My path to Industrial Design started out when I was in a bookstore looking at a book on careers. As I recently got out of the Navy, I really wanted to do something where I didn’t bust my knuckles turning a wrench knee deep in bilge water. I saw a listing for toy designers, which really intrigued me, and that there was place called the IDSA where I could get more information.
The IDSA, I imagined, was a huge, shiny building with a horseshoe driveway and a fountain. As it was located 45 minutes from where I lived in Maryland, my girlfriend at the time accompanied me for the drive out in the countryside.
Well, as I pulled in to the location, the IDSA hq was actually located in a townhouse condo right above a karate studio. But there was some strange force pulling me. This was in 1996.
And it was when I walked through the doorway that I felt it. On the wall to my left was a display case with some recent IDEA winners. In it was a mentioning of the Dodge Neon, a pair of Speedo swim mits, and a pair of Nike Air Max running shoes. I drove there in my Neon and in the trunk were the very same award winning products. And, to top it off, the carpeting inside the foyer leading to the receptionist’s desk was black with yellow stripes down the middle, like a road. I had goosebumps all over my body.
After talking to the receptionist, she stated that Virginia Tech just received accreditation for their I.D. program. And since I.D. wasn’t offered in my state, I was eligible through a special program to take I.D. at Virginia Tech as an in-state student making it the most affordable school. Since my girlfriend graduated from V.T., it was a must that I go to school there.
I still remember the whole experience.
How do you know if it’s right for you? I would ask what do you NOT want to do.
If you enjoy the idea of being creative and can communicate your ideas with a sketch, then you have the basics for pursuing a career in I.D. All of the other abilities required of you will come to you as did your ability to walk. But before you could walk, you first had to want to walk.
Who loves I.D.?