The DIA welcomes members from every design discipline. Members benefit from the exchange of ideas, information and techniques between the various specialisations.

  • Industrial Design

    Industrial designers develop and prepare products for manufacture. They are particularly concerned with those aspects of products that relate to human usage and behaviour, and product appeal.

    Industrial designers are also known as product designers.

    They explore solutions to meet marketing, manufacturing and financial requirements and arrive at the optimum design of a product. They consider both functional and aesthetic aspects and pay particular attention to ergonomics, those factors that relate to ease of use and human behaviour.

    Product designers prepare models and prototypes to demonstrate and test products. They prepare drawings and illustrations of products to assist in the decision making process and support marketing efforts.

    They select components and materials, resolve assembly and manufacturing details and produce digital and documentary instructions for others involved in the manufacturing process. They organise and oversee tooling to prepare for production and develop and oversee subsequent adjustments and refinements to the product.

    Industrial designers often work as part of a product development team. While other specialists such as electronics designers and mechanical engineers work on circuit boards and mechanical mechanisms the industrial designer may be working on the overall structure of the product, its appearance and the way in which the user will operate it.

    It is common for product designers to be employed within manufacturing companies. For manufacturers the development and maintenance of product lines is a core requirement rather than an occasional need. Many industrial designers, however, work for businesses that consult to manufacturing companies, especially those companies that don’t maintain internal research and development facilities.

    The term industrial or product design can be used to refer to the development of any product type for manufacture. However there are types of products, such as textiles and furniture, that have designers who specialise in their development.

    ANZSCO (2006) occupation code 232312.

    What you’ll study
    • Design Theory and Practice
    • Communication Skills
    • Manufacturing Materials
    • Manufacturing Processes
    • Design History
    • Design Software Applications
    • Computer Aided Design and Manufacture
    • Presentation Techniques
    • Ergonomics
    • Project Management
    • Business Management
    Where you’ll work
    • Manufacturing Companies
    • Design Consultancies
    • Designer/Maker Workshops
    • Research and Development Departments
    • Self Employed
    Other areas you’ll find work
    • Animation Studios
    • Special Effects Studios
    • Computer Games Development
    • Exhibition and Display
  • Interior Architecture/Design

    Interior designers plan and detail commercial and residential building interiors for effective use with particular emphasis on space creation, space planning and factors that affect our responses to living and working environments.

    Interior design is also referred to as interior architecture because interior designers are trained to consider the modification of the interior structure of the building rather than just refinishing and furnishing existing spaces.

    Good design can enable us to live and work more efficiently, comfortably, profitably, securely and pleasurably in a more aesthetically fulfilling and functional environment.

    Interior designers plan space allocation, traffic flow, building services, furniture, fixtures, furnishings and surface finishes. They consider the purpose, efficiency, comfort, safety and aesthetic of interior spaces to arrive at an optimum design.

    They custom design or specify furniture, lighting, walls, partitions, flooring, colour, fabrics and graphics to produce an environment tailored to a purpose.

    An interior designer often works as part of a team that may include architects, builders, project managers, engineering consultants, shop fitters, cabinet makers, furniture suppliers and materials suppliers. They may be required to organise the modification of building structures, the purchasing of materials and furnishings and the contracting and supervision of the tradespeople required to implement a project.

    Many users of interior design services only require these skills occasionally. It is common for interior designers to be employed in consulting businesses such as interior design consultancies and architectural practices.

    Tertiary interior architecture/design education has an emphasis on commercial and industrial interiors such as offices, public buildings, hospitals, department stores and shops. However the design of domestic interiors is also covered and is a common source of work for many interior designers in self employment.

    ANZSCO (2006) occupation code 232511.

    What you’ll study
    • Design Studio
    • Design History and Theory
    • Communication Skills
    • Environment and Space Planning
    • Construction
    • Materials and Finishes
    • Lighting
    • Acoustics
    • Ergonomics
    • Presentation Drawing
    • Working Drawings
    • Computer Aided Drafting and Design
    • Business Management
    Where you’ll work
    • Interior Design Consultancies
    • Architects Offices
    • Builders
    • Government Building and Construction Departments
    • Other areas you’ll find work
    • Shop Fitters
    • Shopping Centre Corporations
    • Self Employment
    • Building Industry Suppliers
    • Furniture Design
    • Exhibition Design
    • Film, TV and Stage Set Design
  • Interior Decoration

    Interior decorators plan and prepare building interiors for effective use with particular emphasis on furnishings, finishes and aesthetic presentation.

