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Guest csven

Where Are The 2008 Predictions For The Id Profession?

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Guest csven
You talked about how designers don't have much say in the final product because at a certain point, their ability to add to a discussion of engineering and manufacturing is limited. So the engineers and manufacturing guys take over and make the final decisions. Well what if you as a designer could "stay at the table" and continue to input and talk the engineering/manufacturing game?

I can answer that, since I have both an aerospace degree and an ID degree.

 

The truth is that how I'm treated and how seriously my ideas are considered doesn't depend on what I'm saying or proposing, but on whether or not someone has preconceived notions about who I am.

 

For example, I always see a shift in attitude after someone learns I'm also an engineer. Up until that point my ideas are usually ignored. After they realize I'm not "just an IDer", everything changes... except what I was saying/proposing.

 

So while it's true that IDers don't have much say in the final product, it's not necessarily because they don't have worthwhile ideas. Sometimes they do. Sometimes they don't. But the problem isn't the worth of their ideas or their technical input, it's whether the rest of the team respects them enough to even listen. So it's cultural more than it is logical.

 

Even more useful is if you know what the engineering/manufacturing limitations are then you can be a more effeective designer in designing things that take these considerations into account.

 

Truthfully, most manufacturing processes aren't especially difficult to understand. Plenty of IDers can be hired as engineers by companies needing a certain level of manufacturing experience. In fact, iirc, one of the best known experts in rotomolding is an IDer; not an engineer. But then how complex is rotomolding? Not very.

 

Lets face it, I've seen some beautiful designs that will only live in the realm of paper because they're EXTREMELY prohibitive to make. Sure there is really no limit to what can be made, but if every piece in a 10,000 part/year production needs it's own lost mold and needs to be hand de-flashed, it'll never happen. Either that, or we as a society need to shift away from the Wal-Mart/cheap paradigm and start looking at quality/specialist/expensive as the new paradigm. Would we be willing to spend 10x more for a product that has all the same function but is more aesthetically appealing?

 

Valid argument in general, but these are business issues. However, if anything, the Wal*Mart model seems to be bottoming out; they're success has hit hard times recently. But I see more and more companies chasing luxury goods.

 

In addition, as we shift to newer processes that don't put limits on form, markets change. Maybe not in the near-term, but in a couple of decades I expect "fabbed" products or products with rapid-manufactured components will be common. And I think the Build-a-Bear model (especially the virtual tie-in stuff) will change the landscape even further.

 

As designers, I'd expect us to see beyond the current systems and recognize the potential changes that impact us.

 

I guess what I'm really trying to get at is that I think design might shift away from a completely separate entity, where a designer draws up ideas and hands them over to someone else to be made. To a more cohesive production cycle, where the designer is also the engineer, or the engineer is also the designer.

 

I tend to agree, but not in the way you're suggesting.

 

To explain: The videogame "Spore" is due out this year. The modeling tools are amazing. And anyone can use them; it's part of the game.

 

Now the word is that the company will link to a fab-on-demand system so people can "print" their own game model creature designs.

 

Think about that for a second. When I was in school in the early 90's, that was science fiction. Now it's likely. And the designers will be everyday people. And if they want, they could resell their "toys" and turn a profit.

 

No engineering degree needed. So in that world, would you rather be the engineer or the IDer?

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Guest DGA

I just want to briefly tell you about my situation---

the way I got to know ID, via university, really gave me some wrong impressions...

the faculty might be relatively well-organized till now, but there's not enough personnel, not enough emphasis on aesthetics or form-giving, because our professor has his own views about the future of the design market ( china ).

low-class-design, for him, this is actually everything about product design, will have migrated to Chinese firms pretty soon...as will the european designers...

 

chinese universities receive billions of euros - support from the government, and although our prof doubts the innovative character of the chinese mind, I dare say, that's simply arrogance.

