IO versus BK | Student experiences

Architecture and Industrial Design Engineering, both faculties are seen as creative by other TU Delft students. However, crafting and drawing is not the only things that is done at these faculties. Both courses also deal with many other topics. For example, Industrial Design Engineering offer lessons in calculus and mechanics and at both faculties statics is taught. At Industrial Design Engineering, the curriculum includes more technical subjects such as thermodynamics and electronics, where you also learn to code so that you can make electronic prototypes. Ultimately, you will of course learn how to design a house at the Faculty of Architecture, and at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering you will learn more about designing and producing a product or system.

There is a clear similarity between the way of working at the two faculties. For example, working long hours is a well-known phenomenon for students. Even in the late evening there are often still hardworking students present at the faculty. Collaboration is also a big and important aspect. Many assignments will be carried out in groups. This way you learn to communicate well in a team to achieve a good end result. A few assignments are also on behalf of a real client. It is important to know how to work with a client, whether you are an industrial designer or an architect.

Because the studies are client- and customer-oriented, making visualisations is important. This allows you to clearly explain your ideas and convince the client or customer. Architecture often expresses an idea with a scale model, floorplans and renders. Often the visualisations are turned into a beautifully designed poster and therefore Architecture students are familiar with all the print shops in Delft. At Industrial Design Engineering, you show your design based on a drawing, a 3D model made in SolidWorks and one or more prototypes. However, here too a poster is sometimes made and knowledge of Adobe Illustrator or Adobe InDesign comes in handy.

My experience for following a minor in Architecture as an Industrial Design Engineering student is that these are certainly different studies, despite the many similarities. For example, the way in which the coaches provide feedback about your project is very distinct. At Industrial Design Engineering you will be assessed according to a rubric, which states what requirements your idea must meet. Your product or idea must be producible as a mass product and therefore it must be well thought out how your product works beforehand. The product must be viable and therefore suitable for several people, a clear target group. At Architecture, I noticed that the idea has to fit well with your context and program, but you can be much more creative when designing.

Finally, an important similarity. The people at these two faculties are often very creative and intelligent and clearly expressed their passion for their profession. They are active people with many ideas and projects and you can clearly feel this atmosphere when you walk through the halls of either Industrial Design Engineering or Architecture. The exciting singing battle that is held on the bridge every year during the freshman weekend may give the impression that these studies cannot work together, but I think we can secretly learn a lot from each other!


This article is written by Nora Allan, an industrial design student.