Creatively Challenged

Photo by Scott Webb from Pexels

If I hadn’t already mentioned it, I am an industrial designer. I am trained to problem solve with 3D, experiential solutions. It is quite interesting. As much as my education challenged me and developed my design process, I must say I have lost my ability to daydream.

Industrial design is not the same as product design. Product design is about designing a ‘product’. Industrial design is design products that can be mass produced. That is the criteria. The beauty of that is accessibility in terms of production time and reduced cost. Most of us are not rich.

You see, industrial design is a combination of engineering and visual arts (traditionally speaking). With that said, it still relies on logic. The difference it has from pure engineering is that it must also emotionally connect with humans–not just function.

An obvious example of this combination is automotive design. It is the combination of exciting features, how the engine revs, the visuals of the exterior and the allurement of the inside that makes you want the car. You don’t merely want it because it gets you to places, but it speaks to you and it feels right to you.

I think automotive design is one of the few fields that still values creative design. As for the rest of the industrial design sector, well, it seems we have become caught up in trends.

I personally have designed only for mass retail and the most depressing part about all this is that we copy. We copy because it is faster. We copy because it costs less. We copy because we know what works.

It’s become this competition of who copies well enough to not get sued and make the biggest bang for the buck (not sure if I said that right).

So, after years of copying, I feel like I have lost my ability to create. I have gotten use to getting my inspiration from someone else’s design. I know we’re not meant to reinvent the wheel, but I have been feeling disingenuous.

I am admitting my inability to problem solve creatively and this has troubled me for years. So, I am dedicating the rest of my life to explore my daydreams, to free my mind.

I am not a very good writer but I hope my sharing has given you some insight, some questions, and more curiosity.

Thank you for reading.

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