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Dean's Message

Charting a New Pedagogical Model of Design Education in India - The Conceptual Framework

Created in India…Made for the World

Dear Student, - Welcome.

I thank and congratulate you for selecting one the world's newest (& thus the most contemporary) School of Design – The D-School, JU.

Well, while in one hand, there is a spate of leap-frogging changes taking place globally, on the other hand, the 'Design' of certain products, processes and systems - be it in their 'Forms', 'Variations / Diversities', 'Usage patterns', have become almost 'Frozen & Saturated with no further developmental / incremental innovation possibilities at all'.

These include the range of Electronic and Electrical appliances for Home & Office use, to products used in the Kitchen, Office Products, Furniture systems, Communication Products and platforms, to a whole range of Man-made spaces – domestic, retail & office spaces, Textile material – used for décor and clothing and many more Latest developments & innovations are being seen in the products and platforms for Wearable Devices (which are based on sensor technologies & communication technologies), Medical Devices & Technologies (which are based on precision, robotics, AI, 3D Scanning, PET), Smart Textiles & Protective Fabrics (which are based on material properties & chemical / plasma treatments), Transportation & Mobility segments (based on Materials & Processing Technologies, Sensors and AI), Navigation Technologies etc.

Additive Technologies & various Forming Technologies including Metal Injection Moulding technologies have already found their way into the Manufacturing & Product Design Sector. Even relevant 'Analyses' (including that of Architecture and Construction Technologies) have almost become completely driven by intelligence-embedded software.

As far as developments in Communications & Visual Media Technologies are concerned, Printing technologies, Video-Creation & Editing Technologies including Digital Animation are at their heights. Parallel to the above, Sustainability, Climate / Pollution Control, Health and Safety, Eco and Green, Systems for the elderly and specially-abled people, Food and Life-style Change Issues, Remote Monitoring & Support, Mobility and Mass Transportation, Education and Learning Efficacy are some of the issues that need sector specific strategic innovations.

In the above scenario, if one looks at closely, the following are some of the examples of trends / shifts / upward & incremental innovations that could be observed:

  • Latest materials (including those being used for making Lifestyle Products & Accessories, Textiles – both natural & man-made / synthetic, Ceramics and Glass) & various forming and processing technologies bring the possibilities of generating any 'Shape & Form' - be it in single material or in combination of material,
  • The features of 'Products' are no longer limited to 'functions' only; - it has become an 'embodiment' of various 'capabilities and aspirations. Mobile / Cell phones are no longer just 'devices for talking', they have become a 'platform for communication' in multiple media and many other things; where the utilization capacity used for talking is only 10% - thus, the 'packaging of such features' makes the users 'enabled and empowered',
  • 'Customisation' is at its peak - be it organising required apps in a single screen to the making of modular kitchens, storage / furniture systems,
  • A significant amount of learning is now taking place 'on screen' - the concept of studying books in the library is slowly diminishing.

To respond to the above and the speed of change, (where even 'anticipation' may not work) and to remain 'contemporary', we at The D-School have consciously and unanimously taken a stand that the principal motto in our pedagogy and the output will be to 'innovate & drive' & 'staying ahead of time' – through a co-evolution model of pedagogic approach with various relevant & emerging Industries and business scenarios.

Some of the major shifts (of thinking and focus) will be as follow:

  • From 'Function' to 'Purpose',
  • From 'Nice & Interesting' to 'Aspirational & Experiential',
  • From 'Problem solving' to 'Opportunity Finding'
  • From 'Invention' to 'Innovation' and
  • An accepted understanding that 'Creative Imagineering' is the precursor to 'Design'

In such a scenario, 'strategic innovations for various sectors' and 'strategies for innovations' become the focus.

To practically achieve the above, the pedagogy and the composition of course modules in all the programs have been designed with the following USPs' - which are the firsts in Design Education in India

  • Every student, by choice-based selection of subjects, will be able to pursue either 'the Skill track' or 'the Conceptual track' or 'the Research (for insight generation) track’
  • Every student of the B. Des Programs will have an opportunity to work on a total of 9 projects - 8 during the 3rd & the 7th Semester & the Final Graduation Project (instead of a total of 5 projects - 4 during the 3rd & 7th Semester and the Final Graduation Project - conventionally being practiced in other Design schools) including Subject specific Open Electives and Professional Electives.
  • The above has been done keeping in mind that Industry is NOT interested to know one's 'explorations' but is interested to see the number of 'tracks' s/he has endeavoured to’ to generate 'identification (of opportunities) to realisation of solutions' – simple to complex.
  • The same applies to our M. Des Programs where the student will take up a total of 6 Projects (instead of 3 projects conventionally being practiced in other Design schools)
  • 'Professional Electives' have been incorporated in the curriculum so that the students can get the opportunities to carry out the kinds of domains s/he wants to pursue as his / her ‘Professional’ track.
  • 'Portfolio Preparation' & 'Presentation & Communication Skills' have been incorporated as credited courses.
  • Introduction of 2 Colloquium papers- which are basically 'thought papers' – students' foresight about what s/he wants to do in future - written down in reasonably communicable English – focus on equipping the students’ hone up their ability to put together the thoughts in a written format.
  • From the beginning of the specialization, the student will have an opportunity to work on real life / Institutional Consultancy projects for the Industry or on the Projects taken up under Outreach Activities aimed at socio-economic impact/ social empowerment.
  • With the above framework at hand, we stand committed to create a new generation of innovators for the global creative economy.

    With best wishes & assuring you of an exciting & experiential learning tenure during your education program at The D-School, Jain (Deemed-to-be) University

    Dr. S. Ghosal Ph. D, PGDMoT

    The D-School
    Jain (Deemed-to-be) University

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