Re: UK\US design culture

Postby Travisimo » April 13th, 2012, 9:47 am

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to clarify: American designers are great on the engineering know-how and parametric programs just like the British - it just seems the proportion between responsibilities could be different

Re: UK\US design culture

Postby Mr-914 » April 18th, 2012, 7:14 am

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Travismo: I think Astro and other very blue sky places are in the minority even in North America. I think most practicing IDers in America have a pretty good engineering know-how. A very narrowly talented minority don't.
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Re: UK\US design culture

Postby Travisimo » April 18th, 2012, 8:46 am

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My thoughts were that the proportions of engineering type activities felt higher, and that's just my impression from a small sample of companies here, and even in those companies it wasn't like the designers weren't very talented in the standard design skills. It's just that I've seen designers tasked to build up some very mechanical project work.

When I've worked in startups (in the US), there was a similar need to be both designer and engineer, though in later jobs in the US it seemed that those tasks were not expected of most designers. Other US jobs, we were expected to step in to model, draft, set up wall thicknesses, etc. only where the engineer wouldn't have the finesse to keep the design intent - like logos on a drafted surface. So that was my impression.

There are a lot of design companies in both countries, especially in the USA. It's really hard/unfair to generalize ( I don't like it when people generalize about the US ) so take it all with a grain of salt - there are differences between design in the UK and US, though it's not black and white different.

Re: UK\US design culture

Postby w i l l » November 10th, 2012, 6:53 pm

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There is a different mentality towards product design in the US. And I think that comes from a bigger scene and more opportunities. The UK scene is a bit desperate and tends to be split 2 ways...... mega play... as in RCA borderline art projects and virtually no play... 'agencies' as they call themselves designing the bare minimum to get by... 'get the job out the door' and get paid. And with a massive lack of interest in good design or skillsets, other than 'can you use Solidworks?'. The UK angers me. The US... I can't get a visa for, but have spent some time there.

Re: UK\US design culture

Postby mirk » November 12th, 2012, 3:26 pm

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I have a friend who's applying for med schools in both the UK and the US right now, and she received the advice (from an admissions officer) that for US applications, you have to be much more self-assured, almost cocky, but for UK applications you have to be much more humble in your statements and let your resume speak for itself.
For those that have worked in both regions, do you think this applies to applications to design firms as well (maybe to a lesser degree)?
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Re: UK\US design culture

Postby experiMental » November 18th, 2012, 4:55 pm


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w i l l wrote:There is a different mentality towards product design in the US. And I think that comes from a bigger scene and more opportunities. The UK scene is a bit desperate and tends to be split 2 ways...... mega play... as in RCA borderline art projects and virtually no play... 'agencies' as they call themselves designing the bare minimum to get by... 'get the job out the door' and get paid. And with a massive lack of interest in good design or skillsets, other than 'can you use Solidworks?'. The UK angers me. The US... I can't get a visa for, but have spent some time there.


I never thought it was this bad, but I can see where you're coming from. My question is: if you're stuck in a company that doesn't value concept work, is a potential solution to this problem a challenging personal project that could also benefit your company?

Will: why can't you get a visa to the US? Is it because you have an ID education and the US govt. doesn't offer work visas to foreign ID professionals who haven't got a formal job offer from US?

I was often wondering about studio culture like in some US companies, but can't that get a bit stifling after a while? Does it actually confine you more to that studio than anywhere else? If you're working with the same people all the time, doesn't it get a bit too predictable, because you'd expect a certain remark from them?

Re: UK\US design culture

Postby w i l l » November 29th, 2012, 9:07 pm

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mirk wrote:I have a friend who's applying for med schools in both the UK and the US right now, and she received the advice (from an admissions officer) that for US applications, you have to be much more self-assured, almost cocky, but for UK applications you have to be much more humble in your statements and let your resume speak for itself.
For those that have worked in both regions, do you think this applies to applications to design firms as well (maybe to a lesser degree)?


Med schools are different though. To be honest I don't even think that 90% of design agencies in the UK know what they're looking for in a resume or portfolio other than can the applicant use Solidworks.

Re: UK\US design culture

Postby w i l l » November 29th, 2012, 9:12 pm

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experiMental wrote:
w i l l wrote:There is a different mentality towards product design in the US. And I think that comes from a bigger scene and more opportunities. The UK scene is a bit desperate and tends to be split 2 ways...... mega play... as in RCA borderline art projects and virtually no play... 'agencies' as they call themselves designing the bare minimum to get by... 'get the job out the door' and get paid. And with a massive lack of interest in good design or skillsets, other than 'can you use Solidworks?'. The UK angers me. The US... I can't get a visa for, but have spent some time there.


I never thought it was this bad, but I can see where you're coming from. My question is: if you're stuck in a company that doesn't value concept work, is a potential solution to this problem a challenging personal project that could also benefit your company?

Will: why can't you get a visa to the US? Is it because you have an ID education and the US govt. doesn't offer work visas to foreign ID professionals who haven't got a formal job offer from US?

I was often wondering about studio culture like in some US companies, but can't that get a bit stifling after a while? Does it actually confine you more to that studio than anywhere else? If you're working with the same people all the time, doesn't it get a bit too predictable, because you'd expect a certain remark from them?


I just think that getting a visa for anyone outside of the US is difficult or costly unless you know the loopholes, which I dont. Or you could be sponsored but then you'd have to be better than virtually everyone to justify it, which I'm definitely not as there're a lot of good desigers and a strong product culture there.

Re: UK\US design culture

Postby bepster » December 24th, 2012, 3:17 am

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w i l l wrote:
I just think that getting a visa for anyone outside of the US is difficult or costly unless you know the loopholes, which I dont. Or you could be sponsored but then you'd have to be better than virtually everyone to justify it, which I'm definitely not as there're a lot of good desigers and a strong product culture there.


While it might be difficult, it is far from impossible.
There is some cost and hassle involved that the sponsoring company must be willing to shoulder. However you should remember though that while the cost of a Visa might appear grand to you, for an established and successful design firm, it's peanuts in exchange for the talent and work you bring into the company.

You just need to find the right place and time and a good portion of luck. However, not applying under the assumption that "everyone is virtually better", is not the right way.
I am living proof. While I am quite insecure about several aspects of my design skill set, it that did not hinder a reputable US design firm to hire me nonetheless and pay for my visa.

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