Before a product is manufactured, the producer must consider consumer needs: how the product will be used, produced, and distributed; environmental concerns; the costs of production; and the product's potential price. The industrial designer is at the heart of this process, whether it involves the modification of an existing product, or a totally new concept, idea or invention. New materials and manufacturing techniques are explored with a view to creating product concepts for the future. The creative and technological thrust of the program is supported by business studies, professional practice, consumer knowledge, and ethics. Design projects, carried out in the School's workshops and studios, are at the centre of the program, reflecting the work environment of the profession.