Everybody wants to be a designer today. But, not everybody is one. It takes years of training, nurturing and work in the field before a designer has arrived on the scene. Days and nights of work, work, work. A designer’s designs, design team and the designer itself are one big family or community. If the definition of a designer today has left the building then that’s simply because nobody from the industry is stepping up and driving the change. If this continues, then before you know it we’ll just be another industry with just another set of skill-sets and people.
Design thinking is not done on the computer. That happens in the midst of responsible and talented people. Like the ones in our industry. Designers don’t need a lab. The real world is our lab and this is where our creations go into and are no longer our own. We stop owning our designs when they are bought, sampled or used by the end user. And that’s why our role in the world is very crucial.
Design schools and the industry always work hand in hand. Not just to recruit young designers but also to collaborate, co-create and shape an entire community of people and products. As creative people, it is important that we be empathetic towards the world around us and have a direction for the industry as a whole given the unique challenges and obstacles that the community faces today.
Currently, we feel that the industry can lead us into a future that’s beautiful. Leadership has to emerge from the bottom to the top and also from the top to the bottom of the entire community. The industry needs to take firm steps to be brave, ambitious, inventive and responsible. The world is changing, on one side technology is constantly opening up new doors and on the other hand disparity, social, economic and ecological challenges are posing new threats.
Now that the industry is at the core of value production in the contemporary world, it should firmly believe in the possibility of a sustainable future and act on making it a reality. The industry should inspire our collective imagination and awaken individual creativity to design solutions to the biggest of problems around us. And, this should be done with grace, poise and ease.
At times, the outside world that our students go into is misjudged and wrongly perceived as a shrewd place with limited appetite for creativity, where only the first mover wins. It is this perception that the industry needs to change so that students are more confident of themselves when they leave the nest for good. Design students often feel pressurized by fellow designers or circumstances in the market and we must not forget that we have the power to transform things through best practices.
Design students have to face tremendous pressure and in this chaos, they sometimes forget that they have the ability to convert a figment of their imagination into reality. If they keep struggling for days on end to survive then they will never be able to see their creations come to life.
Our constant endeavor is to one day, become indistinguishable from the real world and that one day, we won’t have to ponder for hours about this subject. Whether a designer or student designs for business, sustainability or play he or she should be truly able to thrive in the industry with healthy competition and be given a real chance to shine brightly.
The industry must consider revisiting issues like access to technology, promotion, manufacture and the use of new materials and media, increase the reach of design deep into society, democratizing design and promotion of an injury-free, healthy lifestyle.
Finally, we like that the challenges of the real world are a design driver and the world without challenges or constraints would never need a design!
We hope that when our students go into the industry they are global yet local, traditional yet contemporary, love history but are future-thinking and that the industry nurtures them like friends, philosophers, and guides.