The Future Is Interdisciplinary

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What skills does the future of industrial design require? We asked 43 senior-level designers and design managers to weigh in on educating the next wave of young designers.

What skills does the future of industrial design require? We asked 43 senior-level designers and design managers to weigh in on educating the next wave of young designers.

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  • 1. THE FUTURE IS INTERDISCIPLINARY What skills does the future of design require? We asked professional designers to weigh in on 10 Curriculums from 8“Traditional” skills 7 “New” skills appeared less 43 Designers regarded as Corporate 53% educating the next wave of young designers. Top-ranked schools across the U.S. were compared. appeared at nearly every school. frequently in curriculums. Relevancy of these skills decision-makers within their organizations evaluated the Consultant 48% was supported by Core77. different groupings of skills. Interdisciplinary skills are the most The future will rely on tradition: The future is (apparently) not in product important assets for future designers. Foundational skills remain highly valued. specialization. 460 Having empathy for other disciplines is one of the most important things a 12 student can learn. No matter where they start their career they are going to be just one cog in the larger team. An employee entrenched in a product category quickly gets trapped in Interdisciplinary Foundational the paradigms and conventions. Some of the best ideas are solutions 25 Skills Skills from other industries that are modified to solve a different problem.Interdisciplinary Skills 18 16 7 Interdisciplinary Skills, Everyone must know the basics. You cant bend or break the rules if you dont know what they are to begin with. 15 Drawing and All other new Rendering Drawing and Rendering skills combined Interdisciplinary Skills 4 All other skills Most design schools begins their 167 Product (average) curriculum with design skills that apply broadly to many types of Specialization design students. Coming in a Times selected as a Times ranked highest Number of votes variety of names, they have been Total weighted skill of “high or second-highest for most important organized into a collective group scores, all skills importance.” overall. skill overall. under this name. Interaction, Business of Design, and Design Sustainability and Design Management Research are said to be growing the most. are buzzing. No love for Human Factors. Understanding the context of design and how designers can add value IS the future of our profession. 636 Design Management 732 Sustainable Design 480 As traditional design roles diminish in their occurrence, 13 designers who specialize in research can continue to be valuable additions to a company. 8 Average word 219 Interaction count Design Business of 7 Human Factors Design Design Research Number of mentions The most significant change underway in the design Word counts from regarding skills is growing world right now in my opinion. Well thought out open-ended questions the most in importance. interaction can result in competitive advantage beyond on each skill. that of features, aesthetics, and cost/value. OVERALL RANKING [Core skills] are the most important and least effected by trends in the industry. How do new skills and traditional skills stack up together? This stuff is about rigor, building in the work ethic that is going to make a kid a good intern. They might have amazing styling or cad skills, but Teaching general business principles is often overlooked in many because they learned to measure twice and cut once and pay attention traditional Design Education programs. to the details in foundations theyll end up being a better hire. Everything is interaction design...The faster we stop treating A great deal of work can be wasted if you have not identified the right Its the main skill that allows us interaction design as a separate task or even discipline, the stronger problem to solve. Furthermore, once you have a solution, you need to to visualize what others put in we are as a profession. make sure it is something consumers will accept (and buy). bullet points on a power point. I think getting things in your hand is very important. However, students do not need to make things by hand carving thing out of foam...with the availability of CNC machines and quick rapid prototyping. I dont need someone to know muscle names and nerve sensitivities, but understanding that people will use products is essential. #IDSA2012 What’s your best advice on developing interdisciplinary skills? The younger you are the more diverse you should be. You never know where youll end up or who your next client will be or how your affinity for design will change over your career. Product Design Sustainable Modelmaking Design Theory Branding and Human Interaction Business of CAD Skills Materials and Design Foundational Drawing and Interdisciplinary Specialization Management Design Prototyping Graphics Factors Design Design Processes Research Skills Rendering Skills Least Important Most Important IDSA Education Symposium MICHAEL ROLLER Special thanks to: Adjunct Professor, University of Cincinnati August 15, 2012 Boston Associate Creative Director, Kaleidoscope mroller@kascope.com @rollermt