At a crossroads, Architecture or ID?

I’m looking for any and all advice about switching careers from architecture to ID. Has anyone completed the transition? I’ve searched through the archives, but haven’t found exactly what I need to really pull the trigger and make a decision. Please avoid any arch vs. ID arguments - i.e. architects make uncomfortable chairs etc. I understand the two professions work on a different scale, so I’d like the hear about the day to day work and practical aspects ID. What traits make one successful beyond raw design talent? Is it worth the money to start over as an ID?

About me - 4 year BA in architecture, 1 year of office experience, roughly two years of IDP (internship) remaining and in need of a masters if I want to get registered as the architect. My real passion is working hands-on, making things and focusing on craftsmanship, quality and detail - something my first job in architecture generally lacked. If I pursued ID I would focus on lifestyle products, furniture and lighting.

Is there any backdoor method on getting into the profession (lighting and furniture coming from architecture)?
Should I be looking at a masters or getting another bachelors (better foundation courses)?
Any other resources I should check out?

Thanks for any input!

I wish you luck, and will be following this thread myself. I’ve taken a different path, but find myself headed towards ID for the same reasons: a desire to work on the (roughly) individual scale.

My fate put me through the last two years of undergraduate architecture school through graphic design contract work. Graduated with (by accident) a fully functioning design firm with my name on the marquee. Years later, I sold the company and tried to migrate back into architecture, but after 8 years away I was too qualified in some ways, under-qualified in others, and couldn’t land even an unpaid internship. Since then, after a stint working as a tradesman, I realized how much I enjoy working with my hands, something not common in an architecture firm.

Washington DC isn’t a hotbed for ID jobs or companies, so I’m headed to gradschool to find out what it is I don’t know about design. Trying to find the right one that balances engineering, human factors, and product development. I wonder, like you, about the day to day aspects of ID. I am pretty sure I’m suited for it, but when I was 5 I wanted to be an astronaut, and that didn’t work out.

Best of luck

You sound almost exactly like me. I went to school at Kansas State University, not exactly the best school for Industrial/Product Design but has an awesome Architecture school (Arch, Interior Arch, Landscape, Planning). I started out working on my Architecture Degree then switched to the Interior Architecture and Product Design program because I really enjoy Human-Scale Design. I ended up with my Master’s in Interior Architecture and Product Design with a concentration in furniture design. After graduation I took a job designing casinos, hotels, resorts, restaurants and night clubs. I have about 2 years total and I’m almost 2/3rds done with IDP. However, I find myself hating architecture in general as a profession.

I am trying to get into Industrial/Furniture Design but am pretty clueless how to land a job. I have been considering going back to school and getting a combo MID/MBA. However, I don’t want any more debt because of school. It’s a tough call.

In your case I’m sure going and getting your masters in ID would be a good call. Depending on your frame of mind some schools would be a better choice than others. In this economy school is looking like a better option for me atleast.

From what I have noticed, Architecture seems to be a one person show with that one person calling the shots while you have a ton of draftsmen (even registered architects) that do all the work. There seems to be a lack of general collaboration within an architecture firm. From what I see with ID is that there is more teamwork/collaboration on projects. The projects move faster than a building does. I could be totally off, but the grass seems greener on the other side (ID-wise).

I will be following this thread also. I’m curious to see what you decide.

I would recommend a masters in ID. Having a design background, yo would be a perfect candidate for it.

You could transition, with a lot of portfolio work, and maybe some freelance, but it might be good to have the structure of a program.