Industrial design is a design process applied to products that have to be manufactured through mass production techniques. The main feature is that the design is separate from the production: the creative act of determining and defining the shape and characteristics of a product is precedent and separated from the physical act of the product (production), which consists simply of repeated replicas, often automated.
This distinguishes industrial design from crafted design, in which the shape of the product is determined by the creator of the product at the time of its creation.
All manufactured products are the result of a design process, but the nature of this process can take different forms: it can be carried out by a single or a large team; it can concern intuitive creativity or calculated scientific decision-making or both at the same time; and can be influenced by different factors such as materials used, technologies and production processes, business strategy and / or social, commercial or aesthetic attitudes.
The role of an industrial designer is to create and execute design solutions for problems of form, functionality, usability, physical ergonomics, marketing, brand development, sustainability and sales.
The first use of the term "industrial design" is often attributed to the designer Claude Joseph Sinel in 1919 (although he himself denied it), but the discipline is pre-existing for at least a decade. Christopher Dresser is considered the first industrial designer in the world.
The origins of Industrial design are found in the industrialization of consumer products. For example, the Deutscher Werkbund, founded in 1907, the forerunner of the Bauhaus, had been stimulated by the effort to integrate traditional craftsmanship with industrial mass production techniques, to put Germany on a level of competition with England and the United States. US.