Bridging the Gap Between Industry and Academics

A robust design school is based on blurring the lines between the industry and the academics, where real world problems are brought into the studio and the alumni take back this learning to the world with tangible solutions. Mathew Kurien, the HOD of graphic design at MITID, tells us more about this symbiotic relationship.
Mathew Kurien
Mathew Kurien

Charles Eames and Ray Eames came to India on the recommendation of the Government of India in 1958, both industrial designers, to help conceptualise a design institute catering to the small industries and especially to the goods and supplies sector. The recommendations made by the Eames team were clear that it will cater to the Industry. As working designers themselves they understood that the need for academics has to be modular enough to solve problems in Indian living standards.

Almost all design schools globally were developed by design practitioners, who integrated design projects to be functional enough to be produced, used, enjoyed and resolves an envisaged gap.

The industry is referred to be the section of people who work on live projects and indulge in best practices. They do have the experience of implementing ideas into products which functions successfully and can anticipate failures.

The pedagogy of the design schools is purely based on live problems and resolving them with a rationale. In many ways, the industry is the stakeholder of applying and producing solutions for the mainstream.

Many design schools academically function with the industry in tandem merrily.

The legacies of all the leading design schools have almost the same story with the alumni going in the world and bring in changes they simulated while they were studying. The core idea of a design institute is to evolve designers who could envisage tangible design solutions to be applied in realtime. This realisation of doing live projects couldn’t be done without conversations with the experienced faculties. The mix of working designers as professors with the academic inclination and the professors who are highly inclined to research and academics are seen which works as a live studio.

Almost all design schools have industry experts to validate the ideas done as projects, which were driven by the faculties, who are working designers.

The courses are designed with the suggestions made by the Board of Studies, which comprises of design experts from the industry who validates the execution of the course and the viability of the outcomes as projects.

When I joined MITID as an academician, I came with an experience of mentoring a lot of junior designers wherever I could. While I was heading departments in the places I worked in, I always kept a tab on design schools and the kind of work that were generated these leading design schools, they constantly changed the perspective of how I conceived design to be. It was ever-changing and influence on how I thought and approached also took a major toll. This is how the industry is getting its inspirations.

It is now considered to be Dharma for working designers to visit design schools to give back the experience in the field, it helps the budding designers to create their own understanding of things can get done. It helps the working industry designers to articulate their work with better understanding helps them to improve and improvise.

Design academics and the industry are inseparable as they co-exist for each other.

Creative Gaga