“Technology is important to take out possibilities and design is important to take these possibilities to people,” says Dr L K Das, Head, Instrument Design and Development Centre (IDDC), Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi.
Das’s statement stems from the theory that technology and science cannot be linked to society without design. And product designing is essentially the journey of converting an idea for better human sustenance to aesthetic, practical, usable reality.
Across lifestyles, products have become essentials. Be it the steam iron or the car, the refrigerator or the cutlery, every object of use has become a desirable objet d`art. Says Pallavi Khandelwal of the lifestyle brand FCML, “Ideas need to be proportioned for practical use and this is where product design comes in.”
And with product life cycle being reduced, there are more options than ever for a product designer in today’s market that has become extremely dynamic with deepening pockets.
Besides, statistics from the India Retail Report 2007 are enough to convince one of the landscape of opportunities available in product design. According to the report, the organised sector accounted for Rs. 55,000 crore business at current prices in the calendar year 2006.
And this essentially involves purchase of (designed) products across categories.Says Praveen Dhabhai, Whole Time Director and Chief Executive Officer, Haier India, "We have 13 design centers worldwide and 18 research and development centers. That is enough to indicate the quantity of work that we do." And this is indeed required.
According to the report 'Changing Retail Landscape In India' by Technopak, consumption will fundamentally shift towards lifestyle and health oriented categories. As of 2007, the market size of apparel was USD 26 billion, furniture and furnishings was USD 10.3 billion and medical care and health services was USD 34.2 billion. Statistics enough to inspire one to design!
Says Sarita Nagpal, Deputy Director General, Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), "Product design is certainly on an upward trajectory. Growing companies like Bajaj, Tata etc are beginning to invest and will definitely contribute to growing product design requirements."
As the nation's aspirations to have products like Nano increase, our capacity to design must match the tempo.