Design was once defined by the School of Design at the Carnegie Mellon University as being ‘the process of taking something from its existing state and moving it to a preferred state’. The field of industrial design is widely considered to have emerged towards the end of the first decade of the twentieth century, although the first recorded use of the English phrase ‘industrial design’ did not occur until the year nineteen nineteen. This was by the well known industrial designer Joseph Claude Sinel. Sinel himself often denied being the person to coin the phrase, however notwithstanding he is the first person to be recorded as using it. In the year nineteen fifty five, Joseph Claude Sinel was one of the fourteen people who founded the American Society of Industrial Designers, despite having been born to a stevedore in Auckland. Joseph Claude Sinel moved to the United States of America in the year nineteen eighteen, and settled permanently in San Francisco in the year nineteen thirty six. He worked widely across many product fields, and was a renowned expert in the field of industrial design for many years.
Today, the American Society of Industrial Designers (ASID) is known as the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), which was formed in the year nineteen sixty five by the merger of the American Society of Industrial Designers (ASID) with the Industrial Designers Institute (IDI, previously the American Designers Institute, or ADI) and the Industrial Designers Education Association (IDEA). Since the year nineteen eighty, the Society has been responsible for running the International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) which reward the best new product design and development. The American Society of Industrial Designers also publishes its own quarterly journal, which was where Klaus Krippendorff first explored his conception of ‘product semantics’ and the semantic turn in product design for all but the simplest products in contemporary use, which he later expanded into a monograph entitled The Semantic Turn: a new foundation for design in the year two thousand and six. Krippendorff’s concept of the semantic turn challenged the maxim that ‘form follows function’ for all but the most unelaborate and basic products.
Certain areas of design have further challenges than simply (simply!) producing a useful, aesthetically pleasing, functional product. For example, parties involved in medical product development must also consider the strict regulatory frameworks that are present in the therapeutic devices industry, whether from regulators such as the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in Australia or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States of America. For example, in order to conform to regulatory frameworks and the requirements of external standards bodies such as ISO (International Organization for Standardization), a high level of traceability far beyond what would be required for the vast majority of consumer products is required to be implemented.