On Design Education in India - notes from the DDEI Conference

Design in India is going through interesting times. While there is the huge demand of designers from the industry, there is a crisis in terms of quality resources graduating out of the existing design schools in India. In a country of 1.2 billion people there is only around 45-50 Design schools and institutes. (Compare this with Beijing which alone as around 120 Design Schools, Seoul – 80 Design schools, Singapore – 40 Design schools). Today more people are aware of the role of design and designers in their organizations and the products and services they create. However the quality of designers that they have to choose from remains a concern of many. —- Here is the gist of the conference taken from my notes I took during the conference. 1. There is a huge need for Design education to reach out to the other 80% of the Indian population that do not have access to Design education presently. 2. How does Design education come out of its elitist image, and be affordable to a wider audience. 3. Where does India get the faculty to teach Design? This is been a major concern across all Design institutions in India.  How can the teachers be trained as processors who make more socially responsible designers / people. 4. Can the language and grammar of Design in India be around the notion of Innovation for Improvement and towards building an inclusive development of society. 5. Whether the original “India Report” (proposed by Charles and Ray Eames for the establishment of National Institue of Design [1961]) is being followed in the present state of Design education in India is debatable. Many feel it has deviated. 6. Design was at the helm of development in the 1960s (Nehru’s Vision), but then fell behind in the race with engineering and management schools. 7. Design . . . → Read More: On Design Education in India – notes from the DDEI Conference

Designer's Dilemma: Which conference to attend?

It is really interesting to know that every major city in India now has atleast one Design conference. As a result of this, we designers are often confused on which to attend! Some of these conferences also rotate from one city to the other. What conference to attend depends a lot on asking yourself, what you want to gain out of the conference. For some networking is always on the agenda. For some it is just to soak in the creative positive energies that flows during this conference.

I was just going through the details of two of the upcoming and interesting conferences in India. I wanted to give some information about both. If you were to attend just one, I would recommend the Goa Project. That is my personal opinion based on my profile and interests. For the record, I am going to be attending both of them.

1. India Design Forum. (March 15th, 16th in Mumbai) The India Design Forum- a private registration only program features two days of talks by highly acclaimed design experts from around India and the rest of the world. Going by the past experience of me attending it last year, I know that The India Design Forum is more on the lines of an international (and elitist) event.

India Design Forum 2013

The need for such an event in India is important. However one thing I did not like about this conference is the inability to ask questions to speakers. The format is such that you just hear from “designers”. If that’s the case, I am often wondering, we do that anyway through the videos we see. Though nothing to give away from the tremendous networking opportunity the IDF provides.

If not for the IDF, people in India . . . → Read More: Designer’s dilemma : Which conference to attend?