The Evolution of Industrial Design
Throughout history, when people needed a product or object, they figured out a way to create it or found someone who could help them make it. Shoemakers, welders, whatever the case, they were the reason industrial design is what it is today. Because someone, somewhere saw the opportunity to build something from nothing, or improve upon what already existed.
In 2017 innovation is at its forefront. Things that we once saw as an innovation years ago is being flipped upside down to improve upon. Entrepreneurs, designers, start-ups, are looking at ways to make our lives better and we are seeing this every day. But how did we get to this point?
Industrial design through history
Let’s start over 40,000 years ago when our ancestors were using pictures to help describe their ideas, designs, and tools for future generations on the walls of the caves they lived in.
By 500 BC people were using an alphabet that helped them better describe what couldn’t be seen in photos.
Fast forward to 1901 when a major innovation hit the market and changed the way we designed, the drafting machine.
However, although we can look back at these monumental moments in history and tie them to how they shaped industrial design to what it is today, it was the Industrial Revolution in Great Britain in the mid 18th century that really changed the way things were made. This revolution marked the transition to new manufacturing processes. It transformed hand production to machines, introduced new processes, and increased production power.
From the Industrial Revolution, we moved onto increasing automation with the use of production lines to create products in volumes. A shift in industrialization that would never have been made possible in the days of simple hand tools.
It could only go uphill from here and people were looking for more ways to increase production and develop innovations that would change the world. Henry Ford is known as one of the first to use an assembly line for the mass production of automobiles in 1913 and from there industrial design could only continue to innovate.
Industrial design today
Today we are seeing almost daily leading innovations change the way we work and live. There is no limit to what can innovate our lives next, whether it be facial recognition on the latest iPhone or a mini-projector that is changing the way we tell bedtime stories to our kids at night. The years ahead couldn’t be more exciting for industrial designers everywhere because there are no limits, if you can dream it, we can do it.
Article Author: MAKO Design + Invent
MAKO Design + Invent is a full-service consumer product development firm servicing both high-growth corporate manufacturers and invention startups. With a 25-person team across 3 offices (Austin, England, Toronto), MAKO has complete in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering design and prototyping services. To assist our start-up inventor clients, we also have a subsidiary branch called Mako Invent that, in addition to above, helps start-ups with patenting, strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. For our corporate clients, MAKO Design develops world-class consumer electronics designs through our industrial, mechanical, and electrical design teams.
For Small Businesses & Manufacturers
Click below to find out more about our full suite of in-house industrial, mechanical, and electrical design, engineering, and development services tailored to established physical product development companies.
For Inventors & Startups
Have an invention idea? We have developed hundreds of products for startups in addition to providing end-to-end solutions to get our inventor clients from Idea to Stores Shelves! We are here to help.
Ready for MAKO to turn YOUR product idea into a MARKET SUCCESS?