from engineering to design

i am a senior in industrial engineering but i wanna switch to ID. however, i dont know how much good my background would do to me. Plus, i dont have a portfolio to start with. I was hoping to go to grad school for ID but i have been turned down by couple of schools for not showing them enough material.
what should i do? should I go back to school for ID or should I try to supplement my education and then go to gradschool?
could you email me at if you have any suggestions?

try some colleges that dont require a portfolio for a masters and receive many applicants with engineering backgrounds.

if i were you, i’d consider working as an engineer for a year. see the world from that perspective. plus take evening Life Drawing classes. take some Art History classes at night too. research schools. and use this site for all its worth. then go back for ID undergrad. try to get a year off. maybe do it in 3. most (including me) will tell you the ID grad route is not the way to go.

I graduated from mechanical engineering in 2003, worked a year and then took some time off and did an art course to get a portfolio together for MA in the RCA in London, just did interview so fingers crossed.

Engineering is a great background for industrial design, check out or see lists on core 77 design schools.

Portfolio is definitely a must ! forget computer generated shite, stick to simple sketchs and developing ideas, then perhaps a final rendering.
Try to develop and experiment with your art skills (clay, pencil, paint, origami, wire etc.) it will make you more confident.

Ideas is what they want. Good Luck, Ben

I also had the RCA interview the other day which didnt go quite well:( they wanted me to send more material and i think my sketches are not quite there yet to send to an art school like RCA.
I will keep all these in mind

The Product Design program at Stanford accepts both students with engineering and design backgrounds; you should look into it.

I realized I was made for ID too late, which made my portfolio a little slim when I got it reviewed. I REALLY want to be trained in ID (preferrably the program here at NC State Univ., Raleigh), and I know that anything else (I plan on doing drafting and manufacturing related minors for the next year) will not satisfy my urge to create (in all senses of the word). I talked to the Dept. Chair of the ID program at NC State, and he suggested getting the Scott Robertson tutorial from, but that only helps me develop a few skills, which is good, but I need something that develops skills AND ideas, b/c we all know the reviewing professors look for a variety of ideas and the development of ideas.

Now, what can actually do that? a course in ideation would work, but there’s slim chances that I could take that b/c you have to be accepted into the Design school already. …
Any suggestions would help…

…oh, and while I’m at it, I need to apply to other ID programs (give myself other options) so email me @ for address info if you could send me an application (otherwise just post links, etc.)