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Re: Industrial Design Schools: Opinions and Questions

Postby yo » January 17th, 2016, 10:45 pm

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If she wants to go into industrial design, then I strongly recommend UC. It is actually onenof the most selective of the schools you mentioned.

Stanford is not a real ID program at all.
The U of Oregon program is very new still. Lots of kinks getting worked out and the portfolios I have seen out of there are not competitive in general yet.
RIT has a solid program, good connections.
Carnegie Mellon I feel there is occasionally a good graduate. They seem to have focused more on UX and research
RISD, I am actually an alumn from there. A great school, a unique experience in my opinion

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Teresa_Hichens_Olson wrote:My daughter has some big decisions to make over the next few weeks & we are trying to gain more info. The questions being about undergraduate degrees—she has a few full-ride options for industrial engineering but knows she wants to do product design but Dartmouth, Reed & Swartmore are great schools that don’t have those programs but do have industrial engineering. Would it be a good foundation to get her BS in engineering and then go on to Product Design? I think she might enjoy the later more but her science & math are off the charts strong. Her other choices are UC, Carnegie Mellon, RISD, RIT and U of Oregon and maybe Stanford all which have undergrad design programs & that is truly what she want to do. She has gotten into Honors at Oregon but not UC. Thoughts? I know is UC is a favorite here but is so much better than the others or just the one more ppl get into?


I would support everything Yo says above. However, with regards to your message about your daughter I would add my story.

I went to Virginia Tech, and similarly to your daughter was on more of an engineering track with really high math and science scores (more so than art and sketching skills). I did not plan on studying Industrial Design, mostly due to lack of awareness for the program. I was very fortunate to attend a school that had a lot of well respected programs so switching from architecture/engineering to design was not a detriment (or a challenge like it would be for a lot of schools). I bring this point up because if she wants to dabble in both engineering and design to find a solid mix of both some schools are better than others at doing so.

Also, product design seems to be trending towards having designers and engineers more overlapped in skill sets. An Industrial Designer that can sketch and knows mechanical properties is much better than one who can merely sketch concepts and VV an engineer that can communicate visually is more beneficial than one who has an untrained eye for aesthetics.

Hope it helps!
-Pb

Re: Industrial Design Schools: Opinions and Questions

Postby yo » January 18th, 2016, 11:21 am

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PJ, I don't think that is a change. In a 20 years since I've been an industrial designers, those that could design and understand he basics of mechanics and empathize with users have always been the most valued. And the same in engineering, those who can understand more than the pure mechanical and manufacturing problems have more value to organizations. In both cases, those who can understand the entire scope of the problems at hand and work toward solutions that satisfy the principles of each discipline typical get promoted into leadership.

That doesn't mean I would recommend going to engineering first. In this case, if this student knows she wants to go into ID, jump in with both feet. Personally I went the art school rout and I think the emphasis on abstract thinking and creative problem solving has helped me as I've become a leader.

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Totally agree, Michael!

I hope what I said didn't get misunderstood. I was recommending if the student wasn't 100% sure what they wanted to study it would be easier to switch from one to the other (or take some classes in both fields) at a university that offered both. I witnessed many many students change their majors once they jump in and their eyes are opened.

Re: Industrial Design Schools: Opinions and Questions

Postby FH13 » January 18th, 2016, 12:53 pm


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Hi Teresa,
So what does your daughter like about product design? What kind of projects would she like to work on?
Industrial Engineering is completely different than Industrial Design. I would not like to think of Engineering as a foundation for another career. Also, would she be willing to spend another 2-4 years after Engineering to study product design?
Having a full ride for Engineering makes it a tough choice. I would recommend visiting or talking to counselors at 3 of the design schools you mentioned to learn more about it and really understand their programs and focus. You didn't mention Art Center in Pasadena which is another top school.
Stanford has a great Engineering program + a product design program. The design program might be more theoretical but it might be a good compromise.
Good luck.


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Assuming Teresa means Industrial Design and not Industrial Engineering, one other thing should be mentioned.

The end game for this education is working in new product development (NPD) and it should be said that either major can get you into NPD. As a matter of fact, most any major can get you into NPD, see ideo as an example.

Obviously a particular major will its own skillset and a person should pick the one that is best for them. But when school is "over", a person will pick up the other NPD skillsets in their career. All a major gets you is a particular foot in a particular door.

That said, I am excellent with numbers/math and excelled as an engineering major. Which significantly increased my parent's consternation when I switched and struggled as a fine art major in ID.


