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One for all: Product design acts as the foundation of almost all industries dealing in home decor, consumer goods and lifestyle accessories

The lowdown

Product design is a very interesting discipline that acts as the foundation of almost all industries dealing in home decor, consumer goods and lifestyle accessories. There are different aspects to a product designer’s work, depending on the industry one caters to. While some are more aesthetics driven, others are more focused on the functional aspect. This discipline is geared towards creative problem-solving, supported by enchanting visualisations. A product designer should usually adopt such design methodologies which make a product more exciting and user-friendly. “It’s a booming trade as the industry is exploring product design as a tool for growth. The future is promising,” says Vivek Amberkar, founder and principal designer of Vivek Amberkar Product Design, Mumbai

9am: Start the day
10am: Briefing and problem analysis
11am: Brainstorming and ideation
3pm: Concept refinement and sketch visualisation
5pm: Detailing and design engineering development

The payoff
The pay-off depends on the industry you join.
Trainee apprentice: Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 15,000 per month
Junior designer: Rs. 20,000 per month
Associate Designer: Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 45,000 per month
Senior designer: Rs. 50,000 per month
Pay hikes depend on your performance

* Loads of creativity
* Excellent observation, visualisation and sketching skills
* Strong team orientation 
* Technological bent of mind
* Knowledge of materials and manufacturing process
* Fair understanding of the product

Getting there
Take up science in senior school, followed by a degree in streams such as technology, engineering (such as mechanical), architecture, fine and applied arts, information technology, or computer science, and then study design at the master’s level

Institutes and URLs
* National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad      
* Indian Institutes of Technology, Bombay and New Delhi,
* Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
* National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi

Pros and cons
* An extremely constructive pursuit
* Wide canvas to work on — from automobiles to software 
* Well-organised industry
* Fame, money and recognition comes with your work and sometime with time

The industry is moving from being focused on industrial products to services and experiences, thereby widening the career scope for a product designer -- Mohit Arora, a Delhi-based product designer


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