Industrial design is a form of art involving the development of concepts and specifications for manufactured products. It has evolved into a multidisciplinary profession that combines art, business, engineering, and science to produce innovative, attractive, and usable products.
Industrial designers are strategic stakeholders in the innovation process. They develop industrial standards, analyze production costs and safety of products, and create specifications for manufacturers. Among other roles, they develop and negotiate design solutions with management and clients. Often, they work in small teams.
Industrial designers develop products that meet functional, aesthetic, and economic criteria. They often use computer aided design (CAD) programs to create 3D models, test designs, and document selected designs for production. Many large corporations have an in-house design team.
Industrial designers have a unique skillset that is primarily rooted in graphics and engineering. In addition, they are often very creative, articulate, and expressive. Some designers are also energetic and assertive.
Depending on their specific interests, designers can specialize in product design, branding, or technical design. Industrial designers are responsible for designing appliances, electronics, toys, and other types of gadgets that appeal to consumers. Their designs are shaped by their knowledge of human behavior, social issues, and the needs of the consumer.
Designers collaborate with engineers, marketers, material scientists, and other professionals to develop a new product. They may work in an office environment or on the manufacturing line. Typically, they will work hours that are standard for their industry, but overtime is common.
Designers are often required to have excellent CAD skills, as well as other technical expertise. The field has grown in terms of employment and competition. Generally, a Bachelor’s degree is all that is needed to pursue a career as an industrial designer. However, Master’s degrees are becoming more popular.
Throughout their careers, designers continue to improve their products. Industrial designers are often the first to adopt new technology and materials. With the rise of the green movement, they are often the first to design environmentally friendly alternatives to products.
Industrial design has shifted from being largely focused on the appearance of a product to a more functional approach. This is due in large part to the growth of global trade and the rise of the mass consumption culture. Traditionally, most objects were designed by owners and craftsmen, but the demand for new goods grew during the industrial revolution.
Today, Industrial Designers are working to make appliances, electronic devices, and other gadgets easier to use. This includes developing sleek, appealing, and user-friendly designs. Consumers are also beginning to care more about the environmental impact of their gadgets. Technology is now the front-runner in the design world. A great example of this is the iPad, which was designed by Apple Chief Design Officer Jonathan Ive.
Developing a strong portfolio is important for students interested in industrial design. Ideally, students should work on an internship as a way to gain valuable experience. Getting involved in the industry early will give them a head start in the job market.