Exploring New Horizons in Product Innovation through Industrial Design Curriculum

Sanjeevani Ayachit, Officiating Director, Symbiosis Institute of Design With a Master’s degree in Clothing and Textiles from M.S. University of Baroda, Sanjeevani has vast experience in the field of design and design-related education and consultancy

Not so long ago, the products that existed in our lives left much to be desired. Machinery was heavy and complicated, technology was limited and costly, and hence the products were not the ideal version of the solution that we were looking for. Times have changed. Today everything is light fast automatic and powerful. Innovation is in full swing and it has never been a more interesting time to be a part of the change that is taking place. The world is becoming smaller every day due to globalization and technology is making it possible. Every day something new is being invented or innovated and technology is taking us one step ahead. All major organizations have started investing heavily on their innovation initiatives and product design teams so that they look at every problem differently and come up with innovative products which create value in the market. Innovation has become the most important contributing factor to a successful company.

From infrastructure to transport, medicine to fitness, every aspect of our life is being touched by innovative and cutting edge design that is taking the market by storm and benefitting our lives immensely. From solar powered streetlights to GPS enabled cycle locks, innovative products leave us in awe and make us wonder if we are in the golden era of innovation! The product developers and designers have fastened their seat belts to bring smart and hitech devices and products in the market that make our life easier, faster and burdenfree. Product design is specifically the most sought after criterion for organizations to attract customers and increase profit. People too have changed, they are no longer buying products just to get the work done; they are looking for the best products that are innovative, efficient and bring a change in their lifestyle.
Thus design has become a very important factor for any product development. Advanced technology and revolutionary software makes innovative and creative designs possible that push boundaries. A degree in design, being a multidisciplinary field opens new avenues for graduates and allows them to venture into several fields of interest.

Advanced technology and revolutionary software makes innovative and creative designs possible that push boundaries

Industrial Design is one such discipline that nurtures and encourages conceptualization innovative thinking awareness of customer needs and manufacturing processes. It has been a part of our life from the time of the Industrial Revolution and the industrial designers are the reason we developed the standard of living we have today. The study of Industrial Design revolves around finding better and innovative ways to modify improve or create a product that makes it ideal for production and keep the form of the product ergonomically appropriate for consumers.

The industrial design curriculum gives you a deep dive into the range of materials and processes used in industry level manufacturing. It helps you understand the concept that goes behind the production structure and quantity of a (industrial) product. It not only dwells on product design but also spatial design. Today's designers must keep in mind the effect an industry level production might bring on the climate and natural resources we are surrounded by. They have to find innovative and efficient ways to cause minimum impact on the environment and create maximum value to design a product for the masses.

The curriculum of Industrial Design is drafted keeping in mind the existing designs and solutions present in the market. Students are introduced to the good and bad products and practices of each industry that has product design as their key criteria. Through industry visits case studies, live projects research interactions with craftsmen and production staff site survey and interactions with successful modern designers the programme influences and moulds the thought process of young designers and helps them understand the challenges and differences between just creating a design and implementing a design on a mass scale. The course manifests an understanding of ergonomics anthropometry, product architecture engineering, and scalability among the designers and influences the way they design. The designer then becomes an artist who thinks from different angles when creating a product and analyzes it from every view point to make it optimum for not only consumption but also production.

Industrial Design is a revolution in itself. Every product that we see and use that has been produced for mass consumption, be it a domestic product, an industrial product or a retail product or even a commercial space that is being used for production and sales has the mastermind of an industrial designer behind it. Industrial designers focus on the needs and requirements of a human being from a macro to micro scenario. They not only specialize in understanding the need for making our lives easy but also understanding and implementing solutions that will appeal to human minds and influence their buying decisions. This study of design is not only one of the most demanding and diverse fields to pursue but also one of the most innovative ones.