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Thank you all for taking the time to respond. She did get in UC today but I don't think they will give her as much aid as some of the others. I am hoping to be surprised. I was really pushing for RISD, mainly because it is smaller, less crime and you know I'm the mother. But like you all said, she wants a strong foundation and an understanding of the science as well as the art and isn't drawn to "an art school." Of course, that may change when she visits. "So what does your daughter like about product design? What kind of projects would she like to work on?" That is a great question, FHI3. She loves art and Physics. She tells me design is the art of understanding. She loves to break things down and rebuild them to be better. I believe she has a designer's mind. She takes a concept and dissects it and creates pages and pages of ideas. She can code and spent the summer at Smith building a boom box that responds to colors with music. She likes tech but doesn't want to always be at a computer. Honestly, I think she could do lots of things but I think being a Product Designer would make her truly happy. And isn't that what we all want for our kid?


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Haven't posted on here before but I have came up on a recent issue and need some advice.

I am a Design Studies student at NC State Universities College of Design and will graduate May of 2017. My Dilemma if you will is... Do I try to go to graduate school at NC State or somewhere else? I'd like to stay in State because of tuition costs BUT the only other school is Appalachian State and they don't have a graduate program for ID, nor is the area that the school in very good for internship opportunities. Here in Raleigh, there are many firms I could get an ID internship... if they would ever email me back. I am on the cusp with one but thats a different subject.

M. Ditullo's suggestion was to go somewhere else instead of the same school that I got my undergrad in. He also told me to check some of the bars out so I wanted to do that by reaching out on this one.

So, again, what are your thoughts on going to the same school that you got your undergraduate in for your graduate degree? Any other pieces of advice for an aspiring industrial designer who is also interested in furniture are welcome too.

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Jacob,

What are your reasons for choosing a Masters instead of work experience?


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bepster wrote:Jacob,

What are your reasons for choosing a Masters instead of work experience?


Well, I haven't chosen it yet. BUT, as a design studies major, I think it will be hard for me to get internships because I won't be "trained" in industrial design. I am going to study abroad in Prague this May taking a furniture design class and a transportation design class so, upon completion of that class I could have a couple portfolio pieces. I have also been working on a couple things myself but I feel like it's going to be very hard for me to find someone who would be willing to give me a shot.

Right now I am speaking with a company called "Forma Medical Device Design" and it sounds like I will be doing a lot of things other than Industrial Design, which I am okay with but I am also nervous that these other things will take over and I won't do but the slightest amount of Industrial Design.

Re: Industrial Design Schools: Opinions and Questions

Postby yo » January 25th, 2016, 11:29 am

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Jacob, I didn't realize you had a design studies major, I figured it was something else.

What is a design studies major?


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yo wrote:Jacob, I didn't realize you had a design studies major, I figured it was something else.

What is a design studies major?


I just copied and pasted what NCSU has on their site for it. They do a much better job at explaining it of course:

The Bachelor of Arts Degree in Design Studies is a non-studio, liberal arts program that provides an interdisciplinary orientation to the history and theory of the design disciplines, material culture and design thinking. Design Studies focuses on the properties of objects and environments as reflections of the social, historical, technological and physical contexts in which they are produced. It presents the formative role of design in shaping human values and experiences. This major is for students whose interests and talents in design are more general, cross-disciplinary, and span the five disciplines offered in the College of Design. Source: http://majorsandcareers.ncsu.edu/major/design-studies

Essentially, I feel as if I am getting broad spectrum of design information and a lot of theory which gives me a different point of view on design, in a positive way. I feel as if I approach problems differently than most designers in the sense that I am learning about culture and contexts and how these things are incorporated. I'm almost thankful that I was not accepted into Industrial design because I am getting this broad view before I narrow my view.

Re: Industrial Design Schools: Opinions and Questions

Postby yo » January 25th, 2016, 12:21 pm

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Interesting. I'd still just transfer to the ID program though :-)


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yo wrote:Interesting. I'd still just transfer to the ID program though :-)


Haha, I get that. The only thing about doing that is, I would have to take the summer studio and this summer I am in Prague studying abroad. And the date to apply for transfer has already gone past. Do you see the predicament now? :(


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Hi Teresa,
Just make sure she understands that Industrial/Product Design is completely different than Engineering. As a designer she will spend most of her time in front of the computer except she will be doing research, sketching and 3D CAD modeling and Rendering. Over simplifying the career, she will be in charge of driving the aesthetic direction of the products.

Jacob,
A masters in ID will not provide you the necessary foundation training and education of a Bachelors in ID. It is a common misconception and some students think of it as a shortcut to getting an ID job.

If you are looking for an ID job the employer will be looking at your portfolio first and your education/degree last; unless you are applying for more of a theoretical design position.

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