    Interior decorators often work directly with the person who will occupy the space rather than working with other building or business professionals and must develop the skills to identify and accommodate another individual’s taste.

    They frequently have an extensive knowledge of historic furnishing styles and their relationship to architectural periods, and employ a detailed understanding of the application and effect of colour and pattern.

    Interior decorators plan, arrange and style the space, finishes and furnishings. They consider the purpose, efficiency, comfort and aesthetic of interior spaces to arrive at an optimum design.

    They specify furniture, lighting, flooring, colour and fabrics to produce an environment tailored to a purpose.

    An interior decorator may work as part of a team that may include the owner/client, an architect, builders, shop fitters, cabinet makers, furniture suppliers and materials suppliers. They may be required to organise the purchasing of materials and furnishings and the contracting and supervision of the tradespeople required to implement a project.

    Many customers of interior decoration services are buying these services for their personal home and business environments and only require these skills occasionally. So it is common for interior decorators to be employed in retail and consulting businesses such as interior decoration businesses that mix both design and the retail supply of furnishings and interior design consultancies.

    Tertiary interior decoration training has an emphasis on domestic interiors and small commercial interiors such as shops and private offices. However training will also provide grounding in commercial and industrial interiors such as corporate offices and public buildings.

    ANZSCO (2006) occupation code 399912

    What you’ll study
    • Design theory and practice
    • Construction
    • Materials and Finishes
    • Soft Furnishing
    • Design History
    • Lighting
    • Presentation Drawing
    • Working Drawings
    • Computer Aided Drafting and Design
    • Business Management
    Where you’ll work
    • Interior Decoration Consultancies
    • Interior Decoration Shops
    • Design Consultancies
    • Retail Store Furnishing Departments
    • Self Employed
    Other areas you’ll find work
    • Furniture, Furnishings and Fabric Suppliers
    • Shop Fitters
  • Graphic Design/Visual Communication

    Graphic designers develop and prepare information for publication with particular emphasis on clarity of communication and the matching of information styles to audience requirements.

    Graphic designers sometimes refer to their area of specialisation as visual communication and some university courses use this as the course title.

    The information they deal with not only requires a sound understanding of text based communication but also requires them to skilfully use the communication properties of symbols, colours and pictures.

    They prepare concept layouts and mock-ups to discuss project details with clients. They prepare or subcontract diagrams, illustrations and photography. They resolve all communication elements into a final format to suit the required physical or digital media.

    They select paper and other printing materials, resolve manufacturing details and produce instructions for others involved in the reproduction process. They organise and oversee proofs and colour separations to prepare for printing and liaise with suppliers who specialise in the many forms of digital and computer based information distribution mechanisms.

    Graphic designers often work as part of a project development team. While other specialists such as marketing managers and advertising specialists work on the strategies of distributing information to the market place and determining beneficial product positioning the graphic designer may be working on the image and branding that will appeal to and attract the intended customer.

    The immense volume of visual material produced to support both commercial and cultural purposes means that the areas of employment open to graphic designers are very broad. There are many opportunities for employment within companies that have constant graphic requirements as well as great scope for self employment selling services to businesses and organisations with only occasional needs.

    The rapidly developing areas of digital media relating to the internet and multimedia business presentations are opening up new areas of employment for graphic designers.

    ANZSCO (2006) occupation code 232411

    What you’ll study
    • Design Theory and Practice
    • Communication Skills
    • Materials and Media
    • Printing Processes
    • Design History
    • Presentation Drawing
    • Illustration and Photography
    • Computer Aided Graphic Design
    • Digital Media
    • Business Management
    Where you’ll work
    • Advertising Agencies
    • Public Relations Firms
    • Design Consultancies
    • Government and Business Promotion Departments
    • Desk Top Publishing
    • Web Design
    • Printing Companies
    • Packaging Companies
    • Manufacturer’s Promotion Departments
    • Publishers
    • Newspapers
    • Magazines
    • Self Employment
    Other areas you’ll find work
    • Television Studios
    • Computer Games Development
    • Exhibition and Display
    • Museums
  • Textile Design

    Textile designers plan and develop patterns, knit and weave construction, prints, textures and illustrations for fabrics and other materials that require the development of patterned surfaces. They plan the way a fabric looks and performs.

