Is Industrial Design For Me?

I am currently a Sophomore in College and I am thinking about changing majors from Computer Engineering to ID. I am finding out that CEG is not for me. I love building and tinkering with stuff but my sketching skills are abysmal at best and the best people I can draw are stick figures, is that going to hurt me? I want to make an impact on this world and it would bring me great joy to see something that I helped make be used by millions of people.

I am very excited and I am really motivated to do well in ID. I am transferring from Wright State University to a CC until I can get my GPA up and go to University of Cincinnati DAAP program because I am from Cincinnati and it is close to home. Can anyone recommend some books to help me learn to sketch and find out more info about ID in general? Also what does it take to really do well in this career?

My drawing was pretty crappy when I started ID. It’s not so much about being the best sketcher in the room as much as it is about being able to communicate your thoughts both verbally and visually. Having strong understanding of your users, coworkers, clients, manufacturers, and being able to successfully communicate with them is probably one of the most important skills to have. By the way, having computer engineering skills is always a plus in the industry. Having your specialty is good; while you may not become the best sketcher, you should find your expertise in something. Sketching is a matter of practicing a lot.

Great sketching resources:
How to Draw - Scott Robertson
Design Sketching - Klara Sjölén - Spencer Nugent

The resources available to improve whatever skill you so desire are literally all online. Video tutorial is a far superior learning tool when compared with paper, ink, still images and text…

If you have access to the internet, why would you need books to learn how to improve your drawing skills?

It sounds like you have a solid plan. UC’s DAAP program is fantastic.

If you’re really motivated (like you say) you shouldn’t have any problem being successful, and posting to these forums is a great start. You can check out my “Design School Journey” Thread linked in my signature, it’s my personal sketching progress from Week 8 of my first semester to now (my first semester of my 3rd year). I had no drawing experience coming in to school except a single community college fine art class.

My biggest piece of advice would be to start being really aware of things around you. When you go to a store, pick things up, look at them, if you like it ask yourself why? What would you do differently? Why are the material breaks where they are, etc.

And what kind of design do you want to do? Look at what firms are doing, do you want to be an IDEO designer? An Astro designer? A kickstarter master? Footwear designer? There’s a ton of stuff you can do, just being aware of what’s going on is hugely beneficial!

If you can get to that point of awareness, and some basic sketching you’ll be at a great starting place to enter an ID program.

Dondon, I would submerse yourself into Industrial Design as much as you are able to! Think of learning ID like lifting weights. Do you wanna stay in shape or grow muscles? You have to train, train, train, properly absorb and intake all things beneficial and over time you will see serious improvements. At that point you can walk around proud of yourself and watch others take notice.

Take the time to see how the design process changed over the past few decades. Study where it has been and where it is headed. Don’t half ass anything, always be hungry. Absorb as much knowledge as you can early in your studies. Mingle with people in the industry, and try to put a few internships under your belt! What they teach you in school is IMO completely different than what the process is in the real world. I feel that, your ability to effectively communicate your ideas (sketching) and problem solving are your best assets. As far as programs, adobe creative suite is your best friend. For 3d modeling, I would suggest getting familiar with solidworks, rhino and bunkspeed for rendering. Remember to have fun with your talent. Core77’s resources are very good, so your on a good start. Good luck and wish you much success in your future endeavors! :smiley:

Thanks for the support and good vibes everyone, unfortunately I have hit a wall in my pursuits in getting into DAAP. My advisor messed up at Wright State and put me in the wrong classes (higher class in the wrong order) forcing me to take Fs for the semester. I am transferring to Cincinnati State and I have been accepted. I emailed DAAP and they told me that they look at the GPA from the school that I am transferring from which is good because if I work hard enough I can get the needed 3.25 GPA that they want but they also said that all work will be taken into account so I am worried that they will see my horrible grades from Wight State and not accept me :frowning:. Should I find another industrial design school or keep going for DAAP?

Is it work (portfolio) or grades they look at? Very different things.

It is never a bad idea to shop around, especially when it comes to education. You may even come across a school you like better than DAAP.

They don’t take portfolios that is what is special about DAAP they teach you the skills and everything you need to know plus it is a 5 year program with 2 semesters reserved for co ops. What other ID schools are in Ohio?Cincinnati State’s program is on hiatus right now so I am just taking some elective / gen eds to boost my GPA.

Ohio State has a program. As well as CCAD. Not Cincinnati, but still Ohio

Ohio State and CCAD are both solid and provide a lot of bang for your buck. I’ve been seeing tons of talented CCAD grads out in the workplace last 5 years - must be doing something right.

So if I were to go to CCAD how would I get a portfolio together,I have not taken any college level art classes.

Step one I would contact the school (any school) directly and request a visit of their ID department. Talk to the faculty and current students. Sit in on a class. Changing potential career paths just because something looks cool may not be wise. Do as much firsthand research as you can to make sure you know what you are getting yourself into.

It sounds like you might be starting from scratch with the portfolio. Short answer is you will need to proactively build one! Not easy, but not impossible either. Consider it your first test, how bad do you want to get into ID? Trust me, if this is too daunting than you may be barking up the tree. It will only get more challenging.

If only there was a website at your fingertips of portfolios from around the world to browse and use as inspiration :wink:

Computer Engineering is an interesting background. I would say that industrial design is a pretty technical field and you need to be able to pick things up quickly. Your background should be useful!

I’ve learned that there are many different types of designers out there. There are designers who can sketch really well, there are other successful designers who communicate through CAD and even some who are very hands on with model making. You don’t necessarily need to conform to a certain niche, but find what appeals to you the most. In the end, you will have to find out what will be the best way for you to communicate your creative ideas.

I just got the Adobe CC Suite I figured I can learn my way around the software before I get into design school, what parts of the Adobe CC Suite do IDers use other than Photoshop of course :stuck_out_tongue:.

Adobe Illustrator is a very commonly used tool for vector graphics, graphic design. Many people use Indesign for layout as well.

Well I have hit another wall, ID is filled up already for Fall 2015 at DAAP which means i would have to start Fall 2016 :open_mouth: :cry: if I do well at Cincinnati state this semester that means i would be taking about 1 year off of school and in that waiting time I still might not even make it in :frowning: . Any thoughts on what to do? I really feel that ID is for me.

Go to another school?

I am a current DAAP student and I would think about applying for graphic design or fashion design with plans to transfer after first semester. Fashion, graphic and industrial all have classes together the first semester and I know many people who transferred from one of the other majors in design after first semester. If you work hard and get good grades, you should have no problem switching. Just a thought :slight_smile: