Inevitably when I meet new people they ask "What do you do?" I respond and inevitably they ask "What is industrial design?" as they have images of me wearing a hard hat, onsite at some industrial complex with a rolled up set of blue prints tucked under my arm. Then I have to make sure to say "Not industrial engineering" Because I know that is what they are thinking. I have not yet thought of a short, thorough answer to this question but found a few long, complicated answers I like:
- Industrial design (ID) is the professional service of creating and developing concepts and specifications that optimize the function, value and appearance of products and systems for the mutual benefit of both user and manufacturer. (FROM IDSA)
- Industrial Design is concerned with all the human aspects of machine-made products and their relationship to people and the environment. The designer is responsible for these products and their impact on society and nature. The designer accounts for the product's human factors engineering, safety, form, color, maintenance and cost. Industrial design deals with consumer products as well as industrial products. In order to achieve these ends, designers must be involved in four major design and research activities: human behavior, the human-machine interface, the environment, and the product itself. Areas of design investigation include furniture, housewares, appliances, transportation, tools, farm equipment, medical/electronic instruments, human interface, and recreational support equipment.
- Industrial design is an applied art whereby the aesthetics and usability of mass-produced products may be improved for marketability and production. The role of an Industrial Designer is to create and execute design solutions towards problems of form, usability, user ergonomics, engineering, marketing, brand development and sales.