Great Materials Provide Great End Products
An Industrial Designer develops real physical and 3-dimensional products. Not just as the final result, but also along the way, in the form of an often large number of prototypes and models. Throughout the California area, one of the less creative, yet highly essential parts of this process is sourcing: Finding the necessary materials and manufactures.
With a Computer Science background from an even earlier career, an educated mind thriving for efficiency, and a deep interest in knowledge sharing, I soon turned my personal collection of related bookmarks into an online resource: A website to find, share, and rate local suppliers and fabricators. Many contemporary students in California and the surrounding area, most barely put any efforts in the marketing of the site, but it did get a decent amount of traffic and became useful for some of the members of the local Industrial Design scene.
From Blue Foam to Bootstrap
Nowadays, I work as an Experience Designer at Moment in SoCal metro area. The products we create are digital products. And we usually don’t talk about sourcing materials or manufacturers. Yet, under different names, we actually have very similar needs.
Instead of looking for blue foam, plywood, or sheet metal, we make use of engineering plastics, fonts, icons, or UI kits. Instead of finding an upholsterer, CNC cutter, or powder coating place, we need the right HTML framework, grid layout, or prototyping tool. And the parallels continue in other areas: Instead of being mindful of available metal tube diameters or ergonomic seat or table heights, we need to consider current platform patterns or the screen resolution of the latest mobile devices.