    They design the structure of the fabric and make decisions about appropriate yarns, colour use, surface patterning, texture and finishing.

    Textile designers develop fabrics used in furniture, soft furnishings, clothing, vehicles and products such as luggage. They can apply the same skills to the development of patterns for wallpapers, laminates and patterned plastics.

    They design fabrics to satisfy marketing and manufacturing requirements. They balance aesthetic and functional aspects, they consider the nature of yarn types, thicknesses, weights and textures to produce fabrics to cost and production constraints.

    They prepare design concepts and assess them for market viability. They resolve the concepts into artworks and instructions suitable for a variety of fabric production and printing techniques. They develop colour specifications and multiple colourways for ranges of fabrics. They communicate with manufacturing and production personnel to resolve details for manufacture.

    They advise and liaise with others who work in industries where it is necessary to predict future colour trends. They monitor trends in industries such as interior design, automotive design and fashion and progressively evolve fabric styles to meet these specific needs.

    ANZSCO (2006) occupation code - no unique code. Textile design is a specialised form of industrial design ANZSCO 232312.

    What you’ll study
    • Design Theory and Practice
    • Communication Skills
    • Materials and Media
    • Fabric Printing Processes
    • Weaving and Knitting Constructions
    • Design History
    • Presentation Techniques
    • Illustration
    • Computer Aided Design
    • Business Management
    • Manufacturing Processes
    Where you’ll work
    • Clothing Companies
    • Textile Manufacturing Companies
    • Design Consultancies
    • Designer/Maker Workshops
    • Self Employed
    • Fabric Wholesalers
    • Automotive Colour and Trim Departments
    Other areas you’ll find work
    • Fabric Importers and Distributors
    • Design Education
    • Department Store Fabric Buyers
    • Colour Forcasting
  • Exhibition Design

    Exhibition designers design and organise the construction and installation of trade exhibitions, permanent shop displays, museum exhibits and interpretive displays.

    They use skills drawn from graphic, industrial (product) and interior design to attract, inform and involve an audience in the subjects that their clients employ them to present.

    In general there is no specialised course leading to this occupation. Designers who have trained in industrial or product design, graphic design, interior design and digital areas like multimedia and web design all find roles in this occupation. Industrial designers use their ability to design form and mechanical detail, interior designers use their ability to design the function and aesthetic of spaces for human occupation, graphic designers use their skill at presenting messages in visual form.

    ANZSCO (2006) occupation code - no unique code. Refer to industrial designer ANZSCO 232312, interior designer ANZSCO 232511, graphic designer ANZSCO 232411.

    What you’ll study

    Refer to the study content of Industrial Design, Interior Design and Graphic Design.

    Where you’ll work
    • Exhibition and Trade Display Businesses
    • Museum and Cultural Institution Design Teams
    • Interior Design Consultancies (specialising in museum work)
    • Interior Design Consultancies (specialising in retail shop interiors)
    • Department Store Display Departments
    • Self Employed
    Other areas you’ll find work
    • Theatre
    • Movie Set Production
    • Television Set Production
  • Fashion Design

    Fashion designers develop clothing, accessories, footwear and other items of personal apparel.

    They study the design and construction of clothing, its historical development and styles and the techniques and processes available for its manufacture. They rely heavily on illustration skills and the making of samples to communicate their designs.

    They prepare designs to meet marketing, manufacturing and financial requirements and arrive at the optimum design of a product. They consider both functional and aesthetic aspects and pay particular attention to relationship of the apparel to the human form.

    They prepare clothing samples to demonstrate and test products. They prepare drawings and illustrations of clothing to assist in the decision making process and support marketing efforts.

    They select materials, resolve assembly and manufacturing details and produce patterns for others involved in the manufacturing process. They prepare for production and develop and oversee subsequent adjustments and refinements to the product.

    It is common for fashion designers to be employed within manufacturing companies who develop mass produced clothing for the retail trade. Others work in small businesses making specialised lines of clothing for boutique retailers. Others produce custom tailored clothing for personal clients.

    Fashion designers may find employment in the wholesaling and retailing of clothing or in the media specialising in fashion and clothing.

