As an industrial designer, it has always been a part of our design process to include research as a partner of every step. There is research done before the project starts, while idealization commences, laying out the mechanism, internal functions and the ergonomics of the initial design, the marketability of the product, and even the right way to deliver the product’s message. The hardest way of dealing with this is the lack of visuals and commentaries about how the ideas will run and be born. So the quickest place to go for a design study besides the library is the Internet, although industrial design is still not that popular of a topic to look for on the web. As to help the students and others of the same profession, I compiled a list of wonderful industrial websites that will give any designers ease on where to get ideas, backgrounds, methods, and of course motivation and inspiration while working on their designs.
Every industrial design student knows about Core77. It’s like the “House of ID”, the one website where every design ideas converge. And that’s exactly how the website presents its contents. Core77 shows the readers what they need to know, in terms of latest designs, commentary columns, news, information, hotlinks, what’s coming, and a lot more. Designers that write about designs, so you can be sure of what you read were experienced firsthand and understood by the writers. Plus, they hold competitions in what they call the Design Arena for amateurs and professionals to participate in (with most cash prizes enough to make you start a business or design firm already). It is truly a haven for us industrial designers.
I stumbled upon Designbloom when I was still an intern in a government exhibition agency. I was more used to navigating within this site’s pages than some other websites. Designbloom also got all your designs ideas covered; the latest news and trends, also with major foci on design awards, designer spotlights, among others. And I think the best asset they have is the Design Aerobics, an online design course for a cheap price that teaches designers who wants to learn more or want to make their ideas flowing keep concentrated and motivated on the field. They also got major competitions from different companies going on every month. I also like their monthly newsletter, where almost all the new stuff they got is included.
To become a practicing designer whether starting as an amateur or already a professional, first you need to work on your portfolio. After compiling your works, you need to upload it on the web so that a lot of people needing your services will see what you’ve done or still doing. Coroflot is a web service wherein you can register for a space in their server and upload there your works. Not only that, the website company has thousands of tie-up’s with other companies all over the world that may need your skill, and eventually hire you for a corporate or freelance job. It has been a great help for industrial designers since they are mostly the focus of jobs found in the website. I got mine when I was still in college and I still update it with my current work status, downloadable résumé and recent works and commissions. I also get to communicate with designers all over the world.
PHILIPPE STARCK WEBSITE
I think every designer knows Philippe Starck, that French dude with a lot of crazy ideas. Crazy ideas that sell, makes you wonder why you haven’t thought of it, and leaves you in awe. Mr. Starck has been a prominent figure in our design books in college. The three-headed teddy bear will always be stuck in my head, a combination of grim and fun infused in a toy (you can check that out in his gallery). He’s the first one I think of when someone says “to design out of the box”, and surely when you see his designs, they are remarkably firsts of their time period.
I found out about Frog design when I was looking for a design firm structure on the Web. As their website clearly states “We are a global innovation firm”, their design services range from product design to web applications to software programming under categories of electronics, medical, business, etc. They’ve got more than 40 years of experience and serve top consumer clients. Probably one device on your desktop or your mobile gadgets was designed by them.
Design Partners is a multi-awarded design company with 20 years of experience and a number of designers under their wing. Looking over their designs, I can say that their products are mainly for entertainment use: television, music gadgets, I/O devices and other media stuff (hey check that cool Google TV design, and also their Logitech G-Series gaming headset). One more thing I like about their stuff: amazing flash-based website. It’s cool!
This company is hype. I read their wonderful company description and it kind of attracted me to work there. Lunar is a design firm from Silicon Valley established in 1984. They’ve design a lot of stuff for major companies such as HP, Oral B, Modu and SanDisk, apart from hundreds of big and small ones. Their designs in the portfolio site are mostly for consumer electronics, with a style I can say is modern and fit for this generation.
Yanko Design is a web magazine featuring topics on industrial design, architecture, other forms of design, and many more. The group behind it is composed of professionals from different fields. I just recently found out about this site, although they have been around for about 8 years or so. The magazine publishes different articles per day, which I guess can feed my hunger for the latest trends on my profession. You also can get your work published in the site by emailing them your work.
A word from the author:
These are tough finds over the net since searching for industrial design groups with high calibers and great sense for details are quite less in number or overly toppled in search engines. But I promise to feature more sites once I get to compile more of these kinds. I’m aiming to feature a lot of Filipino designers and firms as well. So until the next compilation!