Research and Design

Can any one give me a break down of the differnces between a R/D dept and a ID dept/studio?

To make a long story short I had originally studied product design, and ended up graduating with a master degree in architecture. Alot of my school work has focused on the idea of user centered design with in an enviroment, and I am trying to figure out if R/D is anouther carer possibilityfor me.



i’ll let the ID old farts take this one…

R&D = Research and Development

It’s usually hardcore engineering and does not include design. Some organizations call their engineering group R&D, even when not actually doing any R.

I am a product designer who works in an R&D Department within a large corporate concern.

So it is not strickly true that they do not cater for design, and no our R&D Department is not over run with old farts and engineers.
I believe that any design department is only as good as the designers in it, I also believe that the R&D Dept’s also allow you to have a lot of free run.

Our dept has a great design input and we work in all stages of the design process from general concept generation and ideation to final design detailing and hand over to development department.

The only negatives I have come across is the corporate red tap, but like our designers we just shapen our scissors often…


Typically, corporate ID departments deal with the visual appearance of products. R&D is basically the engineering portion of product development.
Some Industrial Designers discover new possibilities for employment in the R&D departments, others move to Asia where much of the traditional industrial manufacturing has already relocated, along with many of the traditional design jobs.

I see industrial designers in the R&D Departments of big automotive and medical firms in Germany. Designers who wish to find employment in R&D should qualify themselves early on, by means of suitable semester projects, internships, and diploma thesis projects. There are many new areas in design with new employment opportunities. The trick is to find a design school that is tuned to these developments. At KHB Berlin-Weissensee this is what we try to offer our students.

…As do I. But by definition R&D does not include design.

In organizations that don’t have a Design discipline at that level (most Corporations do), it is common to find design reporting into R&D, or (better) Product Development.

I worked in 2 firms before. I am, in both situations, a Industrial Designer, under the charge of R&D director.

Trust me, its very not-design under these R& D guys.

I am intern at a design consultancy & a global electronic manufacturer who has its own design group. These 2 are really design-based. Things that they talked about, terms they used to describe design & design process is very DESIGN.

Whereas my previous job & current, its very engineering. Where the design sense is slowly directed to whether the product can meet the cost, requirements for masking spray, color of bolts & nuts, how many LEDs I can use in my design (when presenting the 1st initial concept). (!!!)

Interesting place to join for a yr or two. But will make us design-senile.