In 50th year,NID plans inclusive, green design modules

June 25th, 2010 - 4:55 pm ICT by IANS  

By Madhusree Chaterjee
New Delhi, June 25 (IANS) The National School of Design (NID), the pioneer of the design revolution in India, is charting a more inclusive and eco-friendly course as it enters its golden jubilee year in November and will expand to four more locations by next year, the director of the Ahmedabad-based institute said.

“The NID is focusing on eco-friendly and inclusive design modules that touch upon all aspects of designing and are more responsible and sustainable with a global perspective,” NID director Pradyumna Vyas told IANS.

“While trying to chart a more global course in creative designing, the institute is also maintaining its identity and systems of traditional culture,” said Vyas, who is spearheading the new education programme at NID.

“We are trying to take stock of the courses and revamp the design education system and its infrastructure so that it can sustain itself for the next 50 years,” he added.

The institute, which helped the government put together a National Design Policy in 2007, will expand its footprint to four more locations - Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh - by next year, the director said.

“The new campuses will be independent like the IITs (Indian Institutes of Technology) in operation, but NID-Ahmedabad will structure their strategies, curriculum and infrastructure development,” said Vyas, who was recently conferred an honorary masters degree by Britain’s University of Creative Arts for his contribution to design education and promotion.

The changing nature of students is one of the reasons why NID is keen to restructure its design education programmes to make them more universal.

“Designing as a career is now more sought after than before. IIT graduates are joining NID, leaving behind their careers in technology to pursue designing,” the director pointed out.

The NID is modelled on Germany’s Bauhaus and Ulm School of Design. It was started at the behest of India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, who invited American designers Charles and Ray Eames to assess the design needs of a growing India.

The designers decided to look into the nature and future of designing in India from a “number of perspectives like architecture, anthropology, communications, economics, history, physics and sociology”.

They proposed to set up an institute of design, research and consultancy linked to the ministry of commerce and industry.

“Their approach to design was multi-disciplinary and contextual. They felt that design education should be relevant to the socio-economic and cultural activity of the nation,” Vyas said.

The multi-disciplinary approach to design education applies to the trade even today, the director said.

“The institute is trying to propagate three core streams of design. The first includes industrial design, furniture and interior design, ceramic design and toy design. In the secondary stream, the attention is on textile and apparel design and automation design while the third stream deals with communication design in a holistic model,” he said.

The institute is currently pioneering a unique design clinic project to address the need for improvisation in designing and packaging in several micro, small small and medium scale units in the country.

“Being a protected economy, many government sectors had not paid attention to design needs in manufacturing and marketing of products. But as the economy is opening doors to competitive trading, entrepreneurs and those heading government units are realising the need for design interventions. So NID has created a design clinic programme that will work closely with public and private sector units to design their facilities and products,” Vyas said.

Micro, small and medium enterprises of the country contribute to approximately 45 percent of the industrial production and 40 percent of exports.

“The total budget of the scheme is Rs.73.58 crore, of which nearly Rs 50 crore will be borne by the government and the rest by the industry,” he said.

“We are also trying to evolve a design standard, the G-mark, like the ISO to qualify product design and uniformity,” Vyas added.

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