    ANZSCO (2006) occupation code 232311.

    What you’ll study
    • Design Theory and Practice
    • Communication Skills
    • Materials and Fabrics
    • Manufacturing Processes
    • Design and Fashion History
    • Presentation Techniques
    • Illustration
    • Computer Aided Design
    • Pattern Development
    • Business Management
    Where you’ll work
    • Clothing Manufacturers
    • Designer/Maker Boutiques
    • Self Employed
    • Clothing Importers and Distributors
    • Department Store Fashion Buyers
    • Fashion Retailers
    Other areas you’ll find work
    • Fashion Design Education
    • Theatre and Entertainment
    • Fashion Media
  • Design Management

    With the integration of design into the business planning process of many large national and international companies and the identification of design as a major factor in competitive advantage the management of design has become a specialisation in its own right.

    As with other technical professions many senior professional designers find their work role gravitates toward supervision and management.

    A design manager has a broad understanding of the role that the many design specialisations can play in the growth and success of a business. A design manager is skilled at the strategic planning required to build a company’s success and profitability through the application of design.

    A comprehensive corporate strategy for design includes the role that design can play in every department of a company. This includes the overall presentation of the company through all aspects of media and visual presentation, the design of the work environment and the design of products.

    Research has demonstrated that design led companies outperform their competition in both bull and bear markets.

    ANZSCO (2006) occupation code - no unique code.

  • Design Education

    Design education has become a major growth area in both secondary and tertiary education.

    The education of designers requires teachers, lecturers and tutors with knowledge in the many subject areas that designers must study. It also requires experienced designers in each design discipline who are able to pass on the realities of professional practice.

    Design educators may have qualifications in a design discipline or in one of the subjects that make up the curriculum. They may additionally have qualifications in teaching.

    ANZSCO (2006) occupation code - no unique code. (University Lecturer 242111, University Tutor 242112)

  • Jewellery Design

    Jewellery designers conceptualise, prototype and detail for manufacture items of jewellery such as rings, brooches, bracelets, necklaces, watches, eyewear and ear rings.

    They have specialised knowledge of the metals, jewels, precious stones and other materials associated with personal adornment. They may develop designs for mass or batch production or they may develop special items to satisfy one-off commissions. They may also design other objects that use precious metals and jewelled decoration such as trophies, goblets, silverware and cutlery.

    They explore solutions to meet marketing, manufacturing and financial requirements and arrive at the optimum design of a product. They consider both functional and aesthetic aspects and pay particular attention to ergonomics, those factors that relate to the use of the item on the human form.

    They prepare models and prototypes to demonstrate and test products. They prepare drawings and illustrations of products to assist in the decision making process and support marketing efforts.

    They select components and materials, resolve assembly and manufacturing details and, if they are working in a mass production environment, produce digital and documentary instructions for others involved in the manufacturing process. They organise and oversee tooling to prepare for production and develop and oversee subsequent adjustments and refinements to the product.

    Jewellery designers may be employed within manufacturing companies specialising in jewellery, or other decorative personal and home wares such as silverware, cutlery, eyewear, watches and trophies. Jewellery designers may also work in jewellery shops where custom and small batch production or repairs and adjustments are done. Some operate as independent designer/makers producing custom designs for clients or batches of jewellery for small retail outlets.

    ANZSCO (2006) occupation code 232313.

    What you’ll study
    • Design Theory and Practice
    • Communication Skills
    • Manufacturing Materials
    • Manufacturing Processes
    • Workshop Practice
    • Design History
    • Presentation Techniques
    • Business Management
    Where you’ll work
    • Manufacturing Companies
    • Manufacturing Jewellers
    • Designer/Maker Workshops
    • Self Employed
    Other areas you’ll find work
    • Retail Jewellery
    • Jewellery Repairs and Adjustments
  • Furniture Design

    Furniture designers develop and prepare furniture for manufacture. They are particularly concerned with those aspects of furniture that relate to human usage and behaviour, product appeal and fashion.

    Furniture design can be considered to be a specialist area of industrial design (product design). However the specific ergonomic knowledge that a furniture designer must apply and the specialised construction methods and pre-manufactured components that undergo constant change in the industry make this a large area of specialisation.

