Take a look around you, what do you see? Chances are you see products everywhere — things from furniture, electronics, home appliances, and toys. These products fill our homes and lives up to the brim, but have you ever thought about what goes into the development of that item? This is where an industrial designer can come in.
Industrial designers ( also known as product designers) are the people who develop and conceptualize manufactured products. It is their job to seamlessly integrate art and engineering, while taking into account functionality, aesthetics, and usability of the products, to create products that are used every single day. There’s a ton of factors that go into creating all of those objects, and industrial design can be a great career path for many.
What Does an Industrial Designer Do?
The job path of industrial designed is varied. In general, these designers create the concepts for manufactured products, while identifying a market opportunity for each specific item. While the job of an industrial designer changes every single day, some of their responsibilities include:
- Defining a problem and creating the item with a solution in mind
- Consulting with clients on their needs and wants
- Researching the ways the product will and can be used
- Physically sketch out product ideas
- Using computers to create virtual designs
- Printing prototypes
- Determine end production costs after researching material costs and manufacturing costs
- Evaluate the safety of the product as well as listing out any potential risks l
- Work with other specialists such as mechanical engineers to determine the practicality of the item and it if can be done at a reasonable expense
- Present the final designs to the end client
What Skills Are Needed?
Some industrial designers work in specific product categories, such as electronic products, sports items, or objects in the medical field. But no matter what path you take in industrial design, there are some specific skills needed to thrive in the field. Industrial design school will teach you the following qualities:
- Artistic ability. The designers are responsible for the entire design process from start to finish including sketching and creating prototypes. It also goes without saying how much they need to be creative in this job field!
- Analytical skills. There are a lot of details that go into creating the right product, and an industrial designer must use logic and reasoning skills.
- Interpersonal skills. Industrial designers do not work alone, they have to work well with other professionals in the field.
- Problem solving skills. These designers are not in the industry of just creating a product for the sake of experimentation. Instead, the designers must specifically determine the need, size, design, and cost of each product. They solve problems every single day with the creation of their objects!
- Mechanical skills. Most products require some sense of engineering skills, as they need to know how each item is manufactured and created.
To be hired as an industrial designer, it is required to have a bachelor’s degree in either industrial design, architecture, or engineering. But there are some specific classes that employers will look at to ensure you have the right education. For example, it is important to take a few design classes, three-dimension modeling, industrial materials and processes, manufacturing methods, and business. If you are looking to go down this route, there are 320 colleges and universities across the nation that offer these programs.
Industrial design can be a fulfilling career for anyone looking to make an impact. With this information, hopefully you are more educated on this career path.