Curious about what Industrial Design is?
My daughter has a habit of collecting bottles. These are not antique bottles but drinks that she sees at the supermarket. She will ask to purchase these beverages, asking me if I would be willing to consume it. She just wants the bottle. Sometimes she does this when we are on vacation and she will bring the empty bottle back.
She also loves flatware. We visit her favorite set at Crate and Barrel. She actually loves nearly everything in the store from the glasses to the plates.
When she can’t slide open the box of a new package because it’s too tight, she fumes. That’s a miscalculation on the part of the industrial designer.
I told her that she’s an industrial designer because that is what an industrial designer does. She’s always thought of industrial designers as people who design small home appliances like vacuums or blenders because she happens to know two designers at Shark Ninja who do that very thing.
But not every industrial designer has a background in mechanical engineering. And industrial design is all around us. Every single thing in a supermarket or store has been touched by an industrial designer.
When we visited MassArt, the student tour guide gave a very good description of Industrial Design at MassArt. MassArt defines Industrial Art as problem solving in this video by an admissions officer describing the major.
My daughter may never end up designing bottles or flatware because she’s heading in another direction at art school but she will always have an appreciation for industrial designers. And her bottle collection keeps growing. God help us when she gets her first apartment. It will be like a bridal registry because of her wish list of Crate and Barrel “longed from afar” housewares.
p.s. Here’s a picture book that conveys what industrial design is all about.
How To Make a Bird by Meg McKinlay, illustrated by Matt Ottley
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.