Jump to content
Product Design Forums

Treasurebox
Guest ron66

Industrial Design Skills

Recommended Posts

Guest ron66

Hi,

 

A lot of students and fresh designers here. Wonderfull sketches and wild ideas around here but there is more that makes a good designer that is not part of your studies and that is not too flashy but even more relevant to succes.

 

Selling yourself and your ideas are the thoughest things. Maybe nowadays its part of your study but being commercial and being a designer does not go togheter often.

 

Lesson 1; "Tune in to your customer" Prepare yourself, know who is your customer, what is going on in his markets, who are his competitors and what is hot or not in the market. Offcourse you want to present yourself but only show what is relevant for your potential client. Be carefull not to lose your client during the presentation of your portfolio, I made the mistake a couple of times to present things I was exited about but lost my potential customer since he was only interested in the project I've done he could identify himself with. If you are an internal designer you still have to sell your ideas, the customer is your collegue but the principles are the same.

 

Tell us and maybe we can help eachother a bit by sharing our experiences that we've learned by trail and error. :D

 

Cheers, Ron

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest ron66

Only reading and no replying? Haven't you guys and girls made mistakes or fell on your nose :D C'mon the best way of learning things is by making mistakes and sharing them will learn others to avoid making this mistakes enabling them to make other mistakes ;)

 

Becomming a good entrepeneur is how to manage yourself every day through constantly changing and new situations far beyond your creative product design talent.

 

Cheers, Ron

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest GYOKO

Hi! well, I have kind of a global education in deisgn cause I have been studying so far for 10 years in more then 6 countries..and doing my Masters now.

I have recently beeing shortlisted for one Design Competition but recieved no award, and the funny thing was that I've got more offers than the people who got awards.

the thing is that I am neither perfect at drawing and dont know a @#$@#$ about 3D renderings, but I know and understand perfectly the global process of design. I know how to create a concept, and how to choose the target groups...I know what you should have at the presentation and what is not important...I understand in details Sustainable Design, and I can recognize trends and mega-trends...

The rest of the guys just knows to draw really well, or to do 3Ds... (Not that I dont know to draw..I spend 10 years in art schools and academies).

But do you understand what is more important? Othervise you will just going to be executive designer..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest «AD»

Hm, I see what you mean now...

 

Being a designer is not about the drawing process, but getting into the minds of the people, knowing WHAT they want, HOW they want it, and WHEN.

 

Well... I had hoped this was clear...

Well... Maybe I already know that, because I chose Industrial Design as a topic of special interest when doing my final exams. I checked the internet, found pretty cool "profiles", i.e. what a designer has to be able to do.

 

So- it's not that new to me :D

I mean, I was always the one who said: "what's more important than a good drawing, is a good idea" in school, but that's a problem I have to face sometimes- running out of ideas. I mean, those sketch sessions really help me out, but if I don't sit down and think about something to design, I don't find an idea. What's good is, that WHENEVER I sit down to think of a good idea, I have one.

I'm mainly into TD, and designing cars is absolute fun for me- the problem here again is, that there's no room for something completely new in car design- when thinking of marques.

 

I think of BMW, and I think: "What do they have already, WHAT is it they have not ( a MiniVan), would it be a logical step to introduce that Van (yes), WHO would buy a BMW Van ( same people who wanna buy the Mercedes R, but who aren't okay with Mercedes' pimpy image)" and so on.

 

Actually, I've got several new cars to be designed, beginning with a BMW-Van, continuing with an Audi-Van, Fiat needs a top-of-the-line limousine, too, Volvo should re-design its coupé....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course those other things are more important than being just a great sketch artist, but this doesn't mean being good at sketching is completely unimportant.

 

Being able to create impressive sketches is important to help sell the idea, think of it as nice gift wrap paper.

 

At my faculty the center of gravity isn't the drawing at all, for me that's a reason to put some extra effort in the practise of sketching (which is something I happen to enjoy as well).

Things like pre-concept analysis, human factors, engineering and things like that are really important, but those are the things you won't find online so easily on forums like this for example, simply because well you'll have to be engaged in the project to understand it's value I think.. sketches and renderings are things that we can all have opinions about without needing to know a lot of background info. I think that's the reason why you'll see those a lot more than the other stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest ron66

Sketching is a mean of communication, a mean to show how you got into the mind of people a mean to get into discussion with your client, users, etc.

 

A good handmade render got emotions and balls, a model is my favorite way of presenting ideas and now I also discovered a 3D design program as great tool since I am also an average hand renderer (it also enables you to define the design precisely and communicate this digitally with engineers, so you are also more involved in Design Engeneering).

