Join Scott Clear for an in-depth discussion in this video Defining industrial design, part of Industrial Design Foundations.
- Industrial design. What is that? Industrial plus design. Usually when people ask me what I do for a living they get the design part roughly right. It has something to do with creativity. But industrial. Usually they jump to the conclusion that maybe I design factories for a living, or maybe I design machinery for a living. Though that may be possible, but that's not usually the correct definition. If we look back, when did industrial design surface? It had to do with the Industrial Revolution.
When we start thinking about Industrial Revolution, it starts to make a lot more sense. Before the 1900s we had craftsman. The craftsman, they learned their trade. They handed it down from generation to generation and that's how we learned how to make stuff. But Great Britain started exploding with the Industrial Revolution in the early 1900s, and that created a new path for creativity, which meant not crafting things, not designing only one thing, but master application of something.
So in the Industrial Revolution we had to have a new type of designer that knew how to manufacture and make something in a massive quantity so we could have it easily afforded, so it was mass distributed, and these are the types of things that created a different path and that's how the industrial design came. If we fast forward to today, you'll hear a lot more definitions of what an industrial designer is. Most of the descriptions are usually around something to do with the user or user-centric, or there's some kind of designing and user experience, which is great, because that's what we're designing for.
However, there's a lot of other things that will come into play. We still have marketing, we still have sales. We still have the distribution, your packaging, and there's several other partners in place other than the user. The industrial designer has to also keep all this in mind as well, not just the end-user. The path forward, industrial design has created and afforded us a few different paths and specialty areas now. It's not just industrial designers now. There are user-interface, we call UI. There's user-experience, we call UX.
And there's a number of other specialty paths that go into transportation, or maybe packaging, graphics, and other areas. So it's expanded. It's gone into greater detail. The definition keeps on growing, but you'll find out what's best for you. Industrial design is the general term, and then you'll see that there's going to be a specialty area that you might be even more interested in.