 

everyday-design-goods, such as loudspeakers, kitchen accessoires, furniture, rims ( one recently founded chinese firm currently holds 60% of the world market? they've got the steel... ), it's not going to be nice...:)

the thing our prof, to save our souls, said, was..."that's why we teach the way we teach".

the problem I have, is, ... I don't get the feeling I've learned anything I couldn't have read here in the forums, and beyond that, I didn't get any sense of that "bigger image" universities claim to "deliver" to students...

this...unhappiness with my own situation, together with the chinese future-dystopia, and reports of designers not being "trusted" enough gets me down...

 

yup. that's pretty much it. After graduating as bachelor, I'll "pause" the ID studies for some time to get to know economy better ( since I'm positive I'd be the worst engineer there is)- the thing about economy or engineering is, their education has not derived from arts, but rather mathematics, logics, i.e. the side-of-the-brain-issue...to me, it's that simple. and after some time studying economy, maybe with another bachelor, I'll have the choice to master in either, to know my preferences... much like an old "fight the system from within"-plan, actually.

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Guest csven

I hear what you're saying. That's why I've been busy searching for other opportunities and options and business ideas; all within the (D)esign framework, however.

 

As to "side-of-the-brain" stuff, this rather long post on my blog might be of interest: "Why “Design Thinking” Makes No Sense To This Designer" (Link). I'm not sure what approach you're taking, but if it's what I think you'll probably enjoy reading that.

 

All the best.

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Just as a short reply to the idea of China as being the leaders in design. In 2007 I was on a one month study trip in China. Where we both had a workshop with some chinese ID students and visited several ID companies along with some factories.

 

I must say that I was quite amazed by some of the chinese students skills, regarding use of 3d and handdrawing. However the attitude was very egoistic and induividual. As is it was all about me, me, me. I came up with that and that idea and I did that and that. There was no sense of teamwork. Totally opposite of what I'm used to from my university and the way I usually work.

 

Then came the fact that they always sought the approval of the professors and did exactly what they said. I think there's a huge cultural difference in how we work in the west compared to the east - regarding i.e. hierachies and leadership. So I'm not concerned that they will take up all the ID jobs out there.

 

 

Another thing I notices when visiting many of the smaller ID companies, was that above all it just had to be cheap and it had to be renewed all the time. The sense of quality was not very outspoken. But of course that can also just be the way they like it in the east - I don't know. However there were also a growing number of western ID companies that have moved to china to benefit from cheaper porduction etc., which made - In my opinion - good quality products.

 

I have no idea of, if this is the real development in China. It is just what I experienced there.

I must say that most students were extremely comitted to their education - much more than I'm used to in Denmark. So with the right education and cultural understanding - they would probably have an advantage if they chosed to move to the western world.

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Guest DGA

well,

 

the original post's idea is pretty much what my prof wants to communicate-

and I actually have to agree with the posting-

design, seen from a public viewpoint, IS fancy drawings, design is "ANY kind of idea with a good presentation"-

my prof wants to turn that around a bit, ... , i.e. with an emphasis on the design progress, the iterativity, the thinking behind it- but of course, presentation techniques are not left behind...will never be.

 

still, it seems there's design courses where drawing and "making it look cool" are considered to be "design" rather than a good idea...

and this is all the guy wanted to say...

saying that design is BOTH is a different discussion, in my opinion...

 

well, anyways..., I'll just keep on trying :)

I still want to be a designer, but with a little more responsibility, not only within a product development team, but also within a firm. and this I hope to achieve through my excursion to economy...

we'll see :wub:

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Guest csven

There have been some recent articles I've read that indicate some of the same things you're mentioning. Interesting stuff. But I always like first-hand reports. Thank you.

 

As you say, the skills are there (I've traveled there and still work with Chinese designers on occasion), but there appears to be a stifling of independent experimentation. But that's an issue which has been raised before. While it might have been - and from what you're indicating might still be - a handicap, I don't think it will be for much longer. My sense is that we'll be surprised by Chinese innovation in the short term... probably in the software arena... and the rest of us should be prepared.

