The Industrial Design (ID) program teaches students to design products in support of human activities and interactions. We emphasize human observation, modeling, and testing, while preserving the richness of the visual and formal traditions in the field. From Carnegie Mellon
The backbone of Enhance Product Development is our team of industrial designers. Their brilliant minds continue to amaze our clients, and myself, every day.
The biggest thing industrial designers are known for is the amazing 3D CAD drawings and product renderings (see picture above) they create on the computer, but there’s a lot of prepping they do first that we don’t see…
Industrial designers focus on product safety, comfort, efficiency and of course, aesthetics. They are a cross between mechanical engineers and artists. They study both function and form, and the connection between product and the user. Industrial designers are different than graphic designers because they’re very familiar with manufacturing processes. Although our industrial designers spend most of their time on the computer, they ultimately marry the inventor’s visions with the manufacturer’s capabilities. This is no easy feat, as most inventors aren’t familiar with the limitations and processes of manufacturing.
Having worked with graphic designers in previous positions, I was very surprised to see that industrial design work is not all done on a computer. Our industrial design team does extensive research and brainstorming before starting a project. They start by searching online for current market trends, competition, etc and then use that information to brainstorm the details of their project. Bill Addison, an Enhance Product Development Industrial Designer, says, ‘Designers should seek to accomodate the needs and wants of the culture whom the marketing is directed towards.’ He actually practices what he preaches too because he researches the culture of where a product is going to be sold when doing projects for international clients.
There are whiteboards all over our office that the designers use while brainstorming. Sometime they use molding clay, paper sketch pads, construction paper, or other applicable materials to further test ideas. Our offices could probably be used for Kindercare with all of the craft materials the designers have.
Here is what our designers told me they focus on during brainstorming sessions:
DEFINE THE PROBLEMS
DEFINE THE PROBLEM GOALS
DEFINE THE PROBLEM BOUNDARIES
This is all done in preparation for their biggest task- bringing your invention to life on the computer!