Industrial Designer - Architectural Degree



I am considering switching careers from architecture to industrial design. Have any of you switched careers from one field to another, specifically from Architecture to Industrial Design? While I recognize the similarities between Architecture and Industrial Design, I am unsure what employers in the latter field will value architecture skillsets.   

May 18, 22 5:03 pm

I did get opposite. There's a lot of crossover in terms of how to approach problem solving, understanding the process, collaborating with others, dealing with clients, quality checking, etc etc. Then of course there's the software. ID doesn't use Revit but many ID firms use AutoCAD, Rhino, 3Dstudio, and the same Adobe software as anybody else.

ID is incredibly difficult to break into. I would put the ratio of ID firms to architecture firms at 1:200 or so. 

May 18, 22 9:22 pm  · 
1  · 

ID would be really fun, and if you have architecture experience you will be so well prepared to switch to ID

May 18, 22 11:30 pm  · 

This isn't true.

May 19, 22 10:13 am  · 
2  · 

I can't directly reply to OP but what and how would architects define an architectural skillset, why would it be useful for product design would you say you have better general design skills ?

May 27, 22 9:49 pm  · 

By replying here or at the bottom is in all sense replying to the OP but it is not necessarily a private message unless they provide a means of contacting them. A person doesn't need to and sometimes don't want to provide a means for private messaging them.

Having said that, the original poster has a thing next to their name that says CONTACT.... that is to private message. Any post or reply is not direct but more of a post to the forum in the topic thread either as a reply or new comment... if you go to the bottom there should be a text box to enter a new comment. It really doesn't matter either way.

May 28, 22 1:45 am  · 
atelier nobody

I think this would be a better question for some industrial designers than for a bunch of architects. It's possible someone hiring industrial designers would consider your architectural portfolio, or not, but since very few, if any, of us here hire industrial designers, our advice is worth less than what you're paying for it.

May 26, 22 2:27 pm  · 

Thank you for all the advices

May 26, 22 8:48 pm  · 


Since the original question is about switching careers from architecture to industrial design, lets start with that.

1. It is possible to switch careers. Industrial design isn't a regulated profession so technically, the moment you design anything that falls within the broad realm of industrial design, you are technically an industrial designer because it's a noun/title describing what you are doing. 

2. So what is industrial design? You could say, you are a product designer. You are making a product. To do this on a more professional level, you need to understand manufacturing process but lets be realistic, no one starts out really knowing this well especially if they come from a school/university and no actual experience designing a product for manufacturing and how the manufacturing process works. You gain this by working with an experienced person. 

3. In becoming actually useful, you need to do more than just making sketches and pretty 3d models. At a certain point, you got to get into the nitty gritty stuff. In a sense, I have very limited experience direct experience in this domain but to a limited degree, it fell into it like when I needed to design the game cartridges so its among many hats versus a dedicated role but over time, I did pick up some information about it.

4. There are some things you can translate over but you have to understand other domains then architecture. I dealt with stuff that required some learning of PCB design work as well as the cartridge housing. I know industrial design is much broader than a product domain but you are designing with particular product types and such in mind. Like those guys who designed the Commodore 128 or Amiga 500 and 1200 case. Then they had to take the concept and have molds made. You need a working understanding of the manufacturing processes being used. Injection mold versus 3d printing for example these days. Very different processes. There is also things like the difference between stamping out parts versus machine milled (metal works). You got to understand the processes and adjust your technical drawings. 

The principles for manufacturing are fundamentally similar with the different scale but there is still important specifics especially if I have something be made by a contracted factory so there is lots of stuff to pay attention to. I don't think it is impossible but with effort and learning, it is possible to transition if someone wants to if they have the will and persistence to go through it.

It isn't all pretty sketching work. You got to be part of the process of concept idea through to the completed manufactured product. 

May 27, 22 4:03 am  · 
2  · 

It isn't all easy sketching stuff. Nobody is being hired and paid above minimum wage to do the easy stuff that a child could do. If it was all the easy and simple stuff, they would have it done by a bunch of 6 to 12-year-olds and pay them lollipops instead of wages and salaries.

May 27, 22 4:09 am  · 
 ·  1

Thanks for the detailed analysis, through your description, it really seems like Industrial Design will deal with the same process as Architecture does every day, isn't it ? It's not all about pretty renders or concepts, but as well about specifications and how to build.

May 27, 22 4:43 pm  · 
1  · 

Similar... not same. Certain processes in the abstract, might be same or similar but the difference is in the details because designing a computer or a shaver is not going to be entirely the same because they are different than a building. Buildings are rarely manufactured en mass. Yet, the building products are so there is more direct translation of process designing a product used in a building than the designing of a building. Keep in mind that there will be some differences you would not to adjust for.

May 27, 22 7:07 pm  · 

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