Design-School without the Artistic Skills?

Hey there,

I’ve been following Core77 and ID for awhile now, and I absolutely love it. The thing is, I really appreciate amazing ID but I don’t really have any artistic ability. I want to get more involved in industrial design and learn more about it, but I don’t know if I could actually design anything.

Are there any graduate programs that teach you about design with business? (My actual major.)

And are there any jobs for ID-fans who don’t know how to design things? (Account coordinator, perhaps? Or is this just in advertising?)


You could always get your business degree, start up a manufacturing business and hire some designers. :smiley:

For extra credit, figure out a range of products that could be made in the U.S. with sustainable environmental practices.

For extra extra credit turn the range of products into a decent sized U.S. export.

Sounds like you find ID interesting, but don’t have a particular knack or desire for designing. This isn’t bad, I just wouldn’t suggest pushing yourself through an ID program if that’s not what you really want to do. There are plenty of things that you could do that would put you in the vicinity of design. Designers still need accountants, businessmen, marketers, etc.

Without any artistic ability a reputable school would not let you in their design program. Here are a few options if you want to help with the vision of a product…

Sales: A good sales person can give a designer applicable feedback of the current market.
Marketing: Interpret the vision of the designer too help promote the product.
PLM (project line manager): Managing the line of current products from a design team.
Trend analysis: Studying market relevant products currently in the market and foreseeing future trends.
Management: Some companies have non designers, manage a design team.

A company I worked for a couple of years ago had a manager that knew nothing about design and was purely there to make sure we were working correctly and got everything completed on time. Which I guess proves that it is possible for you with a business degree to get into our industry. Apart from the fact that because he didn’t really know what he was talking about it sometimes made communicating with him hard. Maybe try out a few home projects and see if you still would like to continue?

In fact, there are a few “design thinking” grad programs out there that teach design process and methodology without requiring you to have traditional design skills (e.g. sketching, model making). Two of the programs are at Northwestern, and I happen to help run one of them. They are the MS-Engineering Design and Innovation (EDI) program, for engineers, and the MMM program, for business people.

The trend in industry is to use design process to drive innovation, and industrial designers are only one (critical) piece of the team. It ends up being very helpful for the marketing folks, the engineers, and the managers to understand design thinking as well. Your job title will vary depending on the company and your focus, but there is indeed a huge need out there for these types of non-designer “design thinkers”.