Industrial Design, Portfolios & Contemplative Bludgeonings…

It’s that time of the semester, when you need to get yourself into 5th gear & make sure you finish everything on time. In my case, I’d better, as I have a flight to catch back home and I can’t afford to miss out on deadlines…

Since this blog, technically, falls under my coursework, this post serves as gearing up. I recently took part in Core77’s 1-Hour Design Challenge, where you had to sketch & render a car within an hour & post a time-lapsed video for the same. My entry can be found in the blog post below this one. The important thing, for me, is not winning – apart from the bragging rights, the prizes are not all that lucrative hehe! The important thing, however, is that Ralph Gilles, VP of Design at Chrysler is judging the competition, which means that my work is sure to get noticed by him! I’m actually really happy with that…though bragging rights could really boost my portfolio 😛

Speaking of portfolios, I stumbled upon this while browsing the Core77 forums. This gives a simple DIY thingy on how to prepare those 1-page layouts for your online portfolio – mighty helpful I reckon…it’ll ease a lot of pressure off WordPresses & Blogspots and all!

Also worth a thought is the fact that the thin line between art & design is being traversed universally, and that the true meaning of design (or industrial design) is not something that a lot of people seem to understand. True, industrial designers need to build good-looking things & have an idea of tinkering and blah blah blah…but if a prospective employer asks you “as an industrial designer, how are you gonna benefit my company?”, what will your answer be? I’m dead sure you won’t be able to get away with eye-candies & bludgeonings on a sheet of metal…the answer has to be convincing!

We had a form course at NID last semester, and the understanding I got about design was very perceptive & psychological in nature. Form perception is a psychological phenomenon, and is universal – a good form is a good form period! A good form has a proper balance between amazing & amusing elements – basically the geometric & the organic, respectively. Any extra weight on either side will tend the user to just lose interest & make the “design” obsolete/unusable, albeit over a period of time. Also, humans, instinctively, like things closer to nature owing not only to form, but to function as well – and there you have biomimicry! I guess one of the roles of an industrial designer, thus, is to bridge this gap between humans & nature – basically get man closer to nature.

Through our past broadcasts (audio & video), a lot of my batchmates have tried to address this question by interviewing students, professionals, even people not studying industrial design…and with due respect to all those interviewed, I couldn’t find any convincing answer. Industrial design can not just be about sketching & making things look good – that just makes this whole field so puerile and takes away all the ethics involved. Or maybe it’s just me…

However, there were a few interesting video broadcasts relating to industrial design. One of them can be found here, where RMIT faculty & industrial designer Paul Angus answers a few questions posed by Jennifer Dengler. Another one is an interview with Janine Prescot, industrial designer at TE Designs, where she talks about the role of the industrial designer in the industry (interviewer: Sabrina Schaum).

A little away from interviews, Aran Kamonchan has explored light musically…this one is a must-listen!

What now…I plan to explore the line between art & design, and try to resolve it in my audio interview with Isobel Hodges. Isobel is known by all industrial design students (and a lot of the faculty members) at RMIT as the great friendly lady at the industrial design reception, and a few know that she is an artist herself. Having worked closely in both the fields, I believe she’ll give some good insights into the two…

As for the question regarding what industrial design actually is, I don’t think there lies a definitive answer…I’ll stick to answering the call of nature till then 🙂

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