Industrial Design. What?

People get confused with our proffession. They do not know if we’re designers, engineers, drafters, artists… Why don’t we have a unique title for our proffession? A name like the the Architects have.(everybody knows what an architect is)

Yeah, I understand where you’re coming from, but I simply tell them I’m god. end of conversation.

I would like to share with you some thoughts about the past and the history of our profession—about its very deep roots. This is perhaps a way for us to reflect on the meaning of the work we do.
In the beginning was the word. Our beginning, as architects, is therefore in the Greek language. We are, in fact, one of the very few modern professions that calls itself by a Greek name. We have a name that goes all the way back to ancient Greece: “ARCHITEKTON”. This word means “the first worker”, the first one on the site.
We can learn more if we break this word in two. The beginning of the word, “ARCH”, is the part that means “the first.” To be an architect, to the Greeks, was to have the responsibility that comes with priority. This is a very ancient concept. It is so ancient that this part of the word, “ARCH”, goes back even earlier than Greek, to Sanskrit.
The second part of the word is “TEKTON”. This part, too, can tell us something important about our profession. “TEKTTON”, meaning “a worker,” is closely related to “TEKNIKI” - the word that the Greeks used for a technique. But this word, in turn, is very close to the Greek word “TECHNI”, the word Greeks also use for “art”. So we learn that, for the Greeks, the practical, mechanical skill of a worker could give rise to art. When you saw the result of technique and it moved you, then it became art.
So art is something that seems to go beyond the limits of human skill. For this reason, the Greeks thought that the person who could produce a work of art must somehow be possessed by one of the muses. The word in Greek which expresses it is “ENTEOS ASMOS”—literally, to have a god inside you and gives origin to the word “enthousiasmos”.

Santiago Calatrava: AIA Gold Medal Acceptance Speech

Yup I know exactly what you mean N. If only IDSA considered it. How about “Industrialtecture.”

plus, its always fun to see what people THINK industrial design is. i find it exciting to explain what it is to people.

and dont worry. we’ll get there to the day when people will easily recognize what an industrial designer is.

I just tell them that I draw pretty pictures all day and get paid to do it. :smiley: I’m often confused with a graphic designer to which I reply, “not exactly”.

I’ve most recently ripped off a friends way of putting it- when asked (or presented with the dear in the headlights) what an Industrial Designer does- I like to respond that I in fact “design industries”…

yup- sticking with that.

The things I do aren’t covered by “Industrial Design” anyway…

User Experience Designer
Industrial Designer
Interaction Designer
Information Architect
Human Factors Engineer
Information Designer
Graphic Designer
Motion-Graphics Designer
Interface Designer
Design Researcher
Design Strategist

I think Tucker Viemeister’s got it right: “Post-Industrial Designer.”

Post-Industrial Designer sounds about right to me, but what it does is point out a certain mindset. It’s about thinking in a way needed to design for the post-industrial period we’re living in.

From that point of view, we might as well call ourselves just ‘designers’ and nothing more. That too indicates a certain acquired view on things that enables one to ‘design’ a lot of different things. The experience then forms the specialization.

Everyone does know what an architect does. Use this to your advantage. What a professor of mine once suggested, in describing what an industrial designer does: “You know what architects do for buildings? That’s what industrial designers do for products.” That’s the general idea, at least.

How about ‘product architect’ then? I believe designer in Italian is something like ‘Architetto’, but I don’t speak Italian so I could be mistaken :wink:

I suppose if some of you have pigeon-holed your profession to one area you could call yourself
Toy Designer
Automotive Designer
Shoe Designer
or something similar.

Its those of us who span many disciplines where it gets difficult. I do like the “Architects is to buildings as Industrial Design is to what I do” analogy.

My wife is an Interior Designer and everyone who asks inevitably replies “Oh!! How fun!! What color should I paint my kitchen!!” or “Ooooo!!! Can you tell me what kind of lamp to buy for my living room?” I blame Trading Spaces, and other Home Improvement shows for that.

I’m just known as “The Designer” in my office and introduce me as such.

I’m ok with it (for the most part) as it doesn’t really leave out too many titles…