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Euphoriet Jo

Possible To Self Study Id?

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I am currently mostly interested in the "aesthetics/feel" side of Industrial Design (including the physical aspect of course, not just the renderings). My school offered Product Design but it seemed like it was closer to mechanical engineering than ID so I chose a different career.


I'm thinking of going back to school. Unfortunately, San Jose State University which is close to where I live and seems to be pretty good for ID is not accepting applications right now. I would have to wait an entire year to apply it seems.


I've been looking everywhere for ways to self learn this from the ground up. It is very hard for me to find books on amazon that can take me from the basics. I imagine it would be pretty difficult to buy basic equipment for the physical prototypes but perhaps I could actually do this? (I read people can make prototypes out of foam core and wood?).


In short, I'm not sure if I should look into online classes (hard to figure out which schools are actually decent). Plus, I question the effectiveness when dealing with physical prototypes.


I've looked into Rhyno and Autodesk but I find them a bit less intuitive than Maya (in fact autodesk has so many id type apps, it get confusing).



Right now I'm concentrating on my sketching skills so I am studying with some of the stuff by Scott Robertson from Gnomon and a few Sketching books I got from amazon.




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It's possible to self teach yourself almost anything, but I would not expect to ever be able to land a job doing design professionally without a degree. There is so much more that an ID education entails then just being able to draw a picture of something that looks nice. ID education covers how to effectively research issues and test solutions, the human factors and ergonomics of design, CAD (which Maya is not), manufacturing and materials, physical prototyping, and most importantly provides a controlled environment in which you can design, test, and receive feedback in a way that allows your designs to move forward.


To do all of that in a vaccuum by yourself, even with online courses, DVD's and internet sites is very difficult. It's not to say you can't design things without it - I designed and prototyped bike parts before ever going to college, but they were rather simple (and not terribly well designed). So I'm sure if you were passionate about something you could make some stuff and figure out ways to sell it, but I wouldn't expect to be able to go land a gig in a design firm with no formal education.


If you are near a university, it can't hurt to prepare yourself for a year and then sign up for classes the following fall.

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Thank you for your advice. I understand the concerns and you have some very valid points.


I guess I should have mentioned that I am already working as a "Design Engineer".


However I do mostly software so my title should be more like UX/UI/software. However I work mostly with Product Designers, Mechanical Engineers and one ID guy (he recently graduated). I don't really do much of the hardware prototyping myself or design of the physical products, only very rarely and very simple things. I very much understand the importance of user feedback, testing and quick iterations/rapid prototyping. I'm in an unusual but pretty cool position. I don't really spend much time in "the shop" at work but I'm going to change that.


I find UI/UX people seem to read pretty similar books. I only recently found out about the importance of sketching and I think I used to spend too much time focusing on software.



Are there any atelier programs for ID? I'm thinking perhaps I should be looking into something of the sort?





PS: (I've found this pretty helpful: www.idsketching.com and waiting for a few books including both books @ designsketching.com). I'm good friends with the industrial designer at work so we are going to do a little exchange program of me teaching some website dev skill to help him setup his portfolio and he can teach me some id/software.

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