Industrial design is a practice that deals with the design of manufactured products. Its origins are in the industrialization of consumer goods. In the late 1800s, the first schools of design appeared in the United States. Some famous names in the field include Charles and Ray Eames, Eliot Noyes, and Russel Wright.
Design is an interdisciplinary profession that bridges a number of professional disciplines. An industrial designer works with engineers, marketers, and other related professionals to provide concepts and prototypes for various types of manufactured items. They use various design techniques, including 3D printing and modeling. Many of these designers are self-employed or work for firms that hire their services.
The field of industrial design has been shaped by international trade. Early designs often focused on aesthetics, and later on the function of a product. Today, industrial designers are concerned with branding and the overall usability of a product. This may be through the development of a corporate identity or an exhibit, or it may be through developing marketing and advertising devices and systems.
Industrial design has also changed with the rise of consumer electronics. Modern industrial design is a highly competitive industry, and it requires a variety of skills to succeed. Practicing designers may focus on ergonomics, psychology, or processes.
The industrial goods sector includes manufacturing plants, aerospace, metal fabrication, and defense. These industries are typically characterized by high levels of capital investment. The performance of the industrial goods sector is dependent on demand for manufactured products. As a result, these businesses have experienced bullish and bearish growth cycles. Typically, companies that have experienced decelerating growth are given higher multiples. However, the best performing companies have been those that have experienced accelerating growth.
The industry also includes a secondary industry that manufactures goods from primary industries. A secondary industry is generally divided into a light, or small, industry, and a heavy, or large, industry. Light industries often have a low-skilled, but high-capitalized labour force. Heavy industries often have a highly specialized labour force.
In addition to manufacturing, the industrial goods sector includes waste management and manufacturing of raw materials. Products such as cement and steel are produced in this sector. Raw materials for industrial goods include iron ore, crude oil, copper wires, and HDPE. Often, these raw materials are marked for OEMs or users.
Large-scale industries are often complex industrial organizations, serving a large market. Examples of this type of organization are the automobile industry, nonferrous metal refining, hydroelectric power generation, and steel manufacturing.
When working with a large-scale industry, it is important to be careful about ethical business practices. The use of environmentally harmful materials is not acceptable, and an industrial designer must also respect the safety of the public.
Whether it’s a food service, a building, or a car, an industrial designer is an essential part of the innovation process. Their primary responsibility is to create a competitive advantage over similar products. Designers develop specifications and concepts, and also test prototypes.