in USD unless otherwise noted. Students are encouraged to start planning for their study abroad program costs well in advance. 

Payment Schedule





 Upon receipt of application

Payment 1



Payment 2 



Payment 3



Appalachian reserves the right to cancel or alter the program format or to change costs in case of conditions beyond the university's control.  Further details about Appalachian's withdrawal/cancellation policy can be found at this link.


Application Process

  1. In order to apply for this program, you will need to contact one of the program leaders and provide your Banner ID and email address. Program leaders may request additional information or a meeting to discuss the details of the program and your interest.
  2. When permission to apply for the program is granted, you will receive an email from the Office of International Education and Development with a link to the application and further instructions.
  3. Your application will be considered complete when you have submitted it and paid the $300 deposit fee. The fee cannot be paid until it appears on your student account. Please note that it may take 2–3 business days for it to post to your account. You will receive an email with Instructions for paying the deposit fee. Instructions can also be found in the application.