Studies & Degrees in Industrial Design
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Art comes in all shapes and sizes as well as medium and purpose. Industrial art is becoming a well-known art genre because of the dependence of people to technology. It is small wonder that Industrial Design is also one of the most popular majors for students today.
Industrial Design is an applied art wherein aesthetics and utilization of products are improved for marketability and production.
It was competition that gave birth to this art genre. After 1865, competition forced manufactures to improve product appearance to gain advantage in the market. New materials like celluloid also substituted expensive materials like ivory and tortoiseshell, making it easier for ordinary citizen who wanted both comfort and luxury to buy products that were less expensive. Although apparent, Industrial Design was not considered a profession during the 19th century. As a business response to the Great Depression in the 1930s, commercial artists and stage designers turned to product designing which profited both the manufacturers and the consumers. Consultant industrial designers like Henry Dreyfuss, Norman Bel Geddes, Raymoned Loewy, and Walter Dorwin Teague became instant celebrities while companies like General Electric and Sears Roebuck employed many in-house designers. As time passed by and as technology made the world smaller and the global competition more intense, industrial designers became more popular and in-demand.
Students who want to take this major will learn about the basics of two and three dimensional design, history of Art and Design, traditional and computer-aided drawing, drafting and model making, and liberal arts. Students will learn how to design and develop product concepts then build models or visualize them using computer technology. They will also have to learn presentation skills to be able to communicate their creative ideas and concepts and to demonstrate their products to an audience. Some advanced topics that students might encounter are ergonomics, materials and manufacturing, engineering, and, of course, marketing. Many schools offer different activities for students like debates and experience-based assignments which require students to interact with each other and to experience, first hand, the joy of designing industrial products. Eventually, students will be able to make their own physical or digital portfolio to match their professional resume.
The main responsibility of an industrial designer is to lead the way in the design to create products that are user-friendly, safe, energy-efficient, and enjoyable for consumers. Bringing together aesthetics with ergonomics, materials, manufacturability, and environmental considerations, industrial designers go through the development cycle: from the initial concept, through its development and manufacture, and finally to the marketing of the products. Industrial designers are the advocate of the users, manufacturing products that fit people’s needs.
In today’s society, technology is a necessity that’s why career opportunities for industrial designers are abundant. These career opportunities include, but are not limited to: exhibit designing, furniture designing, product designing, toy designing, architecture, computer interface designing, management, marketing, and business ownership. Industrial designers also have the opportunity to work in engineering and design teams wherein they can integrate Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, and Robotics into making a well-balanced design for specific products for, say, marine biology or sports rehabilitation equipments.