 

Companies hire you for fresh ideas, new angles, etc. Because of that I always thought "the idea" was the most important and invested a lot of effort in that during my studies. After 10 years in the design arena I realise the commercial aspects surrounding products are way more important than design prizes. Companies survive by selling products not by gathering design prizes. As designer you can visualise in 1 drawing an idea that is more powerfull then a 100 page marketing report. A marketing course can be of great help.

 

Cheers, Ron

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest ron66

Thing that struck me most of what my design education was lacking is "human behavioural studies".

 

Many fresh students with hardly life experience, have traveled hardly and with hardly no scractches of life on their souls are not capable of getting into the minds of users in the new reality created by a newly designed product.

 

Can this be tought ?

 

Cheers, Ron

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest A-Line

I think where this discussion is headed is in the direction of "there are many important skills to being a good Industrial Designer", eg. having the ability to conjure up great ideas, sketching abilities, software competency, awareness of the intricacies of human factors, sustainable design, business sense, etc etc etc.

 

Just as in any other industry, and in life in general, certain people have certain strengths. The key is to recognize those strengths, utilize them to their fullest, but also recognize weaknesses as well, and do your best to improve in those areas.

 

What are your strengths? How or why did they come about?

 

What are your weaknesses? Why is it so, and how can you improve those areas?

 

There is a Japanese saying that translates loosely to, "I know what is just enough". To me that can very much embody the profession of the Industrial Designer as a whole. We need to be knowledgeable in so many different areas, but we cannot expend all of our energies to just one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest bart_schilder

designing=communicating

 

I think that`s the core of what Ron is saying. (and something I learned along the way)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest pojo

to work in this field, you better be able to take harsh criticism of your work. i mean, i go through business presentations where my concept sketches are presented for client appraisal..it is like having a thin slice of your soul nailed to the wall and beaten with bass guitar strings. develop a thick skin for critiscism, a sharp mind that thinks at least a question and answer ahead of your client, and work 'smart' i.e. look ahead at the design process for a given assignment and realise how you can shrink the steps in it without compromising the final quality (not easy but possible).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Jno

I would say that besides all those already mentioned issues one thing that really has been important in my work is to really understand THE BRAND. It is the brand those products are made for. I think we need to understand what the brand stands for, what are the real values behind it and then we can start to think of design. Ofcourse it is possible to work other way: design helps to define the brand but most of the cases are made for already defined brands...

 

JNo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest ron66

"Viva la Difference"

 

Just went with my kids to Madurodam (the Netherlands in Scale), there was a small exibition of chairs in scale; those offered by Vitra. My kids liked the scale trains and buildings but I wondered off to the chairs :D

 

A chair is probably the most designed product ever and seeing all the variants in this small exibition made me realise the importance of every different designer. With every different designer every object becomes a bit different even if the briefing is the same, this makes the world look so interesting and differentiated. Big car manufacturers have design centers with multiculteral teams to create a global product where small furniture companies work with strong individual designers with a clear signature. The interesting point is that Global products that all look the same are losing ground.......................

 

"Viva la Difference" B)

 

Cheers, Ron

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest feesta

Things I didn't learn in school:

 

-presentation materials -- I can give a presentation at a moments notice but I have rarely put together boards or images from sketches that communicate what I'm presenting. This relates to what's already been discussed.

 

-compromising my ideals for the client -- this isn't necessarily something to be practices but it's going to happen to sell the design. I may feel I know what's best for the client but the client may not be willing to make that big of a step. People are often comfortable with what they've been doing and afraid of change.

 

-balance between academic and reality -- a lot of school projects have aspects that are academic ideas like symbolism of a piece or a creative mechanism. I felt rewarded in school for unique ideas but that doesn't mean they are practical or will make it at all in the real world.

 

-I think design students don't realize their value till they get out on their own. A lot of friends have found that their companies (whether design-related or not) value their problem solving skills and though process. When surrounded by others with similar skills, an average student feels average. When put in a pond with the greater population, that person thrives as an asset to their employer.

 

This is just me rambling a bit. Sorry if it doesn't fully make sense.

-jeff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest ron66

Don't want to distress the students and recent graduates but the numbers of designers who are still in business after 10 yrs are very discouraging. Have not seen any numbers but I roughly estimate 5% of the graduates are still in the design industry. My study friends with whom I still in touch I am the only one still in the design business.

 

Is there something missing in design studies? Are there not enough jobs? Or is there another missing link?

 

Cheers, Ron

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest A-Line

In my neck of the woods there are way more graduating students than Industrial Design jobs, by far.

 

As was so succinctly expressed on the IDForum by Rob Curedale , "Product design education has become a bigger industry than product design practice."

 

(An intresting comment because he a professor for chair product design at the Center for Creative Studies Detroit.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.