What are industrial designers like?

Is the profession of industrial designers mostly men? About what percentage are women?

Also how would you describe the typical industrial designer? As a group, how would you describe them? What kinds of personalities do they have?

Great website by the way!

Is it me, or is this a really stupid question?

What are Lawyers like?
What are Newspaper reporters like?
What are Engineers like?

I realize this is probably an innocent question, but…sheesh.

Likes to make things look good and work well…normally has a messy desk

Younger ones, generally optimistic. Older ones, pessimistic and decisiveness is often perceived as cockiness.
Seems like obsessive compulsion is a very prevalent trait or complete spaciness for some of the younger ones. We generally like to figure things out and can’t leave something unsolved, always wanting to dig deeper.

Gag. This turns my stomach.

Its prejudiced. Its judgemental. Its sterotyping an industry that has as much variety, problems, and excitement as any other industry.

How’s this for an answer:

Industrial Designers are humans. They’re short, they’re tall, they’re fat, they’re skinny (they even use skinny as their pseudonym). They’re black, they’re white, they’re asian, they’re Austrailian. They’re the nicest people you’ll ever meet, they’re the biggest assholes you’ll ever meet. They cool, they’re geeks, they’re innocent, they’re naive, they’re straight, they’re gay, they’re bi.

Did I leave anything out?

We’re all douchebags. :laughing:

I resemble that remark.

What is closer to stupid is a moderator of a forum insulting a general question posted by a new member.

All professions have variety. Any composition of people with shared interests will vary. Duh. What I was interested in was how industrial designers perceive themselves as a group, distinct from other occupational groups. While any description may be inaccurate given the diversity within the group itself, what is interesting are the self-descriptions of members of that group and possibly overlapping similarities.

Whether you like stereotypes or not, there are cultural norms and personality traits that emerge within social groupings, be they national culture, subcultures or organizations. Certain types of people will gravitate to certain groups, certain types of people get selected into groups more than others, through training and socialization over time, even greater similarities will emerge.

I was asking a legitimate question and if you think its a stupid one, don’t answer but let others share their opinion.

But I think to an extent there are certain traits that are a necessity in our field. For example, we make new things and try to make old things better which would mean there’s a mindset of not being easily satisfied by the status quo and a drive to want to make things better. That’s remarkably different than the type of people that are totally happy with everything as-is.
Now for the other specifics, male / female, height, etc… of course those are silly and only depend on who has gotten into the field. But there are definitely traits that lend themselves to success in the field. Basketball players generally tend to be on the tall side, lawyers are pretty good with words, athletes tend to be driven and competitive.
I think it’s fair enough to say that we all have a desire to create and improve which almost goes without saying for anyone in a creative field.

You’re insulted? Well, frankly, I am insulted by your original question as worded. You don’t like the fact that I call you on it. So be it. The onus is not on me to interpret what you “really meant”.



What I was interested in was how industrial designers perceive themselves as a group, distinct from other occupational groups. While any description may be inaccurate given the diversity within the group itself, what is interesting are the self-descriptions of members of that group and possibly overlapping similarities.

This, is not a stupid (insulting) question. That said, my opinion on the subject is that this is a human trait that I would love to see disappear - Naval gazing stereotypes.

What I love about Design(ers) is the diversity. The embracing of diversity that comes from it being an industry that comes from, essentially, a socially liberal education (not Liberal, in the political sense). I am constantly inspired by (good) design studios because of the openess and diversity that oozes from every crack.

There is always the bad seed in the bunch (where stereotypes usually stem from), and I prefer NOT focusing on that.

I am not sure I buy this is a market cornered by Industrial Design.

I didn’t say anything about being insulted. I said you insulted the question.

Its generally more useful to seek clarity before jumping to conclusions and swiping out negative judgment. Most people in positions of leadership usually try to model something along those lines.

This is all fascinating coming from you though, someone who claims to dislike quick judgmental assessments by others (e.g. stereotyping) :slight_smile:

BTW, thanks for the insights so far. I would be very interested in the general current gender composition if anyone can take a crack at a rough guess (or lead me to some more specific stats).

Industrial Designers could look like anybody from a Goth to a businessman.

At the moment I think there are more men then women. For what I know there are very successful car designers who are women.

It don’t matter cause all are great designer, who makes it into the business.

industrial designers:

heroes or scapegoats.

not many females, but more are in the ranks than before.

i view myself as a professional in a fairly new, recognizable profession.

my personality is wary optimism, balancing innovation with a strong dose of realism. if you’re gonna float me a dream, you better have a good story and a happy ending, i don’t like polishing turds.

We disagree here. I find it is generally more useful to ask the question more clearly in the first place so that people don’t have to interpret what you “meant to say”. Most people in positions of leadership don’t have time to dissect the “meaning” of what people “meant to say”. You said what you said, why should I “in a position of leadership” have to assume you meant something else. Again, you place the onus on me, or in this case everyone reading, to interpret what you meant to say. To which I call bullshit.

You’re a big person. I called you on the ambiguity of your question. You responded by clarifying the question. End of story.

BTW, welcome to the forum :wink:

To put it simply - We Industrial Designers are bad asses! We are Rock Stars! Ha ha ha ha ha…happy thanksgiving to all rock stars out there.

I would say as a group we are, unpredictable, liable to leap in a direction you didn’t expect, find a conclusion someone else wouldn’t, see something through a totally different set of eyes than anyone else on a project, and we, as a group or as individuals, do not like to be pigeon holed, we like to be heard but not placated, challenged, but not demeaned, and generally disruptive with lots of tertiary interests… I use this topic as a case study… and all of those traits can be very valuable on a project.

I hope the general responses of the posters at this subject are a minority of Industrial Designers. I guess they are either unemployed, underemployed or just mad that they can’t be artists.

While I agree the question is broad, I think the asking of how to categorize the question would be much more beneficial than just flaming new people who are interested.

In regards to your question about females in Industrial Design, I would agree that it has grown tremendously in the last decade (thank goodness for this).

In general what makes most designer different from the average person is that we have been trained with tools to be able to ask the question “what will be” instead of the typical analytical thinking, which trains with tools that answer the question “what can we discover that already exists”.