Nice visual is not the same as production feasibility

Having worked in the Design Industry and the Academic environment in the local scene, I have found that it is not easy for a student to clearly understand what it is like to be a practicing Industrial/Product Designer.

The emphasis between a design student and a practicing designer do not necessarily overlap nicely. It must be stressed that nice ideas,  visuals and renderings do not equate to production feasibility. In fact, the ability to create nice visuals may gloss over the need for a more rigorous and often rather dry process. The actual process of translating a good idea into a workable and feasible product entails a lot more work. Ideation, innovation and visual sensitivity are the fortes of industrial design. Nevertheless, the ability to communicate and realise ideas into physical products is a different ballgame from just creating nice visuals, although the latter is certainly an essential starting point.

One does not need take to into consideration issues such as CAD file integrity, costing, tooling and production issues in order to produce nice product concept renderings and visuals.

Also student projects tends to be more individual-centric. In the industry, the projects are more group-centric. In fact, more often than not, one will be working in teams that comprised of people from different professions and disciplines.

Additionally, from my experience, there is also a fair bit of work difference between a Designer who work in a Consultancy as opposed to another who works as an In-house Designer within an organisation that produce products. As least for me, the in-house design experience exposes one more fully to the entire process from ideation, to visualisation, to tooling, testing, production and assembly. On the other hand, consultancy-type environments expose a Designer to more varied types of projects. In that sense, he or she need to be very versatile and resourceful in assimilating and handling projects of varied natures. However, he or she does not necessarily get to see the product through the entire process all the way to the market. The emphasis, feel and work nature are clearly different for both types of environment.

This post merely reflects my personal opinion though. It is certainly not meant to be definitive.

2 thoughts on “Nice visual is not the same as production feasibility

  1. for someone who have such an experiences to brag
    i would say that based on your design portfolio in the web, there is nothing to shout about

    the fact is, your skill set are just average when compared to other international designers.
    I wouldn’t compare if there’s any different between student and ‘practicing designers if i possess your design skill as i can be considered an undergraduate student in most part of the world especially Europe and US.

    This post merely reflects my personal opinion though. It is certainly not meant to be definitive.

  2. Hi Casey,

    Thank you for spending the time to respond to the post. I am merely writing from local context …

    I fully agree that the ID portfolio on the web is average. However, I will also like to add that many projects that I did have confidentiality issues that discourages me from putting them online, especially those outsourced work from design consultancies, armed forces and individual inventors.

    In my opinion, the ‘skill’ displayed in the ID portfolio section is quite irrelevant to how the processes are executed. Those are just photos or renderings, which can’t possibly reveal much about processes.

    Anyway, thanks for the reply. It provides valuable feedback for me 🙂

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