Redesigning the Future

When the members of Design Council UK came down to Delhi to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with National Institute of Design and the Government of India to help in providing guidance for incorporating design in a viable manner in the development of Indian cities, they instantly accepted an offer by FAD International to visit Pune. At a round-table conference organised by the institution at The Westin, Pune, on Friday, the members and CEO John Mathers together with delegates from UK, met with industry leaders, design professors and academia from the city.

The Indian representatives of Pune-based design schools recognised that the main roadblock in incorporating good designs into plans and strategies, is the lack of importance given to even considering the aspect. "We fought tooth and nail to make people realise the importance of design in marketing and building an image for smaller scale companies back in the UK too. Not everyone gets the concept, so you have to reach out to those few who do understand the importance of design," says Mathers.

Alifiya Pratapgharwala, faculty at FAD, pointed out that there is a lack of trained teachers to teach the right concepts of design in India. "Professors who have studied abroad are equipped to bring that level of education back to the Indian students. But there needs to facilities in the country where design teachers can be trained so that they can in turn teach others," she says.

The participants at the conference discussed new ideas in terms of the education system and have settled on points which need to be revisited and reformed. There were talks about a new design school to be launched by Panchshil Realty. The objective of the conference was to develop linkages with the India Design Council, explore partnerships with Indian design organisations and develop an understanding of what the Pune design landscape looks like. The key theme is, "Role of design in future cities", covering topics based on automotive, architecture, digital, and graphic design.

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