Industrial design research questions

Industrial design is by definition strictly related to the evolution and progress of technology and industrial production processes. The big questions that dominates all fields of industrial design research originates from the complexity and diversity of all possible engineering design methodologies: is it possible to produce findings that harmonize such a fragmented sector? Can the development of products and services be improved? If so, which competencies, information and communication technologies are needed? What is the impact on the everyday design work? What social and legal issues should be considered? What are the new advances in design theory and research?

These questions have also been transformed into essential tips by the author and the user of Design Sojurn. Some of the most useful ones are indeed a reflection of the concepts described above: designers need to ask themselves if they are moving in the right direction from a marketing and engineering point of view. The personality of the designer is also under scrutiny: is the product fulfilling the brief or is it just satisfying their personal realization? Is the designer too emotionally involved with the design and consequently unable to compromise with the clients’ requests?

Industrial designers’ mission is supposed to push boundaries of what is already out there and industrial design should act as a bridge between technology and real life: how is it possible to achieve this? Technology has a deep impact on society and often the implementation of new technologies and products come with new risks. What are the engineering values and ethics or the social sustainability involved in the decisions made during the designing processes?

Finally, as for any other profession, organization is key and technology comes in handy in providing efficient planning tools whether the latest studies on strategic teamwork can answer many questions on how to interface with the supplier or virtual organization.

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