What is industrial design?
Everyone has experienced the difficulty of hoovering the stairs. When the cord won’t stretch far enough, or when the hoover refuses to balance on a step; you’re sweating and stressed out like the neat freak you are.
Dyson set out to solve this problem. How? By designing a hoover to sit on and climb up steps when pulled. Success! Problem solved. Customers loved it and it replaced the traditional hoover.
Dyson later redesigned its climbing hoover to eliminate contact with steps all together. In doing so, they fixed a problem their customers didn’t even know existed, making everyday life easier without them even having to ask. This is industrial design.
Industrial designers create new products, or re-design existing ones, to solve everyday problems. This is done through a collaborative effort with marketing, engineering, and production teams. Everything from cars and toasters to smart phones and life-saving medical equipment is industrially designed. It’s the practice of producing products used by millions of people around the world every day.
They’re not only focused on the appearance of a product, but also on how it functions, how it’s manufactured and ultimately the value and experience it provides for users. Every product you interact with in your day to day life is the result of a design process, and the result of thousands of decisions aimed at improving your life.
In the ideation phase of a project, designers will sketch, render, 3D model, prototype and test ideas to find the best possible solution to a problem. This phase of the design process is messy, fast paced and extremely exciting! By testing, breaking and rebuilding prototypes, designers can begin to understand how a product will work, look and be manufactured.
In the final stages of the design process, industrial designers will work with the relevant mechanical engineers, material scientists, manufacturers and branding strategists to bring their ideas to life through production, fulfilment and marketing. After months, and sometimes years, of development, a product will find its way to store shelves around the world for people to purchase and bring home.
Industrial design is the process of turning an idea or drawing into a final functioning product and all the steps in-between.
– Eamonn Shiels – Manifesto Design Intern.