MahaGuru of Design,Prof Sudhakar Nadkarni felicitated for his lifetime dedication to design at the Pune Design Festival

Feb 20, 2017 | Posted by admin in Faculty Achievements   No Comments »

With the theme of Trans.Form, the 11th Pune Design Festival brought together many designers from various fields to talk about sustainability, social responsibility and philosophy of their art.

Organised every February since 2006 by the Association of Designers of India Pune Chapter, the 11th edition of Pune Design Festival (PDF) was held at Hyatt Regency, Nagar Road. The two-day event kicked off on Friday, February 10, with a talk by John Thackara. Honorary speakers took the dais to discuss their ideas of design and answer queries by students.

Professor Sudhakar Nadkarni, who was instrumental in starting the Industrial Design Centre at IIT Bombay in 1969, the department of Design at IIT Guwahati in 1997 and the design vertical at the Welingkar Institute of Management in Mumbai, spoke about how these colleges were started with the philosophy that designers should be socially responsible.

““Every product has the possibility of improvement, but the changes in technology and lifestyle influence it. A designer has to know about all these things. They should find ethical satisfaction in their art. They should take some time and travel to remote places to see the environment and find out what needs the people have, to come up with designs to help them,”” said Nadkarni.

He also spoke about how a designer must be aware of all the various aspects of a business related to the product designed by them. ““A designer must know the customer-base who use the products. It is very important that a designer knows how to manage, sell and promote their product. Without all these things, a designer is just a clerk,”” said Nadkarni, adding, ‘’“How must you spend your money? What is the profit margin? A designer must be aware of all these things too. Customers usually don’t believe the marketing people, they prefer to believe the designer because they think that the designer knows more about the product.’’”

He was asked by a student in the audience what is more important to a designer –– making sense or making money? He answered, ““You have to make sense of your design, it cannot be a non-sense one. Do the craft, earn your living and be socially responsible,’’ he said.” He recalled a particular class assignment he conducted while teaching at IIT. “The first product we designed as a classroom project was a gamla (earthen pot). ‘’It was a shock to all IIT professors as they were talking about high technology and I believed that improvisation should be used to be of help in the real society. I remember how the Education Minister who visited our institution at that time carried the gamla on his head,’’” said Nadkarni.

Michael Dotolo, an educator, artist and designer who has worked with interaction, music, and performance technologies for existing and emerging media, spoke about how “anytime, anything totally crazy, can happen.” Talking about fiction in time and space, he said, ‘’“Science fiction is a very powerful medium because the future is so uncertain, so we need some sort of images to put us through. We are very receptive to these stories. Technology is incredibly pervasive.’’He also talked about how design is mostly related to problem-solving techniques that one learns from experiences they have had.

Professor Sang Koo, who began his career as a designer with the Design Research Center, Kia Motors and is at present, Chief Professor, Dept. of Automotive Design, Kookmin Univercity in Seoul, South Korea, gave a presentation of history of automobiles through the ages.

Pradeep Nair, the Managing Director for Autodesk India and SAARC operations, and Arvind Lodaya, who consults in a broad spectrum of Product and UI/UX Design, Innovation, Branding and Corporate Identity, took the dais to discuss their concepts and philosophy on various aspects of design too.

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