Industrial Design Profession
Industrial designers are the creative agents and facilitators of change who develop products and systems which are inspirational and creative, which offer an aesthetic experience to the user, engage the user with its functional and interactional qualities, empower and enable the user, allow personalization, evolve in accordance with changing needs and preferences, promote local resources, knowledge and skills, and use resources such as materials, energy and water effectively during the production and use phases. In realizing these products and systems, industrial designers may integrate various scales and approaches of production, spanning batch or mass production, craft, do-it-yourself and open design.
Industrial designers focus on the whole product lifespan by taking into account individual, social, cultural, environmental, technical and economic considerations. Industrial design expertise involves exploring and understanding user behavior and user needs so as to incorporate local knowledge; applying foresight to predict usage and interaction scenarios that lead to positive user experiences; reflecting on areas in need of change through developing inspirational and enduring products; extending the lifespan of products through enabling product repair, re-use and recovery; and encouraging responsible means of production and use considering the Earth’s limited resources.
In order to bridge the gap between product development and product use, industrial designers benefit from various human-centered design research methods. These range from exploratory and evaluative methods such as observation, interviews and focus groups, to generative and participatory methods such as design workshops, 2D and 3D collages, Velcro modeling and user diaries.
The services provided by industrial designers as consultants or in-house professionals are sought by private companies specializing in various sectors including electrical household appliances, medical equipment, consumer electronics, sanitaryware, cookware and tableware, personal accessories, packaging, home and office furniture, city furniture, lighting and transportation. Non-governmental organizations, public institutions and governmental bodies also have potential to benefit from the expertise of industrial designers.