Can I become designer

It may be very intresting topic for this forum.
Does to become designer you need formal education?
I am by education mechanical engineer…
by profesion software engineer…wants to become product designer…is sketching is that important?
how important is sketching having ability to generate ideas is not creative talen…let me know your thoughts how should I move,I don’t want to join any full time or part time school…

No, you tell me. I’m an industrial designer, do I need a “formal education” to become a mechanical engineer?

^^^ nice.

However it’s interesting that he/she is a software engineer despite formal training.

I wonder if ID will ever reach the point at which anyone with the interest and the right software can get by calling themselves an Industrial Designer, in the same way that “untrained” Web-Designers do today?

I’m not saying they’d deserve too or even be any good at it, I’m just suggesting that perhaps it becomes so much of a commodity that the risks/costs associated with putting products to market could become irrelevant.

What if, for instance, desktop CAID automatically took tooling factors into consideration for you? Helped you spec materials through a Q&A wizard? Had interactive HF templates at the ready? Basically anything that is knowlege-based vs. “creative” (which can be highly subjective as we all know.)

have engineering degree. very glad i went back to school for ID. can it be done? of course. anyone can do anything. can you? depends. yes you have to sketch. dont avoid. practice. and ID thinking not like engineering or coding. ID problems not black n white. best solutions follow no formula. you may think youre creative. spend time at art school. opened my eyes. probably open yours. good luck.

Sorry, I’m openly biased against engineers ever calling themselves designers - or even trying hard to “become” one - unless they’ve been doing CREATIVE engineering for any number of years, and even then! Few do and almost none have an interest in any form of USER-centred product design, which forms the basis of traditional industrial design. Engineers are scientists more interested in applying rules and technology development, far less in humanely translating it into common products - they see that as “a girl’s job” (I actually had one tell me that).

Many engineers also have a reflexive disdain for ID (out of both ignorance and arrogance) and - when they’ve at least heard of it - consider ID their legitimate turf, IDers to them essentially being technicians with no valuable empirical skill set. Creative talent, intuition, problem-solving skills and divergent thinking cannot form the basis of a true separate profession to them. And they should be allowed this limited view of life as their own.

Then there’s their well-documented atrocious and severely myopic approach to product design, always severely limited by the rigidity of their education and subsequent practice years. I know we can all bring up anecdotal evidence to the contrary and exception cases but, by and large, I’d never hire even the best of mechanical engineers for product design. It’d be like putting the chief engineer on a construction site in charge of the architecture.

The poster here may be an impostor, for all I care. You don’t see the reverse happening (IDers migrating to engineering), but then, you know, design is easy stuff, anyone can do it.

The freedom to choose is the freedom to succeed but also the freedom to fail. To bored, wasted or incompetent engineers everywhere: don’t start calling yourselves industrial designers. This field doesn’t need any more predictable and conventional minds, we’ve got enough.

Ok, I see the flak now…

Melovescookies-> Definately you can not become mechanical engineer without formal education because it is based on many sceintific and mathematical theories.But that should not be reason I cannot become Industrial Designer.Infact I see my mechanical engg. degree as complementry to this as every product involves manufacturing.
CG-> I agree toatlly with you that knowing solid/3D modelling skills on computer you cannot become designer.It is the ability to do think creatively what differentiates…
ykh->good to see you from engg. to ID. What I am really intrested is that what are the things may be at high level that opened your eyes so that I can also open my eyes.
Egg->Sorry but I am not calling me designer yet.I am aspiring to become it because I value its importance. I have tremendous respect for ID and human centric problem solving skills.
Also to egg I may be bored but not incompetent engineer. I left very good job for automotive company to join software engineering(it is not web designing) and my current job is very high paying job I know I will earn very less compared to this by freelancing in ID but it is my self intrest and somehow My creative talent pulling me towrds ID.

Thanks all for ur views .What I am looking this discussion should not be going as designers X Engineers. Thsi is no mean attempt to disgrace ID.I am intrested in how engineer can become designer. If he cannot become why?
Is it you think my engineering background will hinder my creative thinking process?
As some one mentioned definately I am trying to improve on my sketching skills but that should not be obstruction to me to become designer.
And Also I think formal education in design is also not formalised it is more based on hands on projects which teach you by actually designing products correct me if I am wrong…

IDSA definition of ID:

Industrial design is the professional service of creating and developing concepts and specifications that optimize the function, value and appearance of products and systems for the mutual benefit of both user and manufacturer.

I think they stick professional in there to scare engineers away. Really, you don’t need a degree to call yourself an IDer. Anyone already can! You do need a degree to become an IDSA member, but that certainly isn’t required like in other professions.

Moreover, there are good product designers out there who don’t have an ID education, or would be considered under-educated by only looking at their education. I’m trying to recall what Bill Moggridge has from IDEO. I think he only has some kind of british technical degree. And he is a living legend! I believe Raymond Loewy was self-taught also.

As for advice for our friend though, penetrating ID without a degree is going to be a very difficult challenge. Especially since you seem to have no background in the arts and seem to have little experience in product development besides your education. I would recommend at least taking one class in product design just to see if it is something you want to do.

