Can you link the title Industrial Designer to the term Architect? It doesn’t have the same meaning, or prestige. The Industrial Designer title is the service component for a set of technical skills in a field of design. There is your qualification title, which is the set of skills that you use to full-fill your job. And there is your actual job/role title.
Industrial Design is not too broad. Your confusing the qualification term with the work/role of Industrial Designers.
I classify myself as a ‘Luminaire Designer’. Luminaire Design B.Des (ID). Because of this, my salary is significantly higher than the average ‘industrial designer’ (title/sell themselves), or an ‘Industrial Designer whom designs light fittings’.
I believe the degree teaches you the skills to execute your ideas. In our case, sketching, drafting, prototyping, project management/manufacturing. The term industrial design is your set of skills, therefore you are a ‘service’ of design. If you call yourself an “Industrial Designer” the point which you identify and transmit your skills (of ID) into a specification or genre of design is the point which your Intellectual property becomes the valuable component as a designer. My intellectual knowledge is currently ‘Luminiare Design’ (1.5 years experience, considered a graduate by some), integrating light sources with fittings, thus I earn far more than the average graduate ‘Industrial Designer’ would.
To further expand on my initial point, the term ‘Architect’ is the title of your job. The first three years of Architecture is a Bachelor of Design (Arch) (In most cases around the world). At this stage you have a drafting skill set qualification to design structures, but primarily drafting only. The job title Architect comes from a further two year Masters course where you learn about the fundamentals/history/functionality/considerations of Architecture Design. To be titled an Architect, you further go two years experience (intern) to be registered as an Architect (in most countries).
My point is that Industrial Design is the generic title for your skills and service as a designer. It gives you the first level of education to begin as a Designer. Either industry experience, or education specialisation (Diploma in Furniture Design, or a Masters of Yacht Design) provides you with the ‘Intellectual Property’ check box to charge for your creativity/ideas, opposed to your “service” as a designer hourly rate). When you cost a new job, your hourly rate is the service, your mark up of 100% is the IP you are selling.
Note the design consultancy business model. The boss is the creative director (ID), he gets his minions to draft up his designs. Eventually his minions (Graduate Industrial Designers), become specific designers like Creative Designers (B.DES.(ID)). They are finally using their IP (industry experience specialisation) and earning more money for their specific role and therefore ‘Title’.
To change industries for example from automotive to furniture design, you usually are competing in the job hunt as an ‘Industrial designer’ again with experience cross over of ‘styling’ or production knowledge only. You still do not have furniture specialisation experience, and therefore take a pay drop to change industries, until you prove your IP.
‘Industrial Designers’ whom work in an Industrial design consultancy firm with the title ‘Industrial Designer’ will rarely make the big dollars. They are always being charged out at a ‘service design’ hourly rate, which is governed by the industry standard design wage rate (Low). The business takes the creative IP for your work, which is the mark of the consultancy.
Its not that Industrial Design is too broad. Its that the meaning of the word is confused with the title of your employment. If you are starting out as a graduate, your experience as a designer is university based. Which I see is a positive for the title Conceptual Designer (D.Des (ID), or Product Designer, B.Des (ID). Your entire degree is based around conceptual learning and research into the latest technologies in over broader industries. You have read journal articles and are more up to date with the last four years of design trends and technologies than many specific designers.
Opinion Food for Thought…
Liam Petrie-Allbutt B.Des (ID)