Futuristic approach towards design education and student innovations in 2024

Usha Patel

Amidst the dynamic transformations shaping the contemporary design landscape, anticipating the future of design education calls for a crucial re-evaluation.

The convergence of industry practices and design education emerges as crucial, necessitating a new skill set transcending practical applications while promoting lifelong learning. Shaped by a framework of divergent thinking and challenging ingrained assumptions, the innovative skill set includes problem-solving, critical thinking, digital proficiency, adaptability and resilience.

Apple revolutionised the music and consumer electronics industries, Uber disrupted the conventional taxi business, Airbnb transformed the accommodation sector, and Amazon redefined retailing. These examples highlight the profound impact of divergent thinking and innovation on reshaping industries and meeting evolving needs and consumer preferences.

Design educators must integrate this skill set into curricula to devise an innovative curriculum for preparing future-ready students. Promoting innovation through joint research projects, hands-on learning, corporate training and workshops, entrepreneurship centres, real-world problem solving, and industry advisory boards ensures graduates possess the skills and mindset for success in a rapidly changing professional landscape.

While experiential learning has found a place in some design institutes, it has yet to become a mainstream component of design education on a broader scale. Prioritising a shift from traditional rote memorisation to a learning-by-doing approach, especially in a hands-on, project-based format, is a critical step for future-ready design education.

Navigating these changes positions academic design institutions for growth and success, ensuring they remain at the forefront of educational evolution in the dynamic professional landscape.

Views Expressed By Professor Usha Patel, Director, Indian Institute of Art & Design

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