a Writer needs to get in an I.D.'s mind

Hello Core77 community,

I am a writer currently working on a television script and am in need of some personal insight into the mind and experiences of an industrial designer. Though my writing partner and I have searched through multiple threads on this site(great resource btw), as well as books and youtube and general google searches, we are in a race against a deadline that is quickly approaching and could really use targeted help (hence the mayday post) :unamused: )

Quick background; The main character is fresh out of I.D. school and has an interview lined up at a design firm in NYC. But on the day of the interview he has an anxiety attack and thus doesn’t get the job (nor work in the field for the entire series)

However, there are references to his interest in design throughout the series and a critical day dream like scene where he nails the interview he never had.

We need help on following:

What are some questions an entry level candidate for an i.d. position would be asked?

Is there something specific about industrial design that draws you toward it?

Was there a specific moment when you knew you would become an industrial designer?

You can either post, or if easier, private message me a phone number and we can call or if you live in NYC, we would love to buy you a drink and sit down to get an in depth understanding and help us flush out this character.

Thanks for reading! Any bit of advice or help would be greatly appreciated.

Welcome a_town.

I hope you get a lot of responses because in my experience designer’s origin stories are always very unique. Most parents want their child to grow up to be a doctor, lawyer, plumber, or electrician. Most designers find their path by total accident and sheer will.

My answers to your questions below.

What are some questions an entry level candidate for an i.d. position would be asked?

I interview a lot of designers. Everything is a part of the interview from “how is your day going today?” (I’ve had people blow the interview on that question!). The most important part of a design interview is always the portfolio review. Now to get the interview you have to submit the portfolio ahead of time, so if the person got an interview, the work is good. What I’m looking for here is how a person presents their work, how they talk through their ideas, and how they respond under pressure. The first question I’ll ask vaguely when we get to this part of the interview is something like

“How do you want to go through your work?” or “why don’t we look at some work?”… I want to see if the person has the gumption to take charge of the interview.

Then I’ll find some small, seemingly insignificant detail and ask “Tell me the story behind this tiny detail?”

I might ask “What project are you most proud of and why?” “What is your worst project in your portfolio?” things like that.

There is a pretty good thread on here about interview questions for you to read:

Is there something specific about industrial design that draws you toward it?

This is very different for every designer, but for me it just feels like who I am. Not so much a job as a personality. The key factor for me is a sometimes overwhelming dissatisfaction with everything compounded by a naive or sometimes arrogant belief that I could do it better. It is a weird combination… we don’t make easy spouses.

Was there a specific moment when you knew you would become an industrial designer?
My particular story is pretty entertaining (in retrospect). As I mentioned most parents don’t dream of their children becoming a designer. I came from a solidly middle-class family and my father wanted me to become a centerfielder for the New York Yankees… not joking. We would “train” everyday for hours since I could pretty much throw a ball. Of course I hated it. For some reason I always loved “stuff”. After training, and eating dinner, and doing my homework, I would go upstairs and just draw things for hours. Mainly sneakers, cars, and electronic gadgets (the three industries I have primarily worked in). One afternoon my father comes home from work and tells me to go get my glove and out of nowhere I defiantly said “I don’t want to play baseball anymore!”… shocked, he asked me what I was going to do then (as if professional baseball player was the only option?) and I replied “I want to draw stuff from the future”… I was 13 years old. My father was a religious Wall Street Journal reader and a couple of weeks later there was a front page article about Georgette Giugiaro, the Italian designer who designed the DeLorean, many other famous cars, and has also designed everything from pasta to cruise ships. He showed me the article and I swear I ripped the paper out of his hands and so I learned that “drawing stuff from the future” was called industrial design. That article was tacked on the wall in my bedroom for years, and that christmas I asked for a drafting table, a t-square, and a set of prism color markers… most designers are weird kids.

In your work, don’t forget to research design studios. They have a particular look and feel. Urban Outfitters just wrote an article about ours for their blog:

  1. Most of your ideas will be rejected. How do you deal with the rejection? This will lead into their design process. I will then ask for examples how customers have altered their process and how did they adapt.

  2. I like making things. As a designer, I am able to make everything - products, packaging, exhibits, collateral materials and esoteric business/brand/marketing strategies. It requires a very wide range of knowledge. I am able to learn every day.

  3. I was a ME major. I was in the middle of a very long power-law equation, non-Newtonian flow through a square tubes. I came to the epiphany that in engineering, if you follow the same steps as everyone else, you get the same answer. I didn’t want to follow the same steps as everybody and I didn’t want to have the same answer.

This should get some interesting responses…

a_town, what is the tone of the show? Is it a comedy, drama, mockumentary? Is it scripted to be entertaining or informative, or both?