The Challenges and Strategies in the Field of Industrial Product Design in Indonesia

Abang Edwin SA
4 min readMay 10, 2024
Photo by ThisisEngineering on Unsplash

The field of industrial product design is a dynamic and rapidly evolving discipline that plays a crucial role in shaping the products and experiences that define our daily lives. In Indonesia, however, industrial product design departments face a unique set of challenges in establishing themselves and gaining recognition within the broader educational and professional landscape.

As a lecturer, an advocate for design education and also someone deeply invested in the growth of this field, I have witnessed firsthand the obstacles that industrial product design departments (at school) in Indonesia encounter. Chief among these is the limited public understanding and awareness of this discipline.

Limited Public Understanding of Industrial Product Design

  1. Novelty of the discipline: Industrial product design is a relatively new field of study in Indonesia compared to more traditional disciplines like engineering or architecture. This novelty contributes to a lack of familiarity among the general public, including prospective students and their families.
  2. Limited exposure and visibility: Indonesia’s design industry is still emerging, and there may be fewer prominent product design companies or well-known designers that could serve as visible ambassadors for the field. This limited exposure can hinder public recognition and understanding of the discipline’s importance.
  3. Misconceptions or narrow perceptions: Some members of the public may have misconceptions or narrow perceptions about what industrial product design entails, confusing it with related fields like engineering or confining it to a specific industry like automotive design.
  4. Developing industry demand: If the demand for product designers within Indonesia’s industries is still evolving, it could contribute to a lack of awareness about the field’s importance and the potential career prospects it offers.

Strategies to Increase Awareness and Understanding

To address these challenges and foster greater public understanding of industrial product design, a multi-faceted approach involving various stakeholders is necessary:

  1. Public awareness campaigns: Industry associations, professional bodies, and educational institutions could collaborate on public awareness campaigns. These could involve workshops, events, social media initiatives, and targeted marketing efforts to educate the public about the scope, importance, and career opportunities within the field of industrial product design.
  2. Collaborations with industry leaders and successful designers: Successful product design companies, entrepreneurs, and designers could serve as ambassadors, sharing their stories and highlighting the value and impact of industrial product design. Collaborations between these industry leaders and educational institutions could provide valuable insights, internship opportunities, and real-world projects for students.
  3. Outreach programs targeting secondary school students: To cultivate interest and awareness from an early stage, industrial product design departments could implement outreach programs targeting secondary school students. These initiatives could include design workshops, competitions, and interactive sessions that showcase the creative and problem-solving aspects of the discipline.
  4. Government support and promotion of design-driven innovation: Collaboration with government agencies and policymakers could help promote the importance of design-driven innovation for economic development and global competitiveness. This support could take the form of funding, incentives, or initiatives that highlight the strategic value of industrial product design.

Importance of Establishing a Clear Positioning

As public awareness and understanding of industrial product design grow in Indonesia, it becomes increasingly important for departments and programs to establish a clear positioning within this field. A well-defined positioning strategy can:

  1. Differentiate from competitors: By highlighting unique strengths, specializations, or industry collaborations, industrial product design departments can differentiate themselves from others and attract students who resonate with their specific focus areas.
  2. Attract the right students: A clear positioning communicates the department’s educational philosophy, approach, and areas of emphasis, enabling prospective students to make informed decisions and choose programs aligned with their interests and career aspirations.
  3. Build credibility and reputation: By establishing a distinct positioning and delivering on its promises, industrial product design departments can build credibility and a strong reputation within the academic community, among industry partners, and with potential employers.

Examples of Successful Positioning Strategies (if applicable)

While industrial product design education in Indonesia may still be in its developmental stages, there are examples from other countries that can serve as inspiration for effective positioning strategies. For instance, the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, has positioned itself as a leading institution for automotive design and transportation studies, attracting students globally who aspire to careers in these specific industries.


The field of industrial product design holds immense potential for Indonesia, but realizing its full impact requires a concerted effort to increase public awareness and understanding. By implementing strategies such as public awareness campaigns, industry collaborations, outreach programs, and government support, we can cultivate a broader appreciation for this discipline.

As awareness grows, industrial product design departments in Indonesia will be better positioned to establish distinct identities and communicate their unique value propositions effectively. A clear positioning strategy will not only attract the right students but also contribute to the overall growth and recognition of product design education in the country.

By embracing these challenges and opportunities, we can pave the way for a future where industrial product design is recognized as a vital and thriving field, shaping the products and experiences that enrich our lives and drive innovation in Indonesia.

If you found this article useful, please leave a comment, subscribe to my feed, share it with your friends and colleagues or simply give the article a clap or buy me a coffee. Your support is what keeps me motivated to create more high-quality content. Together, we can continue to learn and discover new things. Thank you for being a part of my community!



Abang Edwin SA

Observer, Content Creator, Blogger (Obviously), Ghostwriter, Design Thinker, Trainer and also Lecturer for Product Design Dept at Podomoro University