Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Avenues : Charting a career in design

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The intricately complex, diverse and multi-layered world we inhabit today is not the same as it was a few years ago. With technological advancements, socio-cultural and political developments and most significantly, the traces left behind by the pandemic, our lived reality today is starkly different from what it previously was.The new era brings with it a slew of further advantages and possibilities. However, along with these opportunities that lace the future that awaits us, there are also a unique set of  challenges. It is at this juncture that design education has become more crucial and promising than ever before. In this fast-pacing world, we must strive toward a generation of designers who are adept at technology and use it to facilitate change and advancement for a better and brighter future.  

Design in education:

The education landscape, within the field of design and beyond it, witnessed a radical paradigm shift as we transitioned into a new phase of virtual learning. Right from online classes, digital portfolios, virtual assessments, and a host of software and tools that support and promote e-learning, the contours and nuances of the educational industry had to be revamped. Digital learning systems like Canvas, Moodle, Blackboard Learn and Schoology, among various others, have aided the learning process.This has undoubtedly resulted in greater digital output as students and designers across geographical borders and time zones can leverage these tools to meet and interact as well as enhance their work, portfolios, and, eventually, their ideas.

Design in digital marketing:

In addition to the increasing reliance on digital content and virtual dissemination of this content, digital marketing is also on the rise. Its advantages are manifold. Digital marketing has taken over from ATL and BTL forms of advertising, providing a more personalised, curated and socially relevant experience for the designer, the user and the audience alike. All this provides a plethora of opportunities for design aspirants looking to chart lucrative careers across the globe, given the changing scenario aided by technological advancement where recruiters hire talent from all over the world. Additionally, design has come to be a defining aspect of brands of all sizes and is considered to be pivotal in making the brand resonate with the audience.

Design in environment:

The development of this virtual environment has ushered in a new age, one which has generated endless possibilities, especially for the future of design. This makes for the perfect environment for a design career because it requires an assimilative and interactive experience, one where different facets of design come together. From the need to communicate across this digital arena to the new understanding of the built environment to the evolving concept of fashion in virtual reality and its business and marketing, the metaverse bodes well for the future. Amid all the glorious developments and advancements we are surrounded by, an important question we need to ask ourselves is — does design education prepare today’s youth to work with the complex socio-technical systems that characterise the modern world? Design is no longer just a career but an entire landscape of creativity and skills that offer a vast array of experiences which encompass the physical, emotional and ideological.

Design highlights the importance of experiential and blended learning and, in the process, disrupts the isolated compartments in education that we have grown so accustomed to. Not only the structure and format in which we impart education but also the skill set and ideas we are providing to today’s youth have become vital because designers of the 21st century are starting to address some of the significant societal, economic and technical issues faced across domains. Ethical sustainable, technologically-driven and economically viable designs are the need of the hour and professionals adept at executing such tasks are in high demand.

(The writer, Dr. Jitin Chadha, is the founder and CEO of Indian Institute of Art & Design (IIAD))

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