architects in other fields of design

Architects over years have the tendency to crossover into other fields of design, namely product design. Is there anything unique they can offer to the field? can they make better industrial designers? or are they just ego centric people who think they can?.. any thoughts?

I’d say neither, maybe both…

As creative individuals we all have thoughts and curiosities outside of our specialized fields.

i was an architect in my previous career to being a ninja messiah.

actually, i made it through 3 years of architecture before transferring to product design.

architects don’t really make terrific product designers. in my specialty, furniture, i run across a lot of architects who love to play in furniture design. they are terrible. they seem to like to use product design as an outlet for a repressed creativity without regard for cost and manufacturability, let alone end-user considerations.

my personal take is that architects feel they can control another aspect of the spaces and environments they create trhough product design. in reality, it’s an illusion.

[quote=“Kung Fu Jesus”]
my personal take is that architects feel they can control another aspect of the spaces and environments they create trhough product design. in reality, it’s an illusion.

haha…being a licensed architect and trying to figure out industrial design, I have to agree to what you said…its not necessary that if you can design one, you can design all. The design processes for each are completely different and it would be interesting if one affects or inspires the other.

Norman Foster- bath and yacht design

Zaha Hadid- Furniture and lighting

i design bespoke architectural LED lighting, its a newish area and architects/lighting designers come to me with an idea/concept/effect/product they want for a new project,

on the whole they are good at generating the ideas for new products, the real problem i have is keeping up with the quantity of them, and weeding out the good from the “too expensive to manufacture”.
often the volume of a new product they require dosnt warant the manufacturing process they found on google.

good at ideas, bad at workable products!

i often think what the outcome of a jobswop would be, do 3D/product designers make good architects?

as for hadid and foster; how much of it is about their brand?

or are they just ego centric people who think they can?

This has been my experience working with architects at both school and professional levels. The ones I know think that architecture is the highest of positions (I think there was a thread about this in fact) and because of that, they are able to do anything they wish. The reality of it is few architects can make that transition successfully. It seems cliche to mention but Michael Graves has done well making the transition from architect to product designer. But he is one of few. And his addition to the Minneapolis Institute of Art is horrible.

While beautiful in form, Sir Foster’s understanding of the sea would seem to be limited.

The open “cockpit” at the top of the vessel is not a conning postion. The limited visibility afforded from the enclosed bridge (obscurred by the “arches”) would present problems when manuevering in close quarters, and the lack of an overhanging bridge structure would require an additional crewman to “walk the rail” guiding the helmsman by radio. Even if you have never been overtaken by a following swell you can appreciate the vulernability of the low level “swim deck”.

But my concerns are likely a mute point. Like most yachts of “this” class, they are seldom operated their owners at sea (that pleasure being dealt with by professional crews) and spend much of their time moored, essentially a floating time-share condominium ocassionally visited by their multiple owners.

i would say that most architects really suck at design… sure you can pass an exam and understand the code books/etc…but for design…shyt… dont get me wrong there are some great “designers” out there in the field of architecture… but architecture is all ego and politics… i went through a 5-year arch program but i tend to like smaller scaled “objects” and space better…

/justabitryledupoverthearchitecturefield\

Agreed about Architect ego. But product design is also pretty bad for Ivory towers.

I’ve recently done a project (furniture design) in collaboration with an architect, and the combination of industrial design and architecture is a very fertile one.

I’d say an architect could definitely be a great help in a product design team, but shouldn’t start designing products by themselves.

NURB, I like the Minneapolis institute of art a little better than his thing at MIT but how many times can you rehash the Gugenheim in Bilbao.

Also, at risk of commiting design blasphemy, I find it hard to take him seriously. His stuff in the 80’s was ugly, but so was all the other crap then so he was very relevant, now his line from Target is weak sauce.

I think anyone could come up with examples of architects who have designed products, and vice versa, ad infinitum but I think it has less to do with whether or not we/they can do it and more to do with we/they aren’t used to doing it. I could probably go back to school to be a meteorologist, and I could probably be the cute weatherman my girlfriend is always talking about, but if I just showed up at the station one day, I doubt it would work out well for all parties involved.

So in summation, No I doubt many architects make terrific Industrial Designers unless they undergo some sort of training and shift in thought process.

but how many times can you rehash the Gugenheim in Bilbao.

Excellent point.

So in summation, No I doubt many architects make terrific Industrial Designers unless they undergo some sort of training and shift in thought process.

Also, good point. I guess I was referring to his commercial success in that he’s buddied up with Target and he is able to get many products out there. I attended a talk with him a few years ago, he was actually very proud of his tea kettle with the bird on it. I still don’t see what the fuss is about, but I don’t drink tea.

Wait. You’re thinking of Gehry’s thing at MIT.

But, I still think that comment rings true

shoot, youre absolutely correct. I may be thinking of something else in Minneapolis too. I almost sounded intellegent too, lol, maybe next time

The Weismann Museum is a re-hashed Bilbao. In Minneapolis. Also by Gehry.

correct again, Its the one on the U of M campus right by the pedestrian bridge, I should get a fact checker in the future. Maybe Ill get an intern,

I just checked and all three buildings I was speaking of were by Gehry, and actually I like some of the watches he designed for fossil so apparently in the words of john Goodman,

your out of your element Donnie!

I am the walrus

Saying that Gehry ra-hashes buildings is ignorant. Gehry has developed his own thesis on design process, just like the modernists, post-modernists, radicals and all other “schools” of design thinking before and after him.

I like to think that architecture and design are very interchangeable - the base skill sets and thinking are the same, it’s just the technical specialty that is different. Designers learn about wall sections and mass production processes, architects learn about private/public spaces and reinforced concrete casting.

Saying that Gehry ra-hashes buildings is ignorant. Gehry has developed his own thesis on design process, just like the modernists, post-modernists, radicals and all other “schools” of design thinking before and after him.

Interesting thought… So if an architect today were to make a Gehry-esque free-flowing building would they be called plagiarists? Or would they simply be recognized as using the “Gehry School”?

Sorry to get off topic everyone. But, could the same thing be said for designers? I mean look at all the electronics with touch screens now that the iPhone has come out.