 

Regarding "cheap", for what it's worth, here's an article I read earlier this morning - "The pitfalls of China's rough capitalism" (Link). I thought the article could have emphasized a bit more that Chinese companies basically give the West what they want. Yes, there are incorrectly spec'd parts, but it's not like those issues don't exist in many other parts of the world.

 

As to Quality, that's one I've been watching for some time (because it's at the heart of my future business efforts), but more recently the "Greens" are starting to take up the torch. Good news worth watching.

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Nice article about Chinas capitalism. Makes one think a bit.

 

Just as a small anecdote: We were told by some western architects in China that they had safety factors for contractors. Because they knew that if they said that there had to be 50 steel rods reinforcing a concrete pillar, the contractor would only use 40 or so to save money.

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Guest csven

Not sure my post kickstarted anything. Should we just let this thread die? Doesn't seem to be much interest here in determining ID's potential future.

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Guest acinonyx

I have a degree both in biomechanics and industrial design. I am a little sceptical about the future of the path of ID. the most basic ground resason is that I see ID as a way of humanisation of technology on top of everthing and an abundance of meaning for users.Mostly technological innovations guide what ID can or cannot do as an added value to the technology to be used by the humanity. However if any proper implementation phase is to be carried out this concerns mostly engineers and ergonomists which particularly do the analysis and optmization. I strongly suggest that ID gradutes should have a minor in engineering courses at least. Otherwise the best practical solutions that have been envisioned can lack many fundamental aspects andmay be left to linger behind conjuring much contradiction in between design team members. however this view is restricted by my experince.Anyway the upcoming century will impose more demands on every discipline and depth of knowledge.

 

Another thing to mention is that the ability of the future generation being capable of designing custom things for themselves without the need of a profession to interpret their needs.participatory design is a much debated topic and implemetntations throguht the net is on trial whether you design your shoe or tshirt or snowboard graphic. rather than a talent of a craftsman, design has become a learnable practice for most and as the end users have more to say if supplied with the adequate tools they can design what they want individually. A complete transition would mean less demand for ID and the expression of indivual tastes for the public. basically till now it was a lazy cycle some one thought,conducted research desinged and implemented for you. the next generatiom may be more interested in the prodcuts that they will be using.

 

Now to the point I think the future of products will be basically guided by the fundamental needs of the coming century which are sustainability alternative energy technologies nano engineering technologies and so forth. ID will remain much the same in the cycle how ever other disciplines will have more to say. just a guess...;)

 

for more forecasts

http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/di_sp...05d-schools.htm

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Guest csven
I have a degree both in biomechanics and industrial design. I am a little sceptical about the future of the path of ID. the most basic ground resason is that I see ID as a way of humanisation of technology on top of everthing and an abundance of meaning for users.Mostly technological innovations guide what ID can or cannot do as an added value to the technology to be used by the humanity. However if any proper implementation phase is to be carried out this concerns mostly engineers and ergonomists which particularly do the analysis and optmization. I strongly suggest that ID gradutes should have a minor in engineering courses at least. Otherwise the best practical solutions that have been envisioned can lack many fundamental aspects andmay be left to linger behind conjuring much contradiction in between design team members. however this view is restricted by my experince.Anyway the upcoming century will impose more demands on every discipline and depth of knowledge.

 

Another thing to mention is that the ability of the future generation being capable of designing custom things for themselves without the need of a profession to interpret their needs.participatory design is a much debated topic and implemetntations throguht the net is on trial whether you design your shoe or tshirt or snowboard graphic. rather than a talent of a craftsman, design has become a learnable practice for most and as the end users have more to say if supplied with the adequate tools they can design what they want individually. A complete transition would mean less demand for ID and the expression of indivual tastes for the public. basically till now it was a lazy cycle some one thought,conducted research desinged and implemented for you. the next generatiom may be more interested in the prodcuts that they will be using.

 

Now to the point I think the future of products will be basically guided by the fundamental needs of the coming century which are sustainability alternative energy technologies nano engineering technologies and so forth. ID will remain much the same in the cycle how ever other disciplines will have more to say. just a guess...;)

 

for more forecasts

http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/di_sp...05d-schools.htm

 

After reading your comment I found it interesting that the two ideas - 1) need for ID to become more technical, and 2) consumers designing their products/mass customization - seem at odds. Thoughts?

