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    Hi, having done quite a bit of research into uni courses, i have decided that a degree in Product design or design engineering is something i realy want to do.

    I wondered what sort of jobs people taking product design are looking to do, or what people who have completed a degree in product design are currently doing. I just realy want to know what sort of things i could do having completed this degree. Thanks
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    Product design is quite a broad field obviously, first the best thing to do is look at what the alumni of the university end up doing, and what are the current research/project interests of the department?

    The large fields of product design can be things like furniture design, footware design, sports equipment design, consumer product design, and industrial design, with subsets for things like vehicle and automotive design.

    I am a mechanical engineer by degree but take on product design projects as a consultant, there are a number of skill sets to build which your course will give you, to varying degree's based on their strengths.

    Firstly understanding that design is about solving problems with the tools, people, and resources you have available. Being able to communicate your potential solution is a key skill.

    This is manifest as sketching and drawing, both on paper and digitally, you do not have to be an artist but as a product designer being able to quickly develop concepts visually is important for you to refine your ideas and to communicate to the client. - as an un-artistic engineer I am not the best at this bit on paper, but I am a very good CAD (computer aided design) software user ( see solidworks etc.)

    Secondly understanding "some" of the physical principles that might underpin your design - this bit comes very easy to me as I have the technical background but understanding the limitations of your materials, basic concepts such as density, stiffness, strength, toughness, and what things might be important for the design brief (oh a high temperature environment - better understand if my material will suffer from corrosion and thermal expansion etc.)

    Also manufacturing methods - many less industrial product designers have no clue how to actually make the thing they have designed, this is problematic as design for manufacture is an extremely important thing for viability, cost feasibility, and scalability of your design, which is often neglected.

    Thirdly - Understanding the clients needs and being able to capture the true design intent of the brief - this is helped by various frameworks such as design thinking.

    As for the sort of jobs you can get there are product designers in virtually every company, even service based ones use designers to improve their digital product designs.

    Understanding the nuances of design and being able to produce, and recognize good design, is a trait that is extremely useful for all companies.

    So in a nutshell it depends what you would like to do, do you want to make consumer products, or industrial ones?

    Digital things or physical things? Cars, or trains, or boats, or medical devices. Maybe Trainers or tennis rackets.

    The first thing I designed was mechanisms and components for circuit breakers, the last thing I design was motorcycle parts, in between I've designed things in automotive, electrical, domestic products, adapted devices for the disabled, and many more.
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    (Original post by kingkongjaffa)
    Product design is quite a broad field obviously, first the best thing to do is look at what the alumni of the university end up doing, and what are the current research/project interests of the department?

    The large fields of product design can be things like furniture design, footware design, sports equipment design, consumer product design, and industrial design, with subsets for things like vehicle and automotive design.

    I am a mechanical engineer by degree but take on product design projects as a consultant, there are a number of skill sets to build which your course will give you, to varying degree's based on their strengths.

    Firstly understanding that design is about solving problems with the tools, people, and resources you have available. Being able to communicate your potential solution is a key skill.

    This is manifest as sketching and drawing, both on paper and digitally, you do not have to be an artist but as a product designer being able to quickly develop concepts visually is important for you to refine your ideas and to communicate to the client. - as an un-artistic engineer I am not the best at this bit on paper, but I am a very good CAD (computer aided design) software user ( see solidworks etc.)

    Secondly understanding "some" of the physical principles that might underpin your design - this bit comes very easy to me as I have the technical background but understanding the limitations of your materials, basic concepts such as density, stiffness, strength, toughness, and what things might be important for the design brief (oh a high temperature environment - better understand if my material will suffer from corrosion and thermal expansion etc.)

    Also manufacturing methods - many less industrial product designers have no clue how to actually make the thing they have designed, this is problematic as design for manufacture is an extremely important thing for viability, cost feasibility, and scalability of your design, which is often neglected.

