top of page

From industrial design to design thinking

Industrial design is the process of designing mass-produced products. The goal of industrial design is to create objects that are functional, aesthetically pleasing, and durable.

Design thinking is a method of problem-solving that was inspired by industrial design. Design thinkers use their creativity to solve problems. They use their imagination to come up with new solutions to problems. They also use their critical thinking skills to evaluate different options.

Charles and Ray Emes are industrial designers who have significantly impacted how products are designed. They are known for their innovative concepts, such as computer-aided design (CAD) software to help create designs and their use of colour and patterns.

In the early 1940s, Charles and Ray Eames began experimenting with moulded plywood, a new material that could be easily shaped and manipulated. They used the material to create furniture, lamps, and other household objects. The Eames designs were innovative and groundbreaking, and they helped to popularize modern design in the United States.

Industrial design to design thinking

"In our chairs, we have not attempted to solve the problem of how people should sit. Instead, we accepted the way people do sit and operated within that framework."

— Charles Eames

Design thinking, often characterized as a new way of thinking about design, is nothing new. Many industrial designers have used it for years to develop innovative solutions to problems. What is new is the way that it is being applied in the design community.

Design thinkers are now looking at problem-solving from a product and customer, user and business perspectives.

Applied design thinking process