 

btw, I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on this (from Forbes article - Link):

 

"Companies are connecting with their customers by bringing them into the design process," says Pannozzo. "Terms like 'mass customization' have given way to a YouTube culture of self-expression and individual differentiation."

 

The do-it-yourself movement is an extension of this trend. Publications like Ready Made magazine encourage consumers to put their own spin on things, all the while cutting costs. And designer Wendy Mullin's book Sew U teaches readers to recreate her moderately priced clothing line (Built Buy Wendy) for the cost of a book, fabric, needle and thread.

 

D.I.Y. may always be popular among a certain customer base. But Ziba Design's McCallion believes there will eventually be a mass customization backlash.

 

"We're tribal beings," he says. "I think that the effort that goes into personalization and customization will soon become tiresome. Besides, it's not the shoes you wear but how you wear them. True personalization comes from individual style."

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Guest acinonyx

;) definitely..they are at odds

the first thought is for the present time period

the second for the near future...in the upcoming 30-40 years

 

I will write more detailed answers on thsi topic haw ever having a quick glimpse to the post...

 

I have been searching the net and the schools for probable PhD research topics and current industrial trends. the participation of the customer is a trend and is fast becoming fashionable. Most marketing books are contradicting the all custaomer oriented approach where the most fundamental argument is that customer would not know what he or she wants until she sees it. Like most sofare packages until you have a plug in devised you generally do think you dont need it. how ever most of the time the plug in gives you opprotunities to improve and learn new modules which help assess and create more.

 

if adequate plug-ins to the basic user interfaces used currently for ordering a product can be devised for the current generation of people, people would definitely want differentiating signs icons or other artisitc stuff on their products. For now it is artistic. most kids today have a head-on experience starting as early as what at an age of 1 with software where as I ahd to star with a 8086, or a commodore 64. these people are the promising designers which do spend most of their time on the net or on a PS rather than on the street. if adequate start up modules to such devices are devised they would be eager to express themselves in both that universe and in the real life with rapid prototyping or other forms of direct production techniquies. I built my own toys from what I ahd really mud bircks straw palydooh what ever I can get. the mud bircks and straws of the younger generations lie withing the screen. haptic learning tools designed for dentists maindly today supply the feedback insight to the material and its properties. it is not hard to integrate material properties to software now. :)

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Guest csven

And what of overlap?

And what about business issues; esp in relation to how ID most often currently functions within business organizations?

And what of Ziba's comment that UGC/customization will backlash?

 

These all impact the future of the profession.

 

regarding "plug-ins" and potential research: http://blog.rebang.com/?p=1241 (p.s. I need to fix nomenclatures for these object types)

 

btw, I used Crayons (when I wasn't eating them)

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Guest csven

btw, this is exactly the kind of conversation/discussion I'd like to be having in a synchronous online environment. I'm working hard to provide that right now inside Second Life. I know the arguments and complaints about that application, but it's the best there is right now, imo. So if anyone's interested in virtual discussions, register in SL and drop me an IM (Search People: Csven Concord). Let me know you're interested in discussing ID and I'll invite you to a group I've formed in SL for the purpose of discussing "transreality". By that I'm referring to everything from "kirkyans" to augmented collaboration.

 

On that last point, I *highly* recommend watching this short YouTube vid:

 

 

(If it doesn't display, go here:

)

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I haven't read all the posts here, but it seems you guys are having an interesting conversation. Anyways, my thought about ID in 2008 is that more designers are heading to China, India and maybe Africa to start or continue their profession, cause the opportunities in those countries are getting more attractive. I am hearing and seeing more foreign designers and especially graduates trying to find and get a job here in China.

A friend of mine here told me that we might go back to our home country (Netherlands) in the future, when more Chinese companies are stepping out and establish companies in the west. In that case, our opportunities are shifting back, because we could help them because of our background. Let's see if this would happen.

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