Everything that doesn't happen by accident, happens by design, says Sudhakar Nadkarni, quoting the celebrated designer, Frank Dudas. "Design, as a profession, is young in our country, and there is a shortage of designers nationally," says Nadkarni, who pioneered design education in India by setting up the Industrial Design Centre at IIT-Bombay in 1969 and the Department of Design at IIT-Guwahati in 1997. In the 1990s and the early 2000, design, especially industrial design, was an unknown area and few industries were ready to invest in this area. The current scenario is different.
"Industry is recognising design and it is being reflected in the several partnerships between industry and academia. Also, the government has several national design policies in place. India Design Council, under the ministry of commerce and industries, is promoting the importance of design," says Ravi Mokashi Punekar, faculty member, department of design, IIT-Guwahati.
Application areas of design are endless, says Nadkarni, who is at present dean of business design at Welingkar Institute of Management Development & Research, Mumbai. Today, there is a congruence of technology and design. The product and user interface is coming together. As Narendra Ghate, head, Innovation Labs at Tata Elxsi, explains, some of the new areas that students can look at are 'India Price Points' where a technology produced in the foreign market has to be suited for India.
User Interface (UI) design is an area where designers are sought-after. "You will find different genres of designer, graphic designers, industrial designers and even architects being absorbed by the industry, because there is a shortage of UI specialised designers," says Vijay Kumar, CEO & Principal Designer at Ergoform, industrial design and product development studio based in Bangalore.
He also includes craft as an area where there is scope for good design. Decision-makers in the industry are recognising that design is an important component for success in business endeavours. "Design, both in private as well as public sectors, is becoming a centrally focused activity," says Achutha Rao, co-ordinator, industry relations, Design Clinic Scheme, NID. Automotive attracts designers and with more automotive studios setting up shop in India, it is another growing area.
But, according to Vinay Rao, director, Bang Design, automobile designing is not an emerging trend. He, however, says that there is a growing industry in automobile design 'support.' Stylists in other parts of the world are dependent on colleagues with technical skills to translate a design to computer-aided design. This form of outsourcing is already a large employer of designers and those with related skills, in India.
Skills in digital design are also in demand. Design studios require digital sculptors who can convert pencil sketches into computerised formats. They must also have knowledge of 2D and 3D visuals and software like Alias, Adobe, Corel, Unigraph, Pro E (Pro / Engineer), Catia, Rhino, explains Prakash Unakal, industrial designer from IDC, IIT, Mumbai. The future lies not in technology revolution but rather in innovation. A designer, experts in the field believe, is also a problem-solver and not merely a product decorator. The designer brings his talent and experience to bear upon every aspect of a problem.
Courtesy: Times of India