Love Industrial Design; No Background

Hello All!

Fairly recently, I withdrew from a dual Masters degree program in Law and Business. I was about two weeks in by the time I realized how completely wrong Law and Business were for me. However, as I was struggling with whether to continue with law, I began looking hard to find what my true passion was.

I started sketching, a lot. At the time, it was a means for de-stressing myself from reading, but as I continued with it, I realized I just really loved being able to create. That is what led me to industrial design; I am fascinated by the magic of turning ideas into real things and passionate about using my imagination to make change. Moreover, I am incredibly excited by the design process and the opportunity to get better and better at it.

I am now considering pursuing a masters degree in Industrial Design, but am unsure about how to best prepare for that route. I have an undergraduate degree in Political Science and Economic, was a high performance athlete (National Team and NCAA level), but have zero background in art, architecture, or design.

I would love to pursue a career in Industrial Design and/or Design Consulting. Could anybody help me with suggestions of where/how to get started?

I am a telecommunication engineer and I absolutely love ID too.I took a break after I graduated to pursue my interests and started out by joining this brilliant course called Delft Design Approach on’ll be starting this course again in September mostly and its free.There are so many online design courses and I think that’s where you should begin your design basics.

Improve your sketching (that’s what I am doing right now) using tutorials on YouTube and getting them reviewed here so that you have someone to critique your work.Also learn a 3D modelling software in the meantime.I learnt Rhino to make sure I that I can at least visualize my product well till my sketching gets better.Learn about color theory,materials used and also see the curriculum of design schools so that you can learn all those things on your own or while interning in a design firm.That’s the approach I am taking as of now before I apply for my Master’s because I feel that one learns more by actually being on the field and seeing the entire design process rather than getting another Bachelor’s in ID.There are also these 3 years Master’s program in Geogia Tech and NCSU for people from other backgrounds.You can try them as well.

I also remember reading “The Design of Everyday Things” by Don Norman and “Design as Art” by Bruno Munari and these two books really assured me that I do belong in the design field…It might seem like a long journey but trust me you will absolutely love it once you recognize what you exactly want to do because ID is huge field.

Good luck! :slight_smile:

Hey Max,

Welcome to the boards. Given the fact that you have no background in art/design coming in, and you seem excited about getting proficient in design, I would recommend looking at Undergrad programs over Masters Programs. The undergra route will give you the time to develop technical/thinking skills and hopefully the opportunity to intern at multiple places and get a sense of where you best fit. It’s hard to cram that all into 2 years.

Most of the people I’ve met in the industry that did a Masters in ID without a background either came in with a really strong art/sketching/making background or they did an undergrad in engineering so a lot of skills/thinking transferred.

I took a similar path, undergrad degree in Political Science, planned on heading into IP Law due to an interest in invention until I rediscovered ID. I first was pretty set on Pratt’s Masters in ID but after talking to both Pratt Master’s and UC DAAP Undergrad students about their experiences I realized the undergrad experience would prepare me better for the type of design I wanted to do upon graduation.

From an employability out of school perspective, having a Masters doesn’t necessarily guarantee any more interest than a Undergrad Degree would. If your portfolio is good no one really cares. But a Masters might give you a leg up if you’re interested in academia/teaching at some point.

If you’re more interested in design entrepreneurship straight out of school there could be some advantages to a Master’s depending on the program.

Good luck on the switch!

Thank you, both of you! Your responses are extremely helpful.