By Gabrielle Whelan

Twenty-twenty-one is finally upon us. Though the pandemic presses on, the vaccine is in sight, along with the hope things will return to normal soon. For industrial design students who spent 2020 perfecting their portfolios, that hope translates into turning those projects into a career. There are countless portfolio do’s and don’ts out there, but those kernels of advice don’t compare to watching a professional conduct a live review.

Whipsaw’s Director of Industrial Design Cole Derby recently held a student portfolio evaluation for the College for Creative Studies (CCS). The students took this opportunity to showcase their…

We’ve just started a new decade, and it’s a doozy so far. Unlike the Roaring Twenties, this one feels like the “Jarring Twenties.” It’s starting out with a pandemic, massive unemployment, a collapsing economy, social unrest, a worsening environment, murder hornets, and bomb cyclones. How will this pessimistic start to the decade affect the industrial design profession, and what does the coming decade have in store for the business of design and its subject matter? Some good design and important technology transpired in the 2010s, but which innovations will flourish in the ’20s? …

Impact of Automation on Industrial Design
Impact of Automation on Industrial Design

Automation has already made waves in nearly every sector and will continue to impact the nature of work and the nature of the consumer going forward. More and more articles now explore the disastrous scenarios automation could produce, and debates have surfaced on how we can safeguard against potential employment crises — from initiating a robot tax to implementing a universal basic income. Those measures may in fact become necessary, but hopefully the future won’t be quite so bleak. …

If you’re a design consultancy, you’re in a position to not only design and usher your client’s product to market, but to also help them succeed beyond the product launch. Some clients prefer going solo once a design is completed, but here at Whipsaw we enjoy finding opportunities to help clients during each step of the design process, from concept to branding. The needs of each client naturally vary from one to the next, but they all want the same thing: a market hit. While there’s no exact formula for achieving this, Whipsaw Director of Industrial Design Cole Derby and…

Interaction design usually pertains to a digital experience, but here at Whipsaw the interaction design team must consider the relationship between the digital experience and the physical hardware that accompanies it. When the software and hardware become one, the result is a more intuitive and engaging product experience. The brand also benefits from the union of the two, as every touchpoint is optimized. Sometimes we find ourselves designing interactions on massive flat screen TVs. Other times we’re working with a single multi-colored LED. …

Written by Dan Harden, Founder, CEO and Principal Designer at Whipsaw

I’m going on 37 years as a design consultant. During this time, I have hired hundreds of designers at Whipsaw, frog design and Dreyfuss. Less than five percent of those hires had Masters degrees. Up until recently you simply didn’t need a Masters degree, let alone a Doctorate to have an impact. What you needed to succeed as a designer were talent, tools, talk, and tons of passion. For these right-brain attributes that made the design profession what it is today, an undergrad degree sufficed.

An evolving landscape

The field of Industrial…

At Whipsaw we come across many different portfolios covering a variety of different skill levels. Organizing and presenting a portfolio can be a daunting task. You’ve spent years pouring your blood, sweat, and tears into your work, and now it’s time to be judged blind against an army of other designers, on the hunt for the same job. Whether you’re a student in search of an internship, recent graduate in search of your first job, or a seasoned professional looking for a fresh creative environment, here is some sage advice from our team.

When it comes to design award competitions, opinions in the industry vary greatly. Some design firms swear by them, others think they’re overrated. Some think design awards are the best allocation of their marketing and PR dollars, others call it a rip-off or worse … a buy-out.

On the heels of a very successful award season for Whipsaw we thought it was a great time to analyze this topic and compare opinions.

Why spend time, money and resources on design award competitions?

John Guenther, a 2016 Spark juror and former Director of Design at HP states that “the beauty of…

In a society that thrives on the continuous reinvention of people, businesses and products, innovation is the name of the game. But what makes innovation part of the successful change we are all after? Anthropologist and cultural commentator Grant McCracken has a few suggestions. He refers to French historian Fernand Braudel who analyzed a connection between successful societies and their traditions—fashion was used as the main indicator. He noticed that the most productive ones are those societies who are not afraid to break with tradition but rather embrace and successfully manage change.

Designers have a key opportunity here to foster…

Whipsaw Inc.

Your go to resource for complex problems in need of simple solutions — Industrial Design & Engineering

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