‘Design industry’s contribution to the GDP should be accounted for’: Experts at the UPES School of Design Conclave

>>Mr. Anuj Prasad, Founder & CEO, Desmania Pvt. Ltd. delivered the theme address and spoke about the importance of ‘Smart and Play’ combination

 uuuDesign industry veterans teamed up at the 2nd annual Design conclave organized by UPES, a leading multi-disciplinary university, to deliberate on significance and relevance of design element in technology, architecture, automotives and FMCG industry.

 Mr. Anuj Prasad, Founder & CEO, Desmania Pvt. Ltd. delivered the theme address and spoke about the importance of ‘Smart and Play’ combination. This was followed by a welcome note by Ms Manisha Mohan, Director, School of Design, UPES who invited audience to learn design philosophy through ideas exchanged by bright minds of design industry.

 While delivering his keynote address, Mr Nikhil Joshi, Partner- Lead Designer, Digital Jalebi, shared his mantra to creativity and innovation- ‘Observe to Absorb’. The discussion lead to the theme of smart cities, where Mr Rahul Subberwal, Principal Architect, The Architectural Studio, elaborated on the concept of smart cities and how various problems could be solved with available resources, if an architect applies logical thinking and smart techniques to design a smart city.

 Mr Srini Srinivasan, President- Elect, World Design Organization & President & CEO. Lumium, Inc. took over the stage to talk about ‘India in Design Terms in the World’. “Design and culture goes hand in hand and religion and caste has a lot of influence on designing a nation. Talking about the need to regulate the design industry in the country, we need an authority which can evaluate how much does the design industry contribute to the GDP of the country. A strong association is required to push Indian design industry to an international level”, Mr Srinivasan added.

 Automotive industry is one of the biggest which thrives on designing vehicles and components. During the panel discussion on Automotive Megatrends – Smart Design, moderated by Mr Srini Srinivasan, President- Elect, World Design Organization & President & CEO. Lumium, Inc. industry experts rejected the commonly accepted notions on sustainability. On the effect of sustainability on automotive industry and how can design help, Mr S. Sivakumar, Head, Industrial Design Royal Enfield said “An evolution is going to happen, renewable products are going to take over and will influence the design of the products”. Talking about building zero emission vehicles, Mr Nilesh Kirtane, Head of Department, Styling Design, Honda R&D (India) Pvt. Ltd. said, “Electric vehicles are emission less but to build those batteries and components a different infrastructure is required. Companies work according to the available resources and try to fulfill people’s needs”.

 Mr Sathiyaseelan. G, Head Styling, Ashok Leyland Ltd. who was one of the participants said “A paradigm shift in terms of transportation is required. Instead of going towards incremental change like electric vehicles, a change in people’s mindset is needed and that is possible with the help of design”. Adding to this Mr Sudhir Sharma, Founder & Creative Chairman, INDI Design said, “Automotive or design consumption is because of the policies that are being introduced in the country”.

 The discussion further moved on to the state of design education with respect to automotive industry. Experts urged the institutes to teach the importance and concepts of design at school level, focus on the relevance of the assignments given to the students. They also suggested that companies should open gates to interns for designing and getting relevant exposure and share the root cause behind opening a company with the students for them to be able to connect the designs better with the company’s objective.

 India Design Report states that design education has seen a spurt of growth in the last 5 years or so with many private institutions getting initiated. Till before 5 years, the design education landscape was characterized by Government supported institutions only, which were few in numbers for a country as large as India.

 School of Design (SoD) at UPES is part of a larger ecosystem and it offers specialized design programs at undergraduate and post graduate level keeping in mind the industry requirements. These programs are focused on Product Design, Transport Design, Industrial Design and Interaction Design.

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