Here’s my dilemma: I know what I want to be when I grow up, but I’m not sure what it’s called. I’m thinking it might be Industrial Design, but I’d like to firm this up before quitting the day job. Also, I apologize for the clumsiness of my language and descriptions here; I’m fumbling for the right way to describe what I’m looking for (and hoping ID provides some of it!).
Got my B.A. in geography, have been working as a graphic designer the past few years.
My skill set:
- creative problem solving, especially within constraints
- cross application of knowledge/systems/patterns*
- quickly understand broad concepts (quick learner in general)
- good with visualization (and creation) in 2D and 3D
- strong analytical, research, and writing skills
- love love love collaboration
- enjoy making the world a better place and fixing things (objects, systems, concepts) that don’t work as well as they could/should
My ideal job:
- the process of working that Ideo used in “Objectified” had me bouncing in my seat in joy
- collaboration with other creative people
- problem solving for all kinds of issues by rethinking things, researching, reevaluating, and brainstorming
- project based work with a good degree of variability month to month (a pace that ebbs and flows, rather than is steady)
- new things to work on and learn about
- sense of improving the world by making things more efficient/prettier/more accessible/simpler/etc.
So far does this sound like Industrial Design?
What makes me unsure of this being ID is that it doesn’t always includes tangibles. I know there’s interaction design within ID, but how abstract do the solutions of ID get? Would an Industrial Designer look at ways to increase accessibility to and use of Pedialyte in rural areas to prevent death from dehydration? Would they do this at a level of problem solving that may come to a conclusion of education or a simple hack of an existing object rather than a new product? Would they also look at making cell phones less intimidating to the elderly? Or making common tasks more streamlined? Or prettier? Or redundant?
Is ID the field I’m looking for?
If yes, any further ideas of what to pursue? (Schools, programs, key words, companies/organizations, etc.)
If no, why not?
* I’m fascinated by the patterns (both by design and otherwise) involved in epidemiology/public health, urban development, landscape formation (especially quaternary), politics, weather, language acquisition, invasive species, class structure, fashion, maps, literacy/typography, standardization, “Othering”, aquifers/drainage, soil, the notion of the body, food choices, death, sizing, organizational systems, construction of power, the internet, waste management, mental health, trends, symbolism, beauty, universal design, aging, material properties, etiquette, biomedical ethics, the notion of “nature”, structure and agency, etc. ad nauseum