CONVOCATION SPEAKER

Prof. Patrick Whitney

Professor in Residence,

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Prof. Patrick Whitney, is a Professor in Residence, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

In 1979, Prof. Whitney was appointed Associate Professor and Chair of the Division of Design at Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Five years later, he was appointed Associate Professor and Head of Communication Design at the Institute of Design (ID), Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). In 1987, he was appointed Professor and Director, and then Dean of ID.

As the Dean of the Institute of Design (ID), he was the Steelcase/Robert C. Pew Professor of Design and an IIT distinguished professor.

During his leadership of ID, the school created the first PhD program in design in the USA, transformed ID into a leading institution in design methods and theory, and created an executive education program translating design to organizational leadership.

Prof. Whitney is widely regarded as a thought leader for pioneering the notions of humancentred design and strategic design. He conducts executive seminars and advises many organizations including Aetna, BP, Godrej & Boyce (Mumbai), Proctor & Gamble, SC Johnson, Texas Instruments, and government agencies in Denmark, Hong Kong, India, and the UK.

Business Week has featured him as a design visionary for bringing together design and business; Forbes named him as one of six members of the ‘E-Gang’ for his work in human centred design; Fast Company has identified him as a ‘master of design’ for his leadership in the design field of linking the creation of value for users and economic value for companies; and Global Entrepreneur Magazine named him one of 25 people worldwide doing the most to bring new ideas to business in China.

Prof. Whitney has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communication Design at the University of Alberta, and a Master of Fine Arts in Design at the Cranbrook Academy of Art.

Currently, at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, he looks to bring design methods to this school and his work focuses on the behavioural side of health.

His research projects relate to:
- Why do TB patients in India drop out a successful treatment protocol?
- What does ‘nature” mean to different ethnic groups in the USA?
- How to increase the effectiveness of communication among a large number of social service organizations in India.

In addition to speaking at many international design events, he also speaks at gatherings of people from other fields about topics such as innovation, sustainability, human well-being sustainable and humanizing technology including TED, China Daily CEO Summit, the Conference Board, and the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit.

MESSAGES

Shri Jamshyd Godrej

Chairperson, Governing Council,

National Institute of Design

"It is that time again, when young design graduates are ready to head out into the world, equipped with a designer’s mind, world-class skills and the values of this great institution and indomitable spirit."

Designers contribute to the industry as well as to the society by proposing innovative design solutions, and over the years, NID and its graduates have immensely contributed to these.

The last few months have been very challenging with the onslaught of global pandemic leading designers to find innovative solutions for overcoming complex scenarios propped up by the pandemic. Many domains and profiles of industry have been disrupted and new formats of engagements have emerged which will also create new opportunities for creative professionals and young designers.

It was quite heartening to see how the NID community and especially all the young designers were collectively able to adapt to this new challenge and managed to complete their graduation projects. Many projects of this year's Young Designers edition also clearly demonstrate the response to the current challenges and transition to new creative practices.

I appreciate the efforts put in by the faculty & staff of NID, industry mentors and sponsors, support of family members and well wishers, who have contributed to the success of these young designers in these challenging times. I am sure that you will cherish these memories in your life ahead.

As you enter a new phase of your career and life I hope you will continue to show resilience and grit as young creative professionals.

Shri Praveen Nahar

Director,

National Institute of Design

"...design is always expanding and adapting to new contexts and finding new opportunities. Design education has given you the opportunity to connect to the realities of the world and the ability to choose what reality you wish to see and seek."

Congratulations to all the young designers on the occasion of this 41st convocation! You are graduating from our institute when NID is completing 60 impactful years of its existence.

Design considerably influences people's lives and environments and we all make a difference with our sensibilities and skills. As we all understand, the field of design is always expanding and adapting to new contexts and finding new opportunities. Design education has given you the opportunity to connect to the realities of the world and the ability to choose what reality you wish to see and seek.

One can see how the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted all facets of our lives. I firmly believe that all of you have shown great resilience in these trying times and sincerely endeavoured towards fulfilling your academic commitments. It is wonderful to be able to celebrate your achievements as you have not only overcome the adversity during the past one and a half years, but you have also adeptly pivoted your practice and produced some astonishing work that really exemplifies the spirit of the ingenuity at NID.

Viewing your graduate work remains an inspiring, joyful, and engrossing experience, and it gives me great confidence in your ability to embrace future challenges and thrive in whatever enterprise you choose to pursue. It has been intriguing to see various projects and your work connect thematically in this edition of Young Designers, and this has been achieved by you despite the tyranny of physical distance or being at remote locations. It celebrates your enthusiasm and the diversity that each one of you represents.

Design shapes and creates our world; you are the new futures of design that will shape this. I wish you all success in your future endeavours in the years to come.

Shri Tarun Deep Girdher

Chairperson, Education,

National Institute of Design

"Today’s celebration is one of discovery — infinite reserves of optimism and strength, adapting to this (new) world in multiple hybrid modes, living partially as a virtual avatar and partially as a real person."

The recent times, in spite of being tempestuous and full of turmoil, have also renewed our faith in collaborative and resilient spirit. The pandemic has at times receded, allowing humanity as a whole, including the young graduates of 2021 from the three campuses of the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad to demonstrate through fortitude, patience and constant perseverance, their resilience in fulfilling their professional commitments to the industry.

My heartiest congratulations to this cohort of graduates from 20 diverse specialisations of design, their mentors, their parents, and sponsors for having ably demonstrated - that one has to accept change, and be agile to adapt and improvise.

The year gone by has been one of constant lessons — for both the graduates and their mentors, and the institution at large — lessons in unlearning what we thought we knew - to do and be in a particular way, and a re-learning of what one never knew one could know and do, personifying the very DNA of NID’s robust pedagogy — of continuing ‘Learning to Learn’.

Today’s celebration is one of discovery — infinite reserves of optimism and strength, adapting to this (new) world in multiple hybrid modes, living partially as a virtual avatar and partially as a real person. It is also time to acknowledge the immense contribution of faculty members and staff of the institute, who have kept service before self, upholding the legacy of this institute and its people.

I congratulate all the young designers who are now moving on to become trailblazers of new ways of learning, doing and being.

Credits