Post why YOU design

I’m a junior ID student searching for reasons to pursue a career in industrial design after I graduate. So far I’ve learned about what the business is like and the skills needed, sort of the dry stuff, but where is the drive behind it all? What I mean is, should we be motivated by altruism, by financial gain, or for social-status (star designer types).

What is it about your work that you find Meaningful?
Why choose this profession in particular?
When did you know you were going to be a designer?

Thanks in advance.

I like to make stuff. Always have. Seems to me a smart choice on my part to get paid to make stuff. In reality, I’d rather make different stuff, but I wouldn’t get paid as well to make that other stuff.

As for the meaning behind it all, I have no idea why I like to make stuff. I just do. I also like riding a bike. But I was not genetically gifted to get paid to ride a bike.

My core motivations are constantly shifting. Different types of projects elicit different motivations. Some people thrive on one type over and over, but I find myself needing variation. There are times when I am incredibly inspired by the fact that I’m creating physical art. There are others where I find satisfaction in solving problems no one has ever solved and still others when I simply want to use my skills to make people happy. Sometimes a smile is enough. It sounds corny, but it’s true. There are other, smaller catalysts (e.g. design is my profession and how I earn a living - I just enjoy being creative), but in the end they don’t produce the real drive that keeps me going.

For me the reason of why I design is simple - I was lucky enough to be granted some innate skills that I’ve been lucky to grow into a career where I can use them full-time - drawing, story-telling, problem-solving, creating, building, etc.

For me, I had my selfish years when I was doing more consumer-based work. While I loved it and thrived, at a point in my career, I was wondering what more there could be.

The answer, for me, was to get more involved into design for healthcare - could be a tongue depressor or a surgical robot. The idea that I was going to be able to work on more challenging, life-altering and health-improving products for young and old alike got me more excited.

What is possible and happening in this space gets me excited and engaged day after day.


Everyone has their own reasons for getting in to design, for me it’s to try and improve things for my future self so things are easier for me as I get older which is quite selfish in many ways, but also if it works, hopefully benefits a lot of others as well. But the way you pose the question is interesting, because it’s not about what ‘we’ should be motivated by, it’s what you should be motivated by. This is like learning the difference between right and wrong, why are some people motivated by financial gain and others want to give it all away, I guess a lot of it has to do with experiences when growing up that inform your own personal opinions and outlooks on life. There is nothing necessarily wrong with any of the options you listed although I have my own strong views on all three. The beauty of design is that it allows you to cover all three in one project and many other elements as well. It’s for you to decide, based on who you are, are you motivated by financial gain, or altruism? This probably doesn’t help you a lot now, but no one can walk your path for you.

For me it didn’t feel like a choice, it just felt like who I am. When I learned what the word is that described me it fit.

To quote KRS-ONE, “Rap is something you do, hip-hop is something you live.” … something like that.

Attention deficit disorder combined with a bit of OCD.

Because every night I fall asleep in a bed full of cash.

What is it about your work that you find Meaningful? Hopefully contributing to life in a positive way. Making people happy and producing work that may be appreciated after I am long gone.

Why choose this profession in particular? Personally, I am involved with many different aspects of design. I really cannot see myself being happy unless I am producing something, be it art, products, living spaces etc.

When did you know you were going to be a designer? Funny, I always liked making stuff since childhood. I remember being around six yrs old making paper shoes with tape, then drawing on them. After being a fine artist for a number of years in my early adult life, I wanted to create the products I interacted with everyday such as shoes, toys, clothing, electronics, etc.

Best of luck to you. :smiley:




You must be one of the other 6 Vanity fans in the world.