Design is not only about the look and feel of things. Industrial design nurtures the creative mind through rigorous inputs in technology, thinking and conceptualising abilities. It is the use of both applied art and science to improve the aesthetics, design, ergonomics and usability of a product.
What they do: The role of an industrial designer is to create and execute design solutions for problems of form, usability, physical ergonomics, marketing, brand development, marketability and sales. Industrial designers work to improve the function, value and aesthetics of products. The main responsibility of an industrial designer is to ensure that various factors of production, including land, labour, capital and entrepreneurship are being utilised in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.
Basic requirements: Industrial designers work as part of a larger design team and work in a variety of industries that can range from engineering and architecture companies to fashion and clothing design companies as well as car manufacturers and large technology companies. The importance of their work is in the detail and to discover that detail, industrial designers often travel to testing facilities, design centres, homes, or even work sites where the product is being manufactured.
Course details: Bachelor of design in industrial design, bachelor of engineering in industrial design, bachelor of technology in industrial design, bachelor of science in industrial design, master of design in industrial design, master of engineering in industrial design, master of technology in industrial design, master of science in industrial design and post graduate diploma program in industrial design.
Eligibility: For admission in a bachelor’s degree programme a student must have passed higher secondary school or 10+2 from any reputed institute or university. For admission in a master’s degree programme a student must have a bachelor’s degree from any discipline.
Entrance exams: One would have to answer the NEED (National Entrance Exam for Design) entrance test for National Institute of Design at Ahmedabad. NEED scores are shared with consortium members – DJ Academy of Design, Coimbatore; IILM School of Design, Gurgaon; Indian Institute of Craft and Design, Jaipur; Wigan and Leigh College, New Delhi; Srishti School of Art Design and Technology, Bangalore and Pearl Academy of Fashion, New Delhi.
The criterion for IIT design courses is IIT JEE, however, class 12 (science) students can pursue BTech design at IIT Guwahati.
Those who want to pursue a master’s degree in IIT design must have a degree in BE/BArch/BFA and need to answer CEED.
Top industrial design colleges in India: Centre for Product Design and Manufacturing, New Delhi; Department of Industrial Design: School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi; Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati; Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur; MIT Institute of Design; National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad; Industrial Design Centre, IIT Bombay; Department of Design, IIT Guwahati; Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore; Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi; Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore; Symbiosis Centre of Design, Pune; Maeer MITs Institute of Design, Pune; Raffles Design International, Mumbai and IILM School of Design, Gurgaon.
Scope: One can be employed by manufacturing establishments, MNC’s, design firms and the government. They can freelance or start their own venture or join a design school as a faculty member. There is significant demand for experienced designers, especially those with experience in specific areas and a technological background.
Growth prospects: Growth opportunities for designers in smaller consultancies are limited and progression may only be achieved through movement between employers or even between related fields of design, professional qualifications, specialist knowledge and breadth of experience. It is quite possible to progress to senior designer posts in larger organisations where the size of the design department and the variety of specialised roles within it permit such progression – larger automotive and consumer product manufacturers may offer such opportunities.
Employment opportunities: Industrial design as a function is getting utilised in areas of design departments in manufacturing firms and industries like consulting firms, ceramic design work, industries manufacturing tableware, sanitary wares, light fittings, pottery, decorative porcelain and materials for electrical and other industries, etc.
Salary: Those with a diploma or degree in design could begin with a pay package ranging from `16,000 to `30,000 per month. Others who have passed out from reputed institutes such as National Institute of Fashion Designing and National Institute of Design may even earn a salary ranging from `35, 000 to `60,000 per month. The pay scale depends on the type of organisation. If one works for a big multinational corporation, they can expect to earn anywhere up to `8,50,000 per annum.
Skills required: Candidates should possess visual imagination, creativity and love for design. He/she should have sound knowledge of maths and physics, strong communication skills, practical skills and technical ability. The ability to interpret and analyse data, think in a clear and logical manner, analyse problems and come up with original solutions, express ideas through drawings is also required. Candidates should possess good colour sense, appreciation of aesthetics and sensitivity to ergonomics.
Market watch: In India, industrial designers have never been in demand at the same level as they are currently. With the industrial boom in the past decade, firms are increasingly eager to lower costs and remain competitive. As a result, the outlook for industrial designers is very healthy.
No industrial designer has been trained to work exclusively on any particular product, unless by accident. What she/he has been trained to do is practice a process called design, a process that includes aesthetic choices and inbuilt creativity.