If I tell someone that I’m an industrial designer or product designer (both true by definition), he/she will still have questions. I’m a designer. When I tell this to people, their reactions vary a lot.
“Do you makes logos?” “So, you’re like an architect?” “Do you design interiors?” “Can you make websites?” “Did you have to go to school for that?”
Many think industrial design relates to architecture or engineering. Product design brings visions of luxury goods or software. Since design can be applied to everything we create, it suffers from ambiguity. Industrial designer affects pretty much every object on planet Earth.
Have you heard of this guy?
He is, Jonathan Ive, designer behind design of apple products. He's an industrial designer.
Let's go back a bit.
When Homosapiens emerged from the Neanderthals era, one of the things which differentiated us was our ability to make things. This started the stones and clubs but quickly moved on to pots and clothing and jewelry.
People made things for their own use based on their own personal skills. This was the era of the Craftsman and then stay that way until the emergence of trade in the division of Labor.
During the Renaissance, the world of art perspective, Edinburgh printed stuff,
music turned good, and folks started to make things for other people in the workshops and Florence, Venice, Nuremberg, and Brush. This proceeded until the late 18th century when steam power brought about the Industrial Revolution.
Production led to mass production workshops through into factories, and new models of manufacturing and consumption emerged. Industrial design began around the start of the 20th century. With the emergence of the modern, we developed into the House and the obvious. Between the 1930s and 1950s, the American designer Raymond Loewy popularized industrial design through his work with Pennsylvania Railroad, Greyhound, Studebaker, and countless domestic product manufacturers bringing elegant designs to the masses in the 19 sixties and seventies.
Deiter Rams do the same for brought a notorious for activity, fast forward to the 1980s, and industrial design finally landed with the emergence of agencies like Frog and Ideo.
Today you can find industrial designers all over the world.
But what do they do?
At the core of industrial design lies the creation of plans for manufacturer's scale.This involves an understanding of user behavior, ergonomics, shape, color materials, finishes, manufacturing, and function.
Outside of this core sits in a understanding of how an object sits within a brand,
how its benefits may be communicated its role in society for its impact on other
Industrial designers draw a lot to take these drawings into 3D software.
We work with electrical engineers,mechanical engineers, manufacturing engineers. We prototype a lot.We make things on machines. We make models we make 3 D prints were obsessed with small details because, unlike software, we can not send an update to a product that has to be right the first time.
These skills mean industrial designers are increasingly useful in a wider spectrum of work.Industrial designers have the ability to make the future seem real through models, animations, movies and storytelling.
They know how to make things desirable, to make people want things and feel good using them. They know how to make things have a minimal impact on the planet they can use. Design is a critical tool to make speculations or statements.
They know how to observe people and how they use and understand technology.
They can take an electrical prototype, a patent or a mechanical assembly and turn it into a desirable, effective and feasible object.
If you want to make a thing at scale, you'll need an industrial designer.