    Furniture design is also undertaken by interior designers and, traditionally, by architects. These designers may be seeking a unique style of furnishing for an interior or architectural project. Or they may be operating as a design consultant to a manufacturer, or as a manufacturing entrepreneur on their own behalf.

    Furniture design has a rich history of styles and precedents and a close relationship with fashion which makes practise in this area distinctly different from many product design areas.

    Furniture designers explore solutions to meet marketing, manufacturing and financial requirements and arrive at the optimum design of a furniture item. They consider both functional and aesthetic aspects and pay particular attention to ergonomics, those factors that relate to ease of use and human behaviour.

    They prepare models and prototypes to demonstrate and test furniture. They prepare drawings and illustrations to assist in the decision making process and support marketing efforts.

    They select components and materials, resolve assembly and manufacturing details and produce digital and documentary instructions for others involved in the manufacturing process. They organise and oversee tooling to prepare for production and develop and oversee subsequent adjustments and refinements to the furniture.

    Furniture designers may work as part of a product development team. While other specialists such as mechanical engineers and upholsterers may work on mechanical mechanisms and fabric construction patterns the furniture designer may be working on the overall structure of the product and its appearance.

    It is common for furniture designers to be employed within manufacturing companies. For manufacturers the development and maintenance of product lines is a core requirement rather than an occasional need. Some furniture designers, however, work for businesses that consult to manufacturing companies, especially those companies that don’t maintain internal research and development facilities.

    Some furniture designers operate as designer/maker businesses producing limited ranges of their own designs or designing custom furniture for individual clients.

    ANZSCO (2006) occupation code - no unique code. Furniture design is a specialised form of industrial design (product design) ANZSCO 232312.

    What you’ll study
    • Design Theory and Practice
    • Communication Skills
    • Manufacturing Materials
    • Manufacturing Processes
    • Design History
    • Design Software Applications
    • Computer Aided Design and Manufacture
    • Presentation Techniques
    • Ergonomics
    • Project Management
    • Business Management
    Where you’ll work
    • Manufacturing Companies
    • Design Consultancies
    • Designer/Maker Workshops
    • Self Employed
    Other areas you’ll find work
    • Furniture Wholesalers
    • Furniture Retailers
    • Museums and Cultural Institutions
  • Digital Media

    Multimedia and web designers develop and prepare information for digital publication with particular emphasis on clarity of communication and the matching of information styles to audience requirements.

    The information they deal with not only requires a sound understanding of text based communication but also requires them to skilfully use the communication properties of symbols, colours, pictures, animation, video and sound.

    They prepare concept layouts and mock-ups to discuss project details with clients. They prepare or subcontract diagrams, illustrations and photography. They resolve all communication elements into a final format to suit the required digital media.

    Digital designers often work as part of a project development team. While other specialists such as copywriters, photographers, illustrators, sound recordists, composers and animators are preparing specific elements of the production the multimedia designer or web designer may be working on the overall presentation of the production, the layout of each page or section and the navigation methodology that will enable the user to access the digital publication.

    The immense volume of visual material produced to support both commercial and cultural purposes means that the areas of employment open to digital designers are very broad. There are many opportunities for employment within companies that have constant digital requirements as well as great scope for self employment selling services to businesses and organisations with only occasional needs.

    ANZSCO (2006) occupation code 232413 Multimedia Designer and 232414 Web Designer

    What you’ll study
    • Design Theory and Practice
    • Communication Skills
    • Design History
    • Illustration and Photography
    • Computer Aided Graphic Design
    • Digital Media
    • Business Management
    Where you’ll work
    • Advertising Agencies
    • Public Relations Firms
    • Design Consultancies
    • Government and Business Promotion Departments
    • Web Design
    • Digital Production Companies
    • Manufacturer’s Promotion Departments
    • Publishers
    • Newspapers
    • Magazines
    • Self Employment
    Other areas you’ll find work
    • Television Studios
    • Computer Games Development
    • Exhibition and Display
    • Museums
  • Other Design disciplines

    The DIA welcomes members from every design discipline. Members benefit from the exchange of ideas, information and techniques between the various specialisations.

    Computerisation and digital design software are causing new design specialisations and segmentation of existing disciplines.

    If you work as a designer or your business activities involve you with design and designers you will find value in being a member of the designers’ professional body, the Design Institute of Australia.