Gravity by Michael J White

Science and The Industrial Design Engine

by Michael J White - Training the Industrial Designer

Therefore how does my training as an industrial designer vary from that of a scientist.

At age 19 years, having been some three to four years in industry, I was sent to learn from a tool investigator on the shop floor of the factory. Not in the drawing office you will note, where I spent most of my five years of training.

One day the tool investigator walked into the office, laid a form tool on the table and said that the shop foreman had requested that a jig should be designed that could grind the form tool at any angle. I was instructed to design that jig. As a nineteen year old I was left chewing on the end of my pencil for a whole three weeks, after which time I had absolutely nothing on the sheet of paper.

After three weeks the tool investigator came into the office and laid down a drawing of the jig in front of me. I fairly screamed at him, I am not interested if you can do it, how do I go about it. Well he said, when you are making an industrial design, you make comparisons with an existing known design model. What is the model I asked, a scribing block on the scribing table.
Seven years later I was working as an aero engine fuel systems designer.

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