What would you do if you didn't do what you do now?

What would you do if you didn’t do what you do now? It’s a pretty simple question, and the only wrong answer is engineer. Just kidding. Would you want to be in another form of design, something completely different? I love being in the world of design, and seeing account executives and project planners spread sheets give me a headache. But I would love to be in advertising if I wasn’t in Industrial Design. It’s a pretty natural progression, is basically the life of a product after we conceive it, but before it ends up in a landfill.

Marketing, on the product development end, or some other business career related to product development. The spreadsheets which give some people headaches fascinate me, because they represent creative ideas and educated guesses turned to reality and cold hard numbers. Of course, you will never know what the actual results will be until the product launches, but marketing gives you a method to take a “good idea” and find out exactly how good it will actually be. Also, the completely customer-centered approach taken by marketers which some designers tend to regard as “selling out”, is a refreshing contrast to the world of ID, which can seem very masturbatory at times.

Music production. I’d like to be able to produce with sounds what I do now with lines and colors.

I actually WOULD be in design, as currently I’m PC repair/install/network admin/etc for several local companies. Having to deal with a large number of products and helping others use them gives you an interesting perspective on things. I’d almost go into UX, but I’m also tempted by the “permanence” of created objects, vs software or anything virtual.

Oh, man what a topic. Something I think about on a daily basis. I’ve got many, but top of the list might be Bicycle Product sales rep, or Lighting Designer (not fixture design, but actual illumination… more engineering related I imagine)

Of course, if I were smart, I’d have just gone into plumbing. If you’re good, you can make a fortune…

Is the question what would we do if we had to change tomorrow and still know everything we do now (ie. Have our current skills/knowledge)?

If so that’s easy for me - I could be one heluva shoe salesman :slight_smile:


is it what would we do if we never found out about design and/or had an interest in it? That’s a harder question. I think I might be a teacher of some sort, or (closer to current interests/skills), marketing or sales.


I used to make studio furnature and some sculpture and sell at the occassional art show. That was long hours and short pay. I also used to restore vintage race cars. Again, long hours and short pay.

My current job is more desk jockey and a little hands-on. I prefer the mostly hands-on of the studio furnature and restoration but I don’t prefer the short pay. I figure I can do that when I am retired and don’t need as much income.

Realistically, a shift to pure marketing would be the most likely move. It would need to be upstream and not the downstream marketing after product launch.

Or becoming a physician could be done. I’d probably go surgeon because I am pretty much an a$$hat.

I think it’s closer to the first part. Maybe it should be “What ELSE would you want to do besides your current job given your knowledge and interests?” I think it could even be a different product category of ID. But I am sure a lot of people are like me, you like/love what you do but you wish you could explore other things as well, or at least had the time to.

This is a pretty good topic!

I would love to be a conceptual designer for movies and amusement parks. Ideally this role would require about a 50/50 mix of drawing/painting and hand building. I would love a career where they encourage you to dream big and continue to push the boundaries.

I would also go with NURB’s suggestion of being a lighting designer. I took quite a few lighting design classes in college and it’s a fascinating subject.

Advertising would also be a big contender. It seems like a natural progession for designers to be able to create some interesting advertising/marketing campaigns.

I would probably be designing and building custom stereos, either for vehicles or home use. And none of that garbage you see kids throwing around. Some of the fabrication and design on the IASCA vehicles is amazing, and thats what I would strive for. Also, the details and physics involved in properly setting up audio systems fascinates me. There is nothing better than listening to some good tunes on a properly set up room. I also would love to design my own set of TL speakers, and some serious subwoofers based on a rotary driver.

That’s easy. I’d be a “tanning butler” Luxist
I’ve also considered “zombie killer” or “vampire hunter” but I hear that demand is slow these days. :wink:

Seriously though, I’d like to either teach math/science or totally geek out in some remote forest studying beetles or something while living in a tree with my eccentric wife :stuck_out_tongue:

Some others:
Owning a pub or a “traveling carnival attraction operations specialist” or running an art gallery or a DJ/event promoter. Wow, so many options, so little time.

I’d love to run a small coffee shop.

“I’d love to run a small coffee shop.”

Ditto…and hopefully it makes a profit.

I always wanted to be a Chef. I love to cook and eat. :smiley:

I’d love to be a novelist. I guess that makes sense though, as a novelist you create worlds, in ID you create objects for this world. The call to design for this world is stronger though… at the moment!

Snowboard bum for a while and then get hired by the/a resort as lead lift/operations mechanic, with some search and rescue from time to time, while doing freelance design (thinking furniture) on the side.

In the Summer replace snowboarding with mountain biking or rafting or camping/fishing guide, with freelance design on the side.

Thinking this would happen at Jackson Hole, Whistler, Big Sky, Mammoth, Kirkwood or other similar outdoor/ski area.

My little brother is a college soccer coach and that seems like a pretty cool gig. Id probably have to coach rowing or swimming though as my knowledge of soccer has faded.

in between jobs considered becoming an art teacher but teaching it from a design perspective. Schools seem to be weeding out anything not math or science (this could be a whole other topic) so im not sure about the job security there.

Raging alcoholic or a standup comic…maybe both. :laughing:

Replace snowboard with ski and you’ve got my exact answer.

park ranger / naturalist or something similar so I can be out in nature, hauling a chainsaw out opening up trails etc. I think I could only do this a short time as the creative forces in me would get antsy. I also still think about going back into architecture which is what I initially wanted to study