Industrial design exists all around us and pervades our daily lives. It’s not physical, but it leads to tangible results and its essence is captured in the products and technologies it gives birth to. Countless items; from basic kitchen utensils to full-blown space stations, lend their existence to industrial design.
In its most basic sense, industrial design is a procedure that starts with an idea and ends with the manufacture of a product—not unlike the invention process. In fact, industrial designers work independently, or with clients, to develop and improve upon inventive and innovative solutions to everyday problems. They play a major role in conceptualizing product ideas, but their particular expertise lies in coming up with design solutions.
A product’s design encompasses its form, function and salability, all of which are addressed by industrial design. It is a practice that combines the realms of art, technology, engineering and business, and covers every aspect of product design, including; structural design and composition, overall usability, aesthetics and marketability.
An industrial designer begins a project by collecting data based on a product idea that requires developing. Next, the designer analyzes this data and draws from his/her individual bank of knowledge to come up with a design that considers both the product’s user and its manufacturer. By keeping both parties in mind, industrial designers give equal precedence to satisfying human and market needs. They pay special attention to human characteristics and closely follow market trends, which enable them to come up with all-around successful designs. The final product design is expressed using a series of detailed sketches and, perhaps, a virtual model.
These days, industrial design is fundamental to the product production process. Industrial designers, themselves, possess the creativity and expertise that is needed to improve upon existing products and novel solutions, thus setting a bar in the industry.
Moreover, because these products directly affect our economic and cultural exchanges, as well as the ways in which we interact with our surroundings, their design has innumerous and widespread implications. Our world relies on industrial designers to deliver highly effective, appealing, and sustainable solutions to common problems; and in doing so, it challenges them to enhance our standard of living.
Kevin Mako is the entrepreneurial founder of MAKO Invent. Along with discovering a need for a company that would provide home inventors and product developers with a path to turn their invention ideas into powerful businesses, Kevin focuses his time on growing the product development industry as a whole.