ESDI is a college of higher education in design, linked to the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ). Founded in 1963, it is the oldest design college in Brazil and in South America. ESDI seeks to provide education in design in its broadest sense, equipping students with a solid foundation in the field and preparing them to pursue in depth their individual areas of interest.

The undergraduate course consists of a five-year programme of full-time study, leading to a diploma in design (equivalent to a U.S. or British B.A.) and covering both product design and graphic design. Since 2005 ESDI offers a Masters program in design.

ESDI is located in an extremely central section of Rio de Janeiro, at the edge of the historic Lapa district. Its compact but pleasant campus consists of a set of buildings housing classrooms; modeling, metal, wood and printing workshops; photographic and computer laboratories; a library; and facilities for research.