Product Design Vs Industrial Design

What is the difference between Product Design and Industrial Design. This question has puzzled many people. Many people use the terms ‘Product Design’ and ‘Industrial Design’ loosely and interchangeably. Many university students are taught that Product Design is a subset of Industrial Design. In Industrial Design the focus is on improving existing products or services, while Product Design deals specifically with solving problems through creating something that does not exist. For example, if you sit long on the floor your legs may ache. Hence from Product Design perspective you focus on inventing a large number of chairs, and choose the best one. While Industrial Design will also invent a chair and then focus on making this chair more comfortable, useful, beautiful, etc.

Further, some authors argue that Product Design is a specialization that deals exclusively with ‘products’ or something that can be produced, while Industrial Design is more general study that deals with products, services, installations, etc. Take an example of a house. Since it is a solution to living, it can be treated as a problem in Industrial Design, but again it is a product so it should be dealt with by Product Design. Such arguments are best understood if you choose one particular perspective and compare it over the other. By choosing Product Design, you will have a large number of different houses, which will suite the taste of different people. Then with Industrial Design  you will have one house, that will cater the likings of hundreds.

Then again a more commonly accepted approach to understand the choice in language is one of timing where Industrial Design is a step in the Product Design Process. As many Industrial Designers live in a world on their own with a focus on form and in some cases function with the Industrial Design is generally a pipe dream that is yet to be manufactured. Where Product Design is the complete process from Industrial Design including Toolmaking, Prototyping, Manufacturing along with life cycle testing. If an industrial Designer Designed a car or motor bike there would not be enough engineering for either of them to function but certainly it would look good.    

For More information products that look good with form, function and remain manufacture-able Hamilton By Design Product Designers Design Products that Preform.

Product Design  |  Industrial Design  |  Manufacture-able  |  Form Function & Design

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