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Guest cprodesign

ID and ME

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Guest cprodesign

Does anybody here can tell me how to set up a good relationship between the Industrial Designer and the Mechanical Engineer?

 

Any comments to the Integrated Product Development(iPD) ?

 

Marketing+ID+ME+Production=iPD?

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Guest feesta

in school we had an IPD class that most of my friends took but i did not. The book they used was Creating Breakthrough Products (written by the professors). I heard it was a real drag but if you are looking for data and hard facts about it, get the book.

 

from my experience, both people have to try to find commonground and try to understand the other's perspective. As an industrial designer, I found it hard not to think the engineers are souless machines looking for the most efficient solution. I think it is all about communication and listening and keeping both parties involved in decision making.

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Guest nextIR

what's up

 

my bachelor's is in ME (from florida a&m univ) and i'm getting my master's in ID (from the university of cincinnati). so, yep, ME and ID can coexist, quite happily. I think it takes an open mind on both parts of course.

 

it's funny ... i'm taking a couple of classes at UC's applied sciences college with a bunch of mechanical engineering technology students (the less theoretical, much more applied version of ME). it's kind of bizzare because i used to BE those guys. closed minded as can be, not open at all to new things are things they haven't been taught. they care very little about the environment or society it would seem. they know about making things work and the logistics of making them happen. they are less aware of the user, aesthetics, ergonomics, etc.

 

i remember wanting to work as an ME and then retiring as soon as humanly possible (age 45ish). and that's the move for most engineers. they work work work and retire so they can do what they want to. so it dawned on me one day that i should try finding something i absolutely love doing and get paid for doing it and then never stop working until i'm dead. 8ish hrs a day is about half of my waking adult life, so why not enjoy it? i'm not trying to make it out like there are no ME's who don't absolutely love what they do, b/c they are out there as well. but as far as america goes, people don't really assume that they should like their career, they just do it to make money. it's hard to see that phenomenon when you're born and raised here ... b/c that's the normal cultural MO, y'know?

 

so, if you're really trying to get a bull-headed ME to understand design, you've got to befriend him/her first. as you get to know one another, you get to understand what drives the other person and you're far more likely to RESPECT the other's talents. and if you can keep the other person's interests and talents in mind and make their job easier, work just gets more and more enjoyable and synergistic. you've absolutely got to communicate.

 

i think it's important also to get the ME to understand that functionality, while critical to a product's success, if they consumer never picks the product off the shelf, the functionality is meaningless and lost to the consumer. engineers in general don't think in terms of non-engineering-educated users who will be interacting with the product, that's why we've got IDers. engineers need to be educated about experience and emotion as it relates to design. if you can think of an example of something that really matters to that engineer, you might start to get him/her to understand where you're coming from. for example, if he's a diehard mopar guy, then ask him why that is. ask him what mopar represents to him and why he would never drive anything but a vintage mopar on the weekends. this is the power of branding (trust and heritage) and the power of design. it's all about relating what you understand as a designer to him as an engineer.

 

the absolute worst thing you can do is to come off as 'holier than thou'.

 

bill mcdonough has said (probably quoting someone else) that 'design is the first sign of intent'. wait, maybe that was david orr. either way, you probably know more about design (as we know it) and he knows more about design (as he knows it). you both have respective areas of expertise. everyone likes to talk about themselves, right? well, ask the engineer to teach you something about engineering, or how he would think about something as an engineer.

 

either way, it takes effort and humbling of self on both the engineer's and designer's part. it's like developing any other type of relationship.

 

if you've got any more questions, lemme know ...

 

take care

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Agreed with nextIR. Humility is key to getting along. Not acquiescence mind you- but setting your ego aside for a while and critiquing your concepts from ME point of view.

Our training also tends to be different. The engineers I have worked with seem to be better trained at trouble shooting and have not had as much practise with idea generation. Consequently they can get frustrated with a multitude of poorly developed concepts. This can also be bad because sometimes a stubborn ME can flog a dead horse.

 

My relationship with ME is good when the channels of communication are open. This means explaining to my engineer that yes we have to add that slide because it means that the strap will be in an ergonomic place. Very often the ME can see the problem that I am trying to solve and come up with a more elegant solution that fits the parameters.

 

When it comes to aesthetics more often than no they just roll their eyes and go along with what ID says. There are certain rules with aesthetics but it is still a very subjective area- you have to be encouraging. Try not to slam ME down if they try to solve an aesthetic problem. Point out what is right and quietly ask them to feasibly correct what is wrong

 

Getting along with ME is a matter of time. If over a period of time ME sees that you are not just providing BS answers but logical solutions this helps. Our ME team respects our problem solving solutions because they have seen past results.

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Guest celticsun

:ph34r: ID VS ME

 

 

This is great, I love this stuff, My older brother is a mechanical Engineer and I am a Industrial designer. So this is the best way to out it:

 

Industrial Design is 95% design and 5% roughly engineering

 

Mechanical Engineering is 95% engineering and 5% roughly design

 

My older brother was the President of Vespa club of America, when it came to designs oh it was not there but if there was a mechanical issue with the scooters... he was all over it.

 

Yes we both need each other, one with out the other shows like a sore thumb but together and the company shines.

 

celticsun :ph34r::blink:

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