In today’s competitive environment, studying at a Los Angeles Industrial Design School provides students with much needed advantages.
Los Angeles area industrial design schools offer students a number of diverse choices when selecting a school. The University of California-Los Angeles, University of Southern California, California State University-Los Angeles, the Art Institutes and the Art Center College of Design award Bachelor’s degrees in architecture, engineering and design, all of which are areas suitable to begin a career in industrial design.
Form Follows Function
From toothbrushes to light fixtures, because he or she designs the products we use every day, the industrial designer is as much creative thinker as problem solver. The job of combining the functionality of an object with aesthetics often requires training not only in design, engineering and physics, but also in psychology. Creating the intersection of efficiency and usability, especially in mass-produced consumer goods ranging from automobiles to kitchen utensils, is the key to his or her success. The ability to identify trends in structure, color and material helps ensure the commercial appeal of a product. Further, the product must not only be safe for the consumer, it must also be wanted or needed.
Industrial Design Coursework
An industrial designer typically has at least a Bachelor’s degree in architecture, engineering or design. Many have an advanced degree in one of these areas as well. While degree requirements and programs at design schools in the Los Angeles area vary, in general, Bachelor’s degree coursework will include instruction on:
• Engineering – Using science and math for problem solving
• Ergonomics – How the human body functions in a work environment
• Industrial Materials – Working with ceramics, glass, metals and fabrics
• Physical Sciences – Learning advanced technologies
• Psychology – Understanding human behavior
• Visual Arts – How the product looks and feels
• Vocabulary – The ability to communicate with other industrial designers
Before choosing an industrial design program, prospective students should make sure that the focus of the program suits their style of learning and areas of interest. For example, some design programs focus more on theory and history while others focus on application.
Coursework should also include significant instruction on the business and marketing aspects of commercial design. Having an understanding of what motivates a consumer to make a purchase will greatly enhance the efficiency and usefulness of a product. Understanding the importance of a cost analysis and the impact of redesign or design on the manufacturing process are crucial in establishing a cost effective design. And, whether the product is a toy for young people or a desk chair for the elderly, knowing what the market will bear should be known.
Following graduation from a Los Angeles area design program, the newly minted industrial designer has many areas in which to search for a job. The aerospace, automotive, home appliance, medical equipment and toy industries are just a few that hire graduates with an industrial design degree. The first job is likely to teach the designer additional skills not covered in school, such as the importance of keeping the client’s brand image in mind when working on a product.
No matter the eventual area of expertise, a successful career in industrial design starts with a degree from a Los Angeles industrial design school.