Following my experiences in both industry and academia related to design, I feel honoured to lead this institution that provides exceptional design programmes at both the Bachelor of Design (B.Des.) and Master of Design (M.Des.) levels.
The school is approaching the fourth anniversary of the first batch of B.Des. students graduating and many M.Des. students, eager to make an impact in the design industry. Their work reflects our values and mission in the design landscape, both locally and internationally. Pursuing a career in design allows for creative freedom, but it's important to balance that with responsibility. Designers have a responsibility to others because their work is not just for themselves. Understanding the needs of the people for whom one is designing is the foundation of user-centred design, which is crucial for successful and sustainable enterprises. However, a designer's responsibility goes beyond just focusing on users.
Although there may be some exceptions, it is not realistic to expect users to know everything about a design they will be involved with, nor can we anticipate all their needs and desires, whether explicit or implicit. Furthermore, what may be technologically feasible or desirable for users may have negative consequences for the ecosystem or society at large. For example, a simple service like call alerts can be misused if not properly communicated to users. Similarly, small design choices such as inverting colours on a search engine homepage or using certain materials for a product can have unintended environmental impacts. Therefore, designers must take extended responsibility and consider the broader implications of their designs. They must be aware of design history, material choices, manufacturing processes, development footprints, environmental footprints, and the impact of their designs on society as a whole. At JAIN (Deemed-to-be University), we aim to instil this holistic approach to design in our students so that they can contribute to sustainable human development. In essence, design involves much more than just creating an aesthetically pleasing product; it is about being mindful of the earth as a global community.
As designers, creativity should be our strong suit, but it takes a lot of training to be truly creative. We must also possess the strength to take responsibility for our designs and be able to redesign or improve the entire system. This requires critical and reflective thinking in addition to creative thinking, and it is the intersection of these two types of thinking that we cultivate in our students. Our aim is to equip them with the skills to become entrepreneurs by the time they graduate, in line with JAIN (Deemed-to-be University)'s vision to foster entrepreneurship.
We strongly believe that lifelong holistic learning is crucial and that companies and industries will need to catch up with this idea soon. I am happy to say that the School of Design, Media and Creative Arts is committed to this learning journey, with a curriculum that is focused on facilitating this process and a faculty team that takes pride in their roles. Our design education is situated in a context that progresses from being user-centred to human-centred to life-centred, offering a wide range of thoughts that make it highly relevant.
To summarise, I urge aspiring designers to explore and push their creative abilities to discover their full potential, while also considering the potential impact of their design choices.
I wish you all the best in your efforts and anticipate your connection with JAIN (Deemed-to-be University) School of Design, Media, and Creative Arts as potential students, representatives, and proud alumni.
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