I wrote this in October – as a starting of a vision document for the Design School (AUD)
The emergence of India as a powerful economy has been fuelled in no small measure by the services sector. The last decade saw the ‘asian tigers’ make great progress this was due to their focus upon manufacturing. India is unique in its mix of sectors and will potentially continue to hold an important position in the world due to its strengths in IT and an educated population.
The idea of services and IT is relevant for imagining the future of design as elsewhere new design programmes such as Eindhoven have focussed exclusively upon Interaction Design. Similarly one way of looking at traditional design programmes – such as product design, or textile design – is to see them as capability development in a workforce to serve the manufacturing industry.
The opportunity exists today of defining the very essence of the design school at the university – as drawing upon the key features and trajectories of the Indian economy. Where on one side are the dominant sectors (such as IT) on another side the notion of services extends to envelope the bottom of the pyramid. In the services begin to transform and are energised by the idea of social innovation and social entrepreneurship. Traditionally offered in social sciences as development studies in India – the notion of social innovation has transformed many university programs in design and is as often the key feature of newer design programs. Though social innovation is constructed not just in social terms but more wider as the greater good including sustainability and service design.
In short the two key spcializations of a new design school ought to be (a) Service Design and (b) Interaction Design. Where these specializations are imagined to be at the masters level and in time supported by a suite of undergraduate programs.