Since anyone can just call themselves and industrial designer, why not install a licensing system similar to the one used by the architecture profession? There is certainly a large amount of empirical manufacturing knowledge IDers ought to be required to know, color theory, etc, which could be tested. The three year observation period they must complete before being licensed. Etc. Legitimizing the profession certainly couldn’t hurt.

always wanted ID and eng together. been sketching, designing and building stuff since 12 years old. that was easy for me. but to understand ID i had to unlearn what engineering taught me. not easy to do. took years. also took other students around to show me. not books. not instructors.

first understand: sketching is not illustrating. it is thinking. sometimes solution in mind is sketched. sometimes sketch becomes solution. cant explain. but better you sketch. better you solve. sketching also good for communicating and styling. but that is really ID illustration part. not ID problem-solving part. easier to be an engineer with formulas than to be ID with none. my opinion.

It would help tremendously if you learned how to properly write in english. Simply reading any of your posts is painful. They sound like the writings by those Nigerian scam artists that are currently emailing ebay users and attempting to sell fake goods.

Learn english…then go to school for ID. Keep in mind that engineers have a very hard time opening up their minds enough to be good at conceptual design.

this was bugging me

“Definately you can not become mechanical engineer without formal education because it is based on many sceintific and mathematical theories.”

some engineers do not have formal educations. i know one. BFA degree. after graduation took interest in aerodynamic drag. self-taught. became an expert. my instructors used to talk about him. so any - ANY - field can be self-taught. includes ID. includes engineering. hardest might be medicine. only b/c its hard to practice surgery without a patient. anyone can get an ME text and learn statics-dynamics or fluids. its just math. anyone can read about manufacturing, practice sketching and problem solving and go into ID.

defensive posturing is only that.


What is it that attracts you to design?
Why do you think you’d be a good designer?
Where do you want to work? Designing what?

Well, your portfolio and few other things :slight_smile:

Anyways, if you feel like you have a portfolio now or can creat one without going to school, by all means go for it. I don’t think many hiring managers will turn you down for a job when you can prove to them you know how to design through your portfolio. On the other hand, getting an ID education is not a guaranty for job placement as you may already know from reading posts here.

Personally, I don’t know anyone who is such a Renaissance man that they can skip on proper training and practice ID. I’ve met many engineers and IDer who crossed over to each field, but they all went back to school.

It’s not impossible, but good luck.

6ix → thanks for your suggestion I will try to improve my english.But I will suggest you to try to think beyond these small things…
YKH ->Yes you may be self taught it depends on person’s intrest and passion for that. But definately experienced people in that can field can make his way smooth. And yes as per your suggestion I am trying to nderstand and learn sketching is thought process and not just presentation.
cg->I think I have ability to think in many alternative ways, I want to make impact on common people’s life. I want to become interface between technology and people. and this is not about industrial design then my thinking may be wrong.And I don’t want to restrict myself to any fiels perticularly at this moment. Because I consider person who designed safety pin was as important designer as the person who designed i-mac.

I just want to comment on the designer vs. engineer argument that rears it’s ugly head every ten minutes.

why is their a fight here we should be bound together for better or worse.

how can you truely design anything without understanding how it will be manufactured and out of what material, and by understanding these things you must understand the material properties and the manufacturing process.

I am the head of a design deaprtment with no formally trained engineers yet we not only design the products we send to manufacturing we design the molds and we spec the materials used, we do this through researching the proper methods and properties that we need to meet. Andf when we are completely stumped we consult with “proper” engineers.

And i have to tell you, it is not that hard if you are willing and capable of learning new things.

if you can gain an equal grasp of design and engineering you will go far.

it’s easy to make a product that looks great or that works well or that is produced in a reasonable manner, but it takes talent to make a product that does all of these things.

I want to be just like justdesign–
to be able to say “Im a highly skilled
professional, but can I do this thing
called design?” And ask retorical quest-
ions like: “must I go to schoool?”
(I am already so beautiful (“-”)

ehehe. The quick answer is a design-
er dos not need to go to school. They
only need a killer portfolio. How u
get it is your choice.

Thanks all for your responses.
It looks to me I have to struggle lot to crack it.
But I am going to take it as challenge to prove wrong to all critics here and I will be posting my killer portfolio here after exactly one year.
I am expecting all ur help for learning product design on my own.
I am thinking of learning sketching ,rendering skills and start developing concepts for simple products.Can anybody help me how I should approach or what methodolgy design school’s approach

BTW, ability to write well is an increasing importance to designers. I’m sure many employers here will agree…

You “expect” me to give you a free college education so you don’t have to go? Are you serious?

The most important aspect of a university design education is the studio work. I don’t mean the deliverables that come out of the studio, but the experience of working in one. Learning from others as you design, and getting feedback from professors. That is not something that you can gain on your own, even with the wonders of the Core77 message board.

I think the graphic designer that wants to go into ID has that experience, they just need to gain production knowledge and translate their skills to 3d. You are really behind the 8 ball and onl your own.