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A Grey Beard
10/09/08 03:03 PM
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Another review of disciplines from the standpoint of inexperience in the "real world"... It has been my pleasure and pain to work with "Industrial Designers" over thirty years in Silicon Valley and other areas of American industry, and the main problem with your article is that you have bought in to the latest misapplication of design education. In the early 80's, I was brought into "Industrial Design" classes in the industry leading program at San Jose State, as a "Plastics Engineer" working in the electronics industry. My talent was experience in tooling and manufacturing, and the program was newly imbedded in the "Art Department" at San Jose State. I came in to talk to Juniors and Seniors about their "designs" and to bring "reality" into a "sketch, sketch, sketch" environment.
A very few instructors valued my critiques of their student's design efforts, as I pointed out the limitations on using six inch long #6 screws and Velcro to hold product parts together. I talked to the students about the impracticality of designing products that "looked good" but couldn't be made by conventional manufacturing processes. I discussed "draft" in molds, parting lines, and variables caused by ignoring gating requirements. Far too many of those students argued with me that their job was not to know or care what "could be made", but to design for awards and art-inspired grades.
Twenty years later, I see the same mentality being institutionalized, and expected. These days, there are very few of us "manufacturing-experienced" designers left to correct that nonsense, and there exists very few opportunities for the novice designers to learn what can be done, as most manufacturing is now done overseas.
Just last week, I had a meeting with a startup that had a "design house" design their product, select a vendor, and purchase tooling to make the product. Only the money came from the startup, and now they are left owning unknown tooling, poorly processed parts and a selected vendor who does not want their business. CAD, CAID or spread sheets do not make design, and anyone who depends blindly on technology and "disciplines" to stay in business is headed for disaster. Know what you are buying, paying for and getting, not the tool used to get there.

Entire thread
SubjectPosted byPosted on
*The Differences Between Industrial Design And Design EngineeringA Grey Beard  10/09/08 03:03 PM
.*Kevin  10/09/08 03:03 PM
.*Mike LaCroix  10/09/08 03:03 PM
.*Richard  10/09/08 03:03 PM
.*A Grey Beard  10/09/08 03:03 PM
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