Mechanical Engineer to Industrial Designer...Is it easy??

Hi Guys

So I’m a mechanical engineer that has realized that I really like Industrial design. So, now I’m planning in returning back to school to pursue a Masters in Industrial Design or Product Development. Here’s the problem…I don’t have artsy or beautiful products to put into my portfolio for admissions. I have drawings, technical work, 3D modeling using Pro/E, etc. I’ve only been in the work force for 2 years, so I don’t have too too much engineering stuff. How can I submit a portfolio to some schools that require 10-16 different samples when I have very little art work to show? I am artistic inclined and have taken drawing, painting classes, Adobe Create Suite classes, etc. But, that’s all basic stuff in comparison to other’s portfolio.
So to beef it up, I’m taking portrait drawing classes, SolidWorks, etc. But even with all that, I don’t know if I can ‘wow’ the admissions.

Are industrial design admission portfolio all 3D cad work or can it also include drawings, etc?

Is there anyone out there that did a BS in Mechanical Engineering and then did a MS in Industrial Design that can provide some insight to what I should do for my portfolio?? Do I keep the portfolio technical and basically say ‘look, I’m not an industrial designer, hence I’m going back to school to learn to be one’ or do I say ‘here are some kinda elementary drawings, sketching, etc and hope you think it’s not that bad’ ??

Is anyone willing to help me on my admission portfolio and provide me feedback?

Any help would be much much appreciated!!!

Ideation sketching like Leonardo Da Vinci sketchbooks impress. You can train anyone to do CAD…You’d impress more people in the know with strong ideation sketching, the more the better.

I agree with the above. Show off your sketching skills and how you think on paper. You say that you are artistic, so I would imagine you have some rough sketches of your projects. If not fake them.

I would also include that you have to remember that when you apply for a MID they understand that you are not an ID and do not expect you show them polished ID work. This means that if you have fine art work show it. They want to know that you have sketching skill, can think on you feet, and can solve complex problems creatively. So I ask how do you show this in you portfolio? If you can answer this than that is what you need to show. I would also add, show us your work and we can give you feedback. After I see your portfolio, I/We can give you a better answer.


I am might actually do the reverse of what you are doing schaudary. I started out as a ME major and then transfered into ID.