ID-previous education

What common subjects in high school truly pertain to ID? I’ve done well in all of my math subjects up until Calculus, I’m getting better but still have a ways to go before even being close to mastering it, so I’m a little worried about that. I’ve been accepted to some Design schools but my SAT score wasn’t good enough for one of the best ID schools that I applied to, I feel I am ready but how do I really know if this is the field for me?

Art classes are the most important classes for a traditional Industrial Design path. Being able to think and sketch freely is the most important skill, period. “ThinkDraw” as I was taught by an old professor.

I took jewelry design class in high school as an elective (by accident), and that truly explained the basics of the process; think, sketch, design, mockup, think, refine/redesign, create, polish, sell.

Science, math, and music are big pluses.

If you have a “shop” elective, take that too. Understanding tools allows you to begin to see how things are made, manufactured, etc.

hey thanks man. I have another ? though, what type of Sciences really help? I’m guessing Chemistry with the increasing need of environmentally friendly materials…

More physics and general science.

also take some drafting classes.

no worries jumpman. Chemistry would help a bit- but not 100% necessary. Industrial Design is sort of a jack-of-all-trades position. you need to know a bit about graphic design, fashion, manufacturing (all types), materials (weights, cost, chemicals, process, sourcing), colors, texture, basic understanding of engineering, math (geometry, unit conversions, etc) the list goes on and on… (and on)

like yo says, the Science I’m talking about is more General Science, Earth Science (aka- how things work, why things work, etc).
The reason I mention this type of science is so essentially you teach your brain how to solve problems, what constraints there are, and what constraints can be broken, and why.

as mentioned, Drafting would be great too.
My high school a very select choice of electives, I certainly would have loved Drafting if offered, but the most ID-related and ID-prep course out of my high school’s elective options would be the jewelry course.

good luck

It’s good that you’re thinking about this early. It’s always good to start early.

Take traditional drafting or CAD (computer aided drafting). You’ll get a real sense of 3-d objects. You’ll also understand perspective a lot better. I didn’t necessarily learn the technicalities of perspective while taking CAD classes, but when I was given the lesson in my drawing class, I knew everything my teacher was going to explain.

Take art classes, whatever will help, even if you don’t think it will apply. You’ll be surprised how it will apply to so many things.


I know you’ve worked with Nike, so seeing as how Hatfield was an Architecht major turned sneaker designer, do you see Nike hiring someone with a undergrad. in fine arts and a M.F.A. in Industrial design?

Definitely the “creative” courses: Art, Drafting & Computer Science.
But for rote-learning pay attention in Physics & Geometry.

Shop classes
Any type of drawing class

really, what classes aren’t relevant? from physics to chemistry to psychology to art and economics, i can’t really think of anything that wouldn’t be of some help.

either you will be working in a team of people where it helps to know where they are coming from (ie. with engineers, psychologists, marketing people, etc.) or some aspect of the education may help directly (ie. math, science, etc.), i think just about everything is relevant in some way.

for my education we had a heavy focus on the maths and sciences (ie. calculus, physics, eng. statics, chem., calculus, psychology, marketing, business, economics, etc.) and while i couldn’t solve a 4 variable equation anymore or do differential calculus to save my life, i’m still happy i had the education and some does come into play in daily working process, thinking wise or problem solving in approach. not to mention the few times i have had to do some trig to figure out sections and the like.

bottom line, your education is whatever you get out of it and make of it. the more you know, the more you know. period. it can’t hurt to be smarter.


Logic skills help out.
If you have a woodworking class in HS, definitely take that. Even though I took it in my previous college, It really did help me on honing up my craftsmanship level.
Art classes will help you out on your sketching skills and you will eventually create your own sketching style if you do work on it yourself.
But if your school doesn’t offer any of the classes that the others mentioned, then focus on your skills. And work on your craftsmanship when you draw, sketch, or build stuff. Actually, make craftsmanship your life. Make everything that you do perfect! :smiley: . Read magazines that pertain not only to Industrial Design but also read Architectural magazines. My frequent reading materials consist of Architectural Record which is, of course, an architecture magazine that has articles about current and future projects, and I also read Surface, which is a design/architectural/fashion magazine, which is really good, imo. My Modelmaking teacher also recommends reading Metropolis magazine as well.
Hopefully this helps you out. :slight_smile: