Advice to students studying product design. I've seen a lot of product design students producing really expert renderings, but their designs wouldn't work in production. This is simply because they have been too quick to get into CAD without making models/prototypes to see if their designs work. So I wanted to make an instructional video, championing the benefits of making models to test ideas and not jumping into CAD too quickly. This is a summary of some of the things I have learnt on my design journey, from university to being a professional designer for 7 years. Whilst I was putting the video together, I remembered the Baz Luhrman Sunscreen song and decided to use it as inspiration for my own version.
The narration for the video is below:
Students of product design - make models.
I have seen hundreds of portfolios, where students have been too quick to use CAD without first testing their ideas to see if they will work.
The long term benefits of making models to quickly identify and solve problems has been proven by product designers over and over again. The rest of my advice is purely opinion. I will deliver this advice with a large nod to Baz Luhrmann, now.
Design is a journey, when you begin a project you should not know what the end destination looks like. Do not be in a rush to get to the final solution. Get lost, go down many paths and enjoy what you discover.
Always go too far and then come back.
Research, know your audience, walk a mile in their shoes and if you can't, try to understand all the nuances surrounding who you are designing for and what you are designing.
Never stop asking why.
What ever you design, always try to make it new in some way.
The brief is king, challenge it, exceed it, but you must answer it.
CAD is only one tool, currently it cannot tell you how something feels or behaves in your hand or how heavy or uncomfortable it is in use.
A pretty picture of a design is not a product.
Take things apart, you cannot hope to improve anything if you don't know how it works.
If you take a found object and put a light bulb in it, you are just up-cycling.
People say you are only as good as your last project, rubbish! You are only as good as your next project because of everything you have learnt. Make lots of mistakes and learn from them.
No real good has come from forcing anything, take regular breaks. Never think, 'that will do'.
Don't design to make money, design because you care and trust me about making models.
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