Design for the greater good

Language of structure

Design is a journey of challenges, learning and discovery. In the era of information overload, fast technology and fusing boundaries, design is manifesting changes. Besides its aesthetic appeal, design has multi-dimensional impacts that are already shaping choices and future for education, economy, communities and nations.

New-age courses

Courses like graphic design, experiential design, interior styling, exhibition design, sustainable design, user-experience design, product design are augmenting multi-disciplinary and life skills.

Of course, architecture courses have their own niche, but a deeper understanding of design has transcended this simplistic interpretation.

Design defines human aspirations and user-centric solutions work towards greater good and nation-building. What makes these courses most sought-after?

The answer is embedded in the new expectations and the dynamics of balancing the industry, work-sustainability-life equation. This fact has been underscored by students have given dismal performances in general aptitude tests.

This disturbing revelation was a part of the India Skill Report 2018. It adds that unemployment across educational sectors is 54.4%. Basic skills are lacking and both industry and recruiters are worried. Clearly, there is a huge gap.

This is a consequence of outdated curriculum, lacklustre pedagogies, ill-equipped faculty and a lack of real engagement between industry and educators. It has also changed the skill-set demand from the industry and education. Not only do students need more relevant courses and ways of learning, but they also need a faculty that constantly upskills. 

Skills like creativity, curiosity, innovation, collaboration, empathy, risk-taking and learning from failures should be top learnings. It’s important to integrate classrooms with external environments in order to solve real-world problems. Therefore the role of design institutes and colleges is extremely crucial in shaping and honing new-age skills.

The creative industries are a critical tool for innovation because of their applicability in multiple other industries, thereby synergising with other sectors. It will boost employment, productivity, and sustainable economic growth based on communication, care and community inclusion — the key tenets of nation-building.

These are some of the courses that augment modern learning, job prospects and shape creative leaders of tomorrow:

Experiential Design: This is a multi-disciplinary course whose primary focus is to augment customer experience using technology with a human touch. This shapes the impression of any service or a product.

Exhibition Design: Its main thrust is on image manipulation, spatial planning, engaging narrative, colour-play, good lighting, multimedia and other interactive experiences that sharpen storytelling experiences.  

Sustainable Design: This keeps in mind the environment, health and comfort of the occupants. These days, sustainable design has generally been a response to global climate crises, focusing on using resources efficiently.

Interior Styling: Interior styling is about dressing a room that reflects the identity, aspirations and expectations of its user. 

Product Design: Creating innovative, user-friendly and affordable solutions for the users with a humane aspect is the mainstay here.

User Experience Design: This is the process of manipulating user behaviour through accessibility, comfort and desirability.

Graphic Design: This is an art of creating interactive messages and visual content to create maximum impact on the users. It uses photography, typography, illustration and colour to communicate ideas.  

The power of design can be best summarised in the quote of Designer Massimo Vignelli, “Styles come and go. Good design is a language, not a style.”

(The writer is president, Pearl Academy)

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