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What is Industrial Design?

What is Industrial Design?

According to the Industrial Design Society of America, Industrial Design (ID) is the professional practice of designing products, devices, objects, and services used by millions of people around the world every day. Industrial designers typically focus on the physical appearance, functionality and manufacturability of a product, though they are often involved in far more during a development cycle. All of this ultimately extends to the overall lasting value and experience a product or service provides for end-users. Every object that you interact with on a daily basis in your home, office, school, or public setting is the result of a design process. These designers make a myriad of decisions all aimed at improving your life with well-executed design.

Academy of Art University, Spring Design show

Industrial design connects the user to the product. They say the best-designed product is the one you use every day without really thinking about it–it should seamlessly blend into your life. Good design is important, but function is imperative. Industrial Design is a relatively new practice that was first mentioned only 100 years ago any only pretty recently defined. Although product design always existed, it wasn’t really recognized as a field you could get a job in. Now many colleges offer major programs in the practice.

Helix Design

A Typical Day

What is a typical day like for an industrial designer? Depending on what company they work for, industrial designers will create everything from toys to car parts or home appliances. It involves a lot of sketching and researching product standards. It is a great way to combine art with engineering. You have the freedom to make aesthetic decisions that also add to the overall function of the product–it merges art with science. Many designers work face to face with users to conduct market research.

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We need industrial designers to be a liaison between the technical and the human. You can thank them for the positive user experience you have with all the great products you own. Check out some iconic industrial designers here.

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