Architecture to ID

I was wondering if any one on the forums has, or knows some some who has made the transition from architecture to Industrial design (specifically contract furniture) and what there experiences have been. I originally pursued a degree in product design, but ended up graduating with a degree in architecture in 04. After a short stint in residential architecture, I have spent a majority of my time developing retail prototype stores and fixtures. I would appreciate any advise or insight, I know there are parallels between the two disciplens, but I also know they are a world apart.


A friend of mine at Bludot went from architecture to ID. He actually has degrees in both areas. Are you thinking of going back to school or trying to be an industrial designer with a degree in architecture?

I would like to work as an industrial Designer with out going back to school for a degree. If I need to take a few classes to round out my skill set I am more than willing to do so. From every one I have talked with, and from personal experience, it seems that so much of our education as designers occurs in the work place, and would much prefer on the job training opposed to class time.

i’m in the same boat… i guess it’s a matter of learning 3d modelling and just making up some items to boost the portfolio…


i made it through 3 years of achitecture before transferring to study industrial design. i started at ltu in southfield mi and transferred to kendall after taking a few classes at wsu. i had one year to go on the my undergrad for arch.

i design furniture, the biggest factor between arch and ID was the degree of focus. someone else asked a similar question a few months ago, i said architecture was like looking at your criteria with a telescope, where ID was akin to viewing them with a microscope.

to me, furniture is about function and materials. aesthetic is the largest variable. like architecture, there is such a history of design to draw from.

i have worked with architects designing furniture with varying degrees of success. the telescope/microscope analogy is true when the design starts needing refinement. furniture is really about details.

my architectural training comes into play when i am trying to develop structure or considering spatial relationships and environment. ID takes over when i want to innovate and consider the user and function.

Feng Zhu started as an architect, then he switched to ID and got successful with it. Even worked on Star Wars. You can do it, even without school. But it depends in which country you want to work, in some countries certificates are more important than skill, in the US the people are more open minded when it comes to that. Experience is a thing that is more asked, so intern and get some jobs would be my advice.