Posted on Monday, November 27, 2017
Screens have become the new canvas. Technology has changed creativity and creative people in an unrecognisable manner, making inroads in academia too. Shashank Mehta, activity chairperson, professional education programme, National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad says, “Design has always been humanisation of technology for the market. However, with advancement in technology, the constraints that an artist used to encounter have reduced. Designers can understand users better and bring out an idea more swiftly to the market as compared to the past, and for this, they have tech-based tools to thank,” he adds.
According to Nitin Kulkarni, chairperson, department of design space, National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Mumbai, technology has converged multiple design disciplines. “Graphic design was earlier an isolated field of study but now it is being incorporated in almost all disciplines. Courses like fashion design, jewellery design, product design are also leveraging 3D design, printing, e-retail etc which were earlier not considered a part of the curriculum,” he says.
Parag Anand Meshram, head of department, industrial design, School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), Delhi, believes that design education has leapfrogged from creating user interface and user interaction to designing experience. He explains, “New and upcoming designers need to think about the complete experience they are creating around their products because that is how the market is working. From cab service to buildings, everything is marketed around the experience it offers to the buyer.”
On the subject of tech-driven courses, Mehta informs that NID has introduced multiple IT integrated design courses at the undergraduate level, namely, Bachelor’s in Information Design, Communication Design, Experience Design, amongst others. NID has also incorporated subjects which were earlier part of ‘skill enhancing’ programmes into the main curriculum for almost all the courses. “Earlier, we had different skill-oriented courses where new tools would be taught to students. Now these tools are part of the curriculum. Technology makes the process of bringing a product from the ideation stage to its prototype much easier and faster, giving more time to the artist to visualise and explore other avenues.”
At NIFT, Kulkarni informs the institute introduced a new specialisation after Master’s of Design called Interaction Design (involving the study of designing communication patterns between product and user) since it is one of the sought-after skills in the industry.
“Technology becomes obsolete in 2-3 years. It is important for the learners not to be too dependent on a particular technology to create their designs as someone somewhere can do better with better technology. The current crop of designers not only need to be more adaptive and flexible but also more creative than their predecessors,” says Meshram.
“Since many people can do what used to be the sole prerogative of designers, directors, artists etc by virtue of technology, what will differentiate a professional from ‘others’ in the field is the fact that a professional would have a unique way of solving problems; it is the creative edge which will take a professional ahead of competition,” he adds.
Explaining this further, Kulkarni says, “As technology has considerably reduced the time consumed on each design right from the ideation stage to the final product, it has increased competition too. Artists are expected to provide more designs within the same time frame which makes training one’s mind equally important.”
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