    Thirdly - Understanding the clients needs and being able to capture the true design intent of the brief - this is helped by various frameworks such as design thinking.

    As for the sort of jobs you can get there are product designers in virtually every company, even service based ones use designers to improve their digital product designs.

    Understanding the nuances of design and being able to produce, and recognize good design, is a trait that is extremely useful for all companies.

    So in a nutshell it depends what you would like to do, do you want to make consumer products, or industrial ones?

    Digital things or physical things? Cars, or trains, or boats, or medical devices. Maybe Trainers or tennis rackets.

    The first thing I designed was mechanisms and components for circuit breakers, the last thing I design was motorcycle parts, in between I've designed things in automotive, electrical, domestic products, adapted devices for the disabled, and many more.
    Thank you for your answer, it was interesting to hear about the range of possible careers/ things I could design as a product designer.

    I was just a little worried about the availability of jobs having completed my chosen product design degree. Do you have any understanding of what employers would be looking for in terms of an art based degree or a more engineering based degree? Which would make me more employable? I understand that it mainly depends on what I would like to design, but is there a greneral preference?
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    (Original post by James244)
    Thank you for your answer, it was interesting to hear about the range of possible careers/ things I could design as a product designer.

    I was just a little worried about the availability of jobs having completed my chosen product design degree. Do you have any understanding of what employers would be looking for in terms of an art based degree or a more engineering based degree? Which would make me more employable? I understand that it mainly depends on what I would like to design, but is there a general preference?
    Hi, sorry for the late reply.

    So what companies typically do is have multifunctional teams, so for any product there will be people from all different backgrounds who work on their strength. What this means for you is that either is fine.

    In the more conceptual and visual design areas a strong portfolio is an absolute must, this must showcase your concept development, sketching and rendering skills, and ability to develop products that people want to use.

    For the engineering side a portfolio is a must as well but this focuses more on technical projects and how you used engineering to arrive at a solution, often my portfolio sections contain things like $$$ saved or earned for the client for example. But also technical details such as made this thing x% lighter or stiffer or stronger etc.

    Again for working out which companies I would say try to apply for experience days or shadow days at some companies, write a few emails. The more arty courses will give you more customer/user based destinations, the more engineering ones will give you more industrially based destinations.

    Also it's important to recognise in yourself what your notion of design is.

    For me it's about making technical solutions to solve problems, what that translates to is thing that people use that allow them to do things, often behind the scenes for example bits of turbocharger in a car or safety devices on trains.

    An art person might have a different notion in that their design work is more visual and about people using the product, for example I recently helped design a beautiful motorbike and seeing the satisfaction of riders is really rewarding for me and probably just as much for the artists and concept designers.
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    (Original post by kingkongjaffa)
    Hi, sorry for the late reply.

    So what companies typically do is have multifunctional teams, so for any product there will be people from all different backgrounds who work on their strength. What this means for you is that either is fine.

    In the more conceptual and visual design areas a strong portfolio is an absolute must, this must showcase your concept development, sketching and rendering skills, and ability to develop products that people want to use.

    For the engineering side a portfolio is a must as well but this focuses more on technical projects and how you used engineering to arrive at a solution, often my portfolio sections contain things like $$$ saved or earned for the client for example. But also technical details such as made this thing x% lighter or stiffer or stronger etc.

    Again for working out which companies I would say try to apply for experience days or shadow days at some companies, write a few emails. The more arty courses will give you more customer/user based destinations, the more engineering ones will give you more industrially based destinations.

    Also it's important to recognise in yourself what your notion of design is.

    For me it's about making technical solutions to solve problems, what that translates to is thing that people use that allow them to do things, often behind the scenes for example bits of turbocharger in a car or safety devices on trains.

    An art person might have a different notion in that their design work is more visual and about people using the product, for example I recently helped design a beautiful motorbike and seeing the satisfaction of riders is really rewarding for me and probably just as much for the artists and concept designers.
    Thank you so much
 
 
 
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