Setting new paradigms in design education

The Indian education system is often very theory-oriented, with a great focus on accquiring academic knowledge. However, employers are looking for graduates who can blend theoretical and practical knowledge, while being familiar with contemporary techniques and technologies. With India’s economy rapidly globalizing and modernising, many new kinds of jobs and professions are becoming the norm. Twenty years ago, there were not many digital product designers or game designers. Today, such jobs are widely advertised. Students and parents need to appreciate the market trends and opportunities, while considering future job prospects.

Bringing global trends in design education to the doorstep of Indian students the JS Institute of Design has recently partnered with École Intuit Lab one of the top five design institutes in France and has brought the institution to Delhi NCR to equip students with the appropriate skills, knowledge and talent required in a modernized Indian economy. Dakshita Khandelwal, Managing Partner, École Intuit Lab New Delhi and Co-founder, JS Institute of Design talks about the new avenues open to students wanting to make a career in designing. Excerpts:

What is the future of design education in India and growth of the digital design market in the country?

According to a report by the India Design Council (‘The Future of Design Education In India’), the market potential for design in India is expected to exceed Rs 18,000 crore by 2025. However, only a fifth of this potential is currently being tapped. The potential of the graphic, communication and packaging design industry is estimated to be more than Rs 5,500 crore. So, there is plenty of scope for designers in areas like visual communication and packaging design.

In the game development arena, India already has 250+ game development companies which employ more than 15,000 game developers. Given the growing interest in gaming amongst youth, the number of job openings in game art, design and development are predicted to increase rapidly.

Digital product design is also another area where the need for designers is increasing rapidly, thanks to the explosion in the use of web and mobile applications. We expect jobs for user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) designers, and customer experience (CX) designers to also increase significantly in the coming years, as new digital technologies and services enter the market. The digital economy is poised to spur an enormous demand for creativity and design, and propel India to the global stage.

India is a key market for multinational companies, thus providing plenty of opportunities for graduates in the design sector. India should focus on growth in both public and private design education to provide adequate choice to its deserving youth while ensuring that its graduates are well-qualified to comfortably compete on an international stage. In my view, the opportunities for designers are plentiful, provided students have the right education, skills and experience.

What is the basic skill set that an aspiring design student can cultivate?

In addition to having interest in design, it is important for a student to pick up the right design institute. There are many institutions undergraduate offering, postgraduate and diploma courses in design–and students have a wide choice. But, I would recommend that a student select an institution that has a modern curriculum, good pedagogy, faculty with good credentials, and good industry partnerships.

To be successful in professional life, design students need to have innate curiosity, a keen eye for creative expression, and the will to master the medium of expression. In addition to learning the basic craft, a student must aim to learn the different software used in illustration, and sketching techniques to be able to communicate their design ideas. Design is a domain that grows exponentially every day. Therefore, one must always be curious and willing to learn more every day.

What are the courses that will be offered?

École Intuit Lab New Delhi will be offering four undergraduate level programs and one post graduate programme:

  • UG Visual Communication (4 years & 30 students a batch): The program trains students to infuse words and images with life and meaning, in ways that can persuade, educate, entertain or inform.
  • UG Digital Product Design (4 years & 30 students a batch): Digital product design extends traditional graphic design to encompass UX Design (user experience) and UI Design (user interface). Students are trained to become functional designers and creative problem solvers who are equipped to manage the entire digital product life cycle.
  • UG Game Art & Design (4 years & 30 students a batch): This program equips students with the artistic and technical skills required to design and develop games, and produce other interactive solutions.
  • UG in Fine Art (4 years & 30 students a batch): Students are trained to be contemporary artists who are able to channel their creativity and visual expression to share ideas and messages with the world.
  • PG in Advertising Design & Visual Communication (18 months): This program provides an in-depth understanding of advertising, branding, design, digital and communication strategies. Students are equipped for roles in global marketing and communication as designers, strategists, art directors and above all, powerful communicators.

When are the admissions opening?

Applications for admissions to the academic session commencing in July 2022 are currently open, and the creative intelligence test will be held in December 2021.

Geetu Vaid

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