Design in India;
a Paradigm of Ascension
   

Inspiring Creativity;
the Indian Context
 
Design Education: Tradition and Modernity
 
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Profile:

Shashank Mehta is a principal faculty of Industrial Design at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. Currently, he is the Activity Chairperson of the Institute’s Professional Education Programme. He is also the member of NID’s Policy and Planning Committee.

Over the last five and half years, Shashank also served as the project head of the Design Clinic Scheme for MSMEs, a unique and ambitious design intervention scheme for the country’s large MSME sector. Supported by the Ministry of MSMEs, Government of India, with the total project outlay of Rs. 73.4 crore the scheme reached out to over 200 MSME clusters through organization of Design Sensitization Seminars, Design Awareness rogrammes and Design Projects. Shashank currently mentors the second phase of the implementation of the scheme.

A qualified mechanical engineer and product designer, Shashank has also added to his professional expertise by working as an engineer, designer and production in-charge with small and large scale industries and the craft and social sectors as well. He has worked on several projects, ranging from consumer products, medical equipment, furniture & Interiors, public utility, to grassroots innovations.  Shashank has worked with the industries as designer, design consultant and also as consultant retainer. All this, coupled with sharp business acumen, he acquired that much needed holistic understanding of integrating user aspirations with industry constraints and demands, thus introducing viable design solutions.

Besides being actively involved in imparting design education at NID, Shashank has held several important administrative positions at the Institute. Shashank headed the Product Design discipline as its Coordinator. He was the Activity Vice-Chairperson of the Institute’s Education wing. He has also worked as the Activity Chairperson of the Industry Programmes and Projects cell, NID’s Outreach Programmes, Research & Publications division and Faculty development programme as well. He also headed the Centre for Training of Trainers and the foundation Programmes at NID. Shashank also chaired the Purchase Committee for over six years and was also the member of the staff evaluation committee at NID.

Over the years Shashank has taught various course modules that focus on both, skill based courses as well as theoretical courses. Shashank has taught at the Undergraduate and Postgraduate levels, spanning various design disciplines. Some of the prominent course modules he has taught include: Analytical Drawing, Elements of Design, Materials and Processes and Model Making. Besides guiding the students in their final Diploma Projects, Shashank has helped students to work on aspects like Simple Product Design, Technically Complex Products and System Design. Shashank has spearheaded the introduction of new course modules that are in sync with the rapidly changing demands and aspirations of the industry and economy in general. Some of these modules include: ‘Indigenous Innovations’, offered to the undergraduate and postgraduate students of the Product Design discipline, ‘Service Design’and ‘Design Audit’,offered to the postgraduate students of Strategic Design Management and ‘Introduction to Experience Design’, offered to the postgraduate students of Design for Retail Experience and Design for Digital Experience disciplines of NID. In 2007, he developed the vision report and the curriculum for the four year undergraduate programme in Product Design for the Design Institute based in Delhi, India.

Shashank has extensively worked in the area of technology and design fusion, sustainability and indigenous innovations. He was involved in conceptualising the first e-learningmodule on package design and also helped set up the country’s first Design BusinessIncubator at NID. Shashank has successfully anchored Design Clinic cum DesignAwareness Workshops for various small-scale Industry clusters of India. He anchoredinternational workshops such as Competitive Advantage through Design (2004), Design as Strategy for Development and Quality of Living (2005) and Strategic Design Intervention for Developing Economies (2006), with the specific focus on ‘design for crafts’