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  • The basics of industrial design & appearance design?

    Discussion in 'Industrial design' started by MechEngineer, Aug 31, 2009.

    1. Eon_wu-chinese

      Eon_wu-chinese Member

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      I think most of these are postprocesses, I think the most thing is to design the product in good shape and in right size,this can make people feels good when they look at it.

      Eon
       
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    3. HurricaneLiz

      HurricaneLiz Member

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      I agree with camid also.

      I have trouble understanding exactly what product/industrial design is as well, mechengineers and materials engineers who have seen my portfolio say I'm an inventor who can do product design and apparently there's a differene I'm not smart enough to pick up on. The school I wanted to go to for pd (but can't now bc of hand injuries and drawing limitations) said they needed me to show my work, but, I sent every single tiny scrap of paper associated with my designs, so... no clue. I'm coming up with utility patents that can be cross branded by multiple companies, and layering the product design examples over the top just to show the diverse abilities of the utility, and I think they want to know where I got the utility ideas from, where the process was from a to z, but there wasn't any, these things just come to me fully formed or I dream about people using them, and the only sketching I do is to try to reverse engineer how they could have been manufactured. So, is product design supposed to be where you come up with 30 designs for what form the outside of the utility takes on, and mechengineering designs the underlying utility? Like the concept of a teapot vs. what the teapot looks like? Don't you need to come up with both simultaneously in order to get the most out of both aspects? Aren't they two sides of a coin? How do you design the best exterior of you don't have a grasp of what is and is not mutable on the interior? How do you design the interior without an eye for what drives consumers to buy a product in the first place? There's zero point designing something if no one will buy it.
      If that's right then, beyond the underlying mechanics, or concept, for that matter, when I'm working on a surface design, my goal is to induce in a customer that mini-panic attack that screams "OMG I WANT ONE!!!!". If I get that out of more than 50% of my test market, I'm good. To do that I keep an eye on brandability - how do I make this customer want more than one of these, how do I make them keep that high-pitched level of excitement and carry it forward to the next gen, bc when people look forward to something, psychologically there's a bonding level there that can withstand one or two less awesome designs, if the overall brand love is there. Like, I love my '05 Silverado, but you wouldn't catch me dead in an HHR even though I appreciate the style lines on behalf of other peoples' preferences. All customers I've psychoanalyzed (lol) say that that future anticipation, and initial visceral reaction are what drive their choices. Taping into that - whatever your field, should be your goal in my mind.
       
    4. AdamW

      AdamW Member

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      Read this! This guy's amazing:

      Christopher Alexander, 'Notes on the Synthesis of Form', Harvard 1964
       
    5. PeterB

      PeterB Member

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      You don't mention what field or application your engineering takes place in. But in general you would be advised to seek the advice of an experienced and successful Product or Industrial Designer, whose work includes items which are relevant to your particular interest.

      Basically, that type of designer's expertise, blends an understanding of engineering, science, technology and manufacturing knowledge in a variety of materials, with those of ergonomics, aesthetics and marketing. So their range of skills and expertise covers a much wider field than that of most engineers. That is not to say that 'engineers' per se, cannot also rise to the challenges that this implies. There are some notable examples in various engineering sectors, where elegant design solutions in the wider sense, are regularly created.

      However, these skills and the necessary sensitivities that often come with them, are either well formed by nurture from the start (through family interests and experience), or by comprehensive training and professional practice, or both. So I would not advise that you approach this task on a DIY basis, without first developing a good understanding of the issues, knowledge and methodologies involved.

      Good design is about resolving the various requirements of a brief, satisfying the inevitable conflicts that arise and generating an elegant solution which both performs to that brief and appeals well to the users, so that it can be a commercial success and stand out against its competition. Good design is NOT about tacking on some kind of cosmetic bandage to an otherwise lack-lustre structure.

      So approach with caution; seek good and appropriate advice; if necessary gather a suitably skilled team around you and then watch and learn how these abilities can work successfully in practice while tackling your particular issues. That will likely be the most effective means of reaching an understanding of what is involved and whether you could rise to the challenge yourself in the future.

      There are a few joint or combined courses available at some colleges, where engineering graduates can work with industrial design departments for post-graduate education, but these may not be common. Unfortunately, the engineering graduate may not have some of the in-built skills which the design graduate will have already evolved from parenting or from earlier art and foundation design courses. So their ability to express themselves coherently through simple sketching and visualisation, or their ability to economically investigate and explore alternative details or potential design solutions, will be limited in comparison. That ease of communication of visual ideas, particularly to other team members, may therefore be compromised.

      Developing those skills is not absolutely essential and does take time and practice. But they are a very useful foundation on which to accumulate all those other sectors of specialised knowledge, which are necessary to follow and be competent in this profession. They can also be very useful during team discussion meetings or brain-storms, where one quick sketch can clarify the understanding and comprehension of innumerable words - and you don't need to be working in industrial design for that to be beneficial to your career.
       
    6. Plasticman

      Plasticman New Member

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      I would say Form, Fit and Function
      Form - Appearance and asthetics are important in the comsumer world, not so in other areas, but if it looks the part it probably is.
      Fit - Is the design fit fot purpose?
      Function - dose it do the job it is designed to do?
      RKS
       
    7. Neubauplan

      Neubauplan New Member

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    8. Brian Hill

      Brian Hill Guest

      Nothing earth shattering, but one simple principal has stuck with me. Skip the simple rounds. Consumers may not be able to derive the formula for a simple round or any other curve. But they know two peices of fabricated material form a right angle, and a round is only a simple step better. People have been staring at fabricated goods all their lives, and have some understanding of how they are put together. Higher order curves look less like simple fabrication and more like a thought out design.
      Even softening the bends around a keypad or screen make them seem more natural.
      The more I think about it, the more reasons I can think of that people like the higher order rounds.
      (Unless they are a designer or fabricator working off my models. Then they are all like do we really need these 2nd order curves? It's just a keypad and I want to use a punch.)
       
    9. Michael Davis

      Michael Davis Member

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    10. jpagella

      jpagella New Member

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      You should check out idsa.org, the website of the Industrial Designers Society of America. They have a section about industrial design and what it is.
       

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