Design in this subcontinent concerns itself with the heterogeneous character of
demographic profiles based on cultural, social and economic factors. The profile
patterns often run deep and sometimes span wide, but are vibrant enough to stir up curiosity
in academic circles and business scenarios alike. Extremes in diversity allow folk expressions
and creation of modernity to starkly contrast and coexist. Designers serving the
needs and aspirations of such diversity require empathy and the ability to creatively
deal with subjectivity.
Sensibilities, unique to the subcontinent, constitute the contexts and scenarios from
which designers try to discover for innovative solutions. Over last five decades now,
the National Institute of Design (NID) has learnt to respect the dichotomy between
political ideologies and cultural practices. This appreciation helps inculcate such
sensibilities in its students and propagates a value centric design curriculum.
Design is in change. It is also about creating distinct alternatives for change.
If the change is understood well, the design solutions could be sophisticated but humane.
The industrial era has led to perfecting the art of mass production and marketing—aspects that
dominate most professional and vocational education programmes. But the educators and design
practitioners at NID continuously seek alternative idioms that are meaningful and sustainable.
Over the years the disciplines at NID have endeavoured to remain flexible in order to
reach out to wider sections of society. In my opinion, the range of students’ final design
projects showcased herein exactly conveys this pedagogical approach seen in NID’s curriculum.
While I wish great success to each of the graduating students, I thank my faculty colleagues
for their relentless contributions in shaping these young designers.
I am confident that NID graduates will continue to lead new frontiers of design in the country.