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Design powerhouse

The institute offers a cross-disciplinary approach to learning and is set to introduce new programmes

education Updated: Nov 10, 2010 09:55 IST
Vandana ramnani
Vandana ramnani
Hindustan Times

As it progresses creatively towards its 50th year, the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, has its eyes on new streams such as universal, sustainable and services design. The institute is not only set to introduce a two-year certificate programme in photography, it is looking at other challenging and emerging fields such as universal design (designing for the benefit of the old and the physically challenged) and sustainable design. “We plan to set up a universal design research chair. Services design (design for hotels, railways etc) is another area we are investigating through the research activities route,” reveals Pradyumna Vyas, director, NID, Ahmedabad.

The Jamsetji Tata-NID Universal Design Research Chair is already in place for research in the areas of design for the elderly, for rural health and digital inclusion, for children with learning disabilities, barrier free access and environmental design. Abir Mullick, an NID alumnus and faculty at the School of Industrial Design, Georgia Institute of Technology, US, has already joined as a Fulbright scholar under the chair.

For students at NID, the institute offers a cross-disciplinary approach to learning. “There’s a lot of room to experiment with other disciplines. There’s something to be learnt from everybody. Everybody’s work inspires you and helps you come out with more ideas,” points out Raj Sekaran, a final year student of apparel design and merchandising. Sekaran took up the course on the advice of an NID alumnus, an industrial designer working with Hero cycles.“The course allows me to experiment with other disciplines such as graphics, visuals, product design and even art,” says Sekaran.

Programmes: NID offers professional education programmes at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels with five faculty streams and 17 diverse design domains. The four-year graduate diploma programme in design (GDPD) is open to students after Class 12 or equivalent such as AISSCE/IB/ICSE.

The programme is offered in the following areas: Industrial design (product design, furniture and interior design, ceramic and glass design), communication design (graphic design, animation film design, film and video communication, exhibition design), textile, apparel and lifestyle design. The two- to two-and-a-half year postgraduate diploma programme in design (PGDPD) is for graduates from the fields of architecture, technology, engineering, fine and applied arts, information technology and computer sciences. The yearly expenses for the GDPD work out to R2,10,800 and for the PGDPD course it is R2,55,800.

Extracurricular: The institute organises a ‘culture day’ once a year wherein students from across India showcase the culture of their states. RGB is the design festival that brings together over 1400 creative young minds of the country. Students from India’s foremost institutes come together for a three-and-a-half day exchange of ideas and experiences. RGB provides a platform for inter-college networking through exhibitions and competitive events. In addition to this it hosts a unique series of workshops and interactive sessions with professionals and experts in the fields of design and design education.

Infrastructure: The main campus is located in Ahmedabad. The postgraduate campus in Gandhinagar offers courses in transportation and automobile design, toy and game design etc. The R & D campus is located at Bengaluru. It offers courses in information and interface design, design for digital experience etc.

In the early 50s, the Government of India invited the renowned American design team that included the late Charles and Ray Eames to recommend a programme of design training to serve as an aid to the Indian industry. The Eames’ travelled around the country, studied and analysed local traditions and culture and submitted their report in 1958. Based on their document ‘The India Report’, the Indian government under the auspices of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry set up the National Institute of Design in 1961 as an autono- mous national institution for undergraduate and postgraduate education, training and consultancy services in industrial design and visual communication. The institute has also entered into collaborations with more than 39 international design institutions

Design aptitude test for PGDPD: Jan 8, 2011
National entrance exam for design for GDPD: Jan 9, 2011

The need
India has two designers per million people vis-à-vis 125 in Finland and 90 in Japan
India needs 10,000 more design professionals in a year instead of the 1000 being churned out now

First Published: Nov 09, 2010 14:52 IST