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Designs Law in Review

Industrial design is a combination of applied art and applied science, whereby the aesthetics and usability of mass-produced products may be improved for marketability and production. The role of an industrial designer is to create and execute design solutions towards problems of form, usability, user ergonomics, engineering, marketing, brand development and sales.

The term "industrial design" is often attributed to the designer Joseph Claude Sinel in 1919 (although he himself denied it in later interviews) but the discipline predates that by at least a decade. Its origins lay in the industrialization of consumer products.

General Industrial designers are basically conceptual engineers. They study both function and form, and the connection between product and the user. They do not design the gears or motors that make machines move, or the circuits that control the movement, but they can affect technical aspects through usability design and form relationships. And usually, they partner with engineers and marketers, to identify and fulfill needs, wants and expectations.

In Depth "Industrial Design (ID) is the professional service of creating and developing concepts and specifications that optimize the function, value and appearance of products and systems for the mutual benefit of both user and manufacturer".

Design, itself, is often difficult to define to non-designers because the meaning accepted by the design community is not one made of words. Instead, the definition is created as a result of acquiring a critical framework for the analysis and creation of artifacts. One of the many accepted (but intentionally unspecific) definitions of design originates from Carnegie Mellon's School of Design, "Design is the process of taking something from its existing state and moving it to a preferred state." This applies to new artifacts, whose existing state is undefined, and previously created artifacts, whose state stands to be improved.

According to the Chartered Society of Designers, design is a force that delivers innovation that in turn has exploited creativity. Their design framework known as the Design Genetic Matrix determines a set of competences in 4 key genes that are identified to define the make up of designers and communicate to a wide audience what they do. Within these genes the designer demonstrates the core competences of a designer and specific competences determine the designer as an 'industrial designer'. This is normally within the context of delivering innovation in the form of a three dimensional product that is produced in quantity. However the definition also extends to products that have been produced using an industrial process.

According to the ICSID (International Council of Societies of Industrial Design), "Design is a creative activity whose aim is to establish the multi-faceted qualities of objects, processes, services and their systems in whole life-cycles. Therefore, design is the central factor of innovative humanization of technologies and the crucial factor of cultural and economic exchange."