Back of the book
NID Publications activity aims to spread the use of design in all sectors of the Indian economy. Young Designers 2001, showcases the diploma project work of its graduating students, covering the various disciplines of design. This publication chronicles the partnership between NID's design education and client organisations from Industry, Government and the social sectors. The diploma projects reflect the student's capacity to deal with real issues in professional situations. This year's Young Designers diploma themes reflect a good balance between socially relevant design and one that is alive to market trends and needs. This issue is also a landmark publication, entirely designed by a team of five students of third year Graphic Design, demonstrating the value of "learning by doing" in a real, time-bound professional situation.
A major churning process is on, not only at NID and in the design scene in India but also globally. One stream of thought that has come about in world fora is that the very definition of Industrial product has changed and therefore the design activity has become a system, viz. the design system. Another emerging paradigm is that the age of the storyteller has dawned; the story comes first - then the design, because design is 'story telling' for products both in physical representation and communication about the product/brand, etc.
Yet another plea is the search for the distinctive quality of each culture and representation of the vernacular by the designer in a world fast becoming one networked village with global brands and identities dominating the consumption patterns. Culture and design values therefore now assume an ominous foreboding for designers as the search for identity by the consumers gains momentum. As the cultures get affected by the discontinuous and swift technological changes the designers have to act as an integrating force to reduce the conflicts and the growing hiatus between the technologies and the users.
At the ICSID Congress which concluded in Korea in October this year the theme was "oullim," a Korean word indicating "great harmony" urging an opportunity to look at design in the past and seek for an acceptable framewon in the new century. It is argued that in the coming years an important mission of design will be to harmonise the polem positions such as East-West-South-North, of past, present and future, and such numerous often-opposing concepts and Issues. If design changes so rapidly with new concerns and challenges, shouldn't design education keep pace with it? The New Media is a convergent reality in which some of the changes of design and design education will take place connecting the 'digital with the human.' How does the design and business practice meet without compromise upon the ability of the design to anticipate the future and connect the contrasting positions? This includes short term versus long term as well. In the short term, industry is looking for immediate solutions in a great hurry. Education on the other hand has to necessarily look at long term with wheels of education turning slowly with a batch of young undergraduate designers taking over 4 years to complete their first level of education itself.
The education looks at creating professional designers who can anticipate the future and develop solutions according to the demands, needs and wants, which are often in the womb of time. NID's vision in the new millennium tries to reflect and absorb some of these questions and their possible answers.
At NID, through the creation of a few hyperactivity centres in the last one year or so like a new Research Division, Knowledge Management Centre, New Media Lab, e-learning Lab, Web Usability Research Lab, Online Education Centre, and specific Innovation Centres for Grassroots Innovation, Khadi, Toys and Coir. we are trying to address the concerns of 'design for change' and 'design for economic prosperity'. Though the post-industrial realities of the industrialised developed world may not apply in the same manner in India, the emergence of an information society and the new values are also very much part of the new Indian reality. The thrust on frontier areas for post- graduate specialisations, applied research (including future research) and initiatives for creating a close nexus between technology and design are the evolving response to some of these new challenges.
Unfortunately, there seems to be only partial understanding in India about the role, purpose and scope of design.
The design road map is yet to be articulated at policy and strategic levels. The methodology and process of design and its capabilities to transform the economic landscape are almost missed. The aesthetics have dominated the perception of design and the strategic role of design has been less appreciated. Several developed countries like the U K, Singapore, Korea, Japan, and developing countries like China have leaped forward by using design as a powerful tool for economic transformation. An assessment of Korean Design says "Our Korean traditional beauty is hidden everywhere mixed with the Japanese Design. Our design stretched itself newly with the development of the industry after the Independence and it added an acceleration, going through the middle of the 2970S. It gained great confidence by exporting cars and this confidence brought the golden age of design after going through the 2980s. Experiencing the Asian Games in 2986 and Seoul Olympics in 2988, Korean design started to communicate with the world. Entering the 2990S we started to think about our design and government started to realise the value of design, as a catalyst for a knowledge-based economy." Of course, at NID we are taking steps in this direction by building bridges with other institutions, setting up a Design Centre- "Show Case Design" sponsored by ITPO and NID and accelerating the relationship with the industry through Design Vector, Design Summit, etc., to lead to a clear plan of action and more ground level support for design.
The time has come to join hands and create a design movement in the country to achieve a quantum leap, with a clear design road map for India.
The Young Designers who leave the portals of this Institute in the 2001 Convocation and the Alumni who are now leading the charge in Design in India have far more important roles to play than ever before as design enters a new phase of growth and hitherto unexplored opportunities, in a globalised knowledge economy.
I wish the graduates Godspeed and Success.
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