Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Coventry Experience

26th July 2012
                MIT-ID has always been making efforts to collaborate with world class design institutes and to send it’s students for exchange and twinning programmes there. In July, Head of Department, Industrial Design and the Dean, Coventry, UK, visited our campus and interacted with students. Accompanied by our very own Prof. Sanjay Jain and Prof. Gaurang Shah and a few more faculty members, they went through the work done by students in different courses.
                In a very excited and busy morning, we, the Semester 5 students of Product Design set up our studio with sketches, printouts and models of various projects. We had spent the previous two days preparing presentations for the projects we wished to show them. Anticipation rose as the time for them to arrive approached. When they entered, the MIT-ID faculty and the students escorted them through a brief trip of the MIT-ID product design discipline.
                A very appreciative critic, Prof. Michael Goatman explained to us an interesting insight, which divides all products into ‘My Products’ or ‘The Products’. Products are designed to suit a certain class of audiences and buyers. For example, a cell phone is always ‘My phone’. One expects a touch of himself, a sense of belonging in his cell phone. Hence, it is designed such that one can customise or personalise it. A washing machine is always ‘The Washing Machine’. It has been designed for many people to use it. One expects functionality more than personalisation in ‘The Products’. He briefed that products, by nature, can be functional, aesthetic or both.  He also added that designers should know their audiences and whether the product they are designing are ‘My Products’ or ‘The Products’, and design accordingly.
                He stressed very much on the importance of simplicity in design, and also asked us what kind of work we would want to do as designers. He said that designers are influenced and constricted by more than one external factor, and need to come up with the best designs within the constraints of costs, materials, customer and technology, amongst many other things. He also explained that designers don’t only need to design well but also sell themselves well and have that unique selling point which will convince the consumers.
                Their trip to the class was surely helpful for all the students present. We ended up knowing more than what is taught in the curriculum