Need some advice

Alright here it goes, I’m 16 in high school and confused a little. I am 100% sure that i want to go in the design path, what route, I’m not sure yet most likely industrial design…now what i really want to know is; how to prepare my self for college, whats should i start to learn, should i wait to make a route decision while in college…etc.

Any help would be appreciated, i asked my school council but they didn’t know much. So i thought it would be right to ask the pro’s :smiley:

Thank you

well, i’m not a professional, but i can offer advice. and pass on some i’ve heard given to me that helped.

draw as much as possible. just quick sketches all the time to learn to put ideas on paper. if your talking with someone it’s much easier to explain your design with a napkin sketch than to try and explain in words like “well, i’d want it to be kind of curvy” just draw the curve. look at current products. what works? what doesn’t? how can you improve it?

also, try and look for summer programs in your area and even be willing to travel a bit. loads of colleges have pre-college summer programs that are designed to give you a feel for which environment and design process you like best. they can also tell you what you need to work on. aka what classes you should be taking.

i don’t know where you’re from, but i know some schools also offer Saturday classes for high school students. just something to look into.

hope this helps!


Drafting or Mechanical Drawing
Any art classes you can
intro to physics
wood shop

Draw a lot.

Read up as much as you can

Know that your guidance counselors and other adults probably won’t be able to help you much, you will need to direct yourself to stay on course.

Thanks a lot for the advice, now when you say read up, whats should i read any specific magazines books or just the web…sorry if its a bad question I’m just kinda new to this all.

There are surprisingly few industrial design books out there. I agree with the other’s learn drafting, and woodworking. My favorite design magazine is ID (not iD, the fashion and style magazine). Seems kind of early to make a decision, but I only say that cause I chose industrial design later on. Keep your options open,but getting yourself prepared will give you an idea if it’s really what you want to do. Don’t worry if you decide to change, you have your whole life ahead of you. Maky sure you are really interested in some kind of conceptual design (design for usability, sustainability, whatnot) becuase pretty things, although sometimes fun to make, get old really fast, and (I believe) just wanting to make pretty things is the quickest way to lose interest in design.

Oh yeah. ID is a magazine for all kinds of design, and might help you explore horizons a bit, in addition they offer a student discount.

Mmm… good question. I suppose you’d really want to start reading what most ID college courses start everyone on.

Design Theory;

It’s an essential book, you really need to read this no matter what. It’ll open your eyes to many areas of what happens in design and it’ll just put a few things into perspective for you.

Another V. Papanek book talking about sustainability and so on. Again, quite essential. Not hugely interesting, but you should still try to digest all the info. At your age, by the time you reach the industry it’ll be an increasingly responsible area of work, and to try and educate yourself in how to be a responsible designer is important.

Possibly the most important book. Most books by Don Norman you should look at really.

Another book very similar to ‘Design for the Real World’ by Papanek about the realities about design in contexts rather than what the designer has in mind when designing (which are usually different things).

As for other stuff, you should start sketching a lot! There is kind’ve an unwritten standard for how designers sketch really, but that’s not to say you ‘have’ to sketch that way - you’re trying to communicate form, and quickly, and whatever way suits you to do that is up to you. Have a look in the sketching forum to get some ideas/see what materials are used/ etc. Some books;

Magazines; I’m presuming you’re in the states, so not sure what to tell you. In the UK, New Design, Design Week, Icon, Blueprint. Again, look through the forums;

Most questions you have will be in the forums already, you’ll just have to search them. But you’re doing ok so far, you’ve found Core77!

alright thank a lot, these look like some great books ill have to check them out .