What do Industrial Designers do all day?

The term Industrial Design is still a relatively new one, and thus is often met in conversation with a half comprehensive look of hazy understanding. It is a term without great specificity or history, yet Industrial Design itself is increasingly and continuously being acknowledged as a discipline of our age, a field that is extremely broad, constantly changing and one that could only exist within our current society. 

As a means of further defining Industrial Design, why not look at what it is that Industrial Designers do daily?

Industrial Designers Sketch, a lot. They sketch, quickly and conceptually to externalize initial ideas. Sketch to study and investigate appearance, proportion and scale of concepts in detail. 

 Designers sketching at Charles and Ray Eames’ Studio

Designers sketching at Charles and Ray Eames’ Studio

Industrial Designers communicate, part of which is sketching, part of which is rendering, modeling and detailing technical components.

 Ross Lovegrove Conceptual Sketch

Ross Lovegrove Conceptual Sketch

Industrial Designers prototype and test, in various phases of design development from simple product mock-ups used to explore and visualize the relationships between different design elements, through to fully functional, operational and accurate physical/appearance representation models.  

 Prototypes and Models at Industrial Designer Hella Jongerius’ Studio 

Prototypes and Models at Industrial Designer Hella Jongerius’ Studio 

Prototyping and evaluating again and again until pre-production, to ensure that design intent and performance have been met, for optimal function, value and appearance. 

These steps are not numbered or even necessarily linear as the design process is not defined or sequential.

That is to day, the Industrial Design process is intuitive and constituted by a breadth of multi-disciplinary functions.

Conceptually, Industrial Design involves identifying user segments, foreseeing product and brand opportunities, designing physical and digital products, designing spaces and systems. 

A combination of problem identification, solving and intelligent aesthetic and user-centered design solutions, achieved through multi-disciplinary thinking is where Industrial Design comes to be. 

Industrial Design means thinking both about and beyond the end product. And that is what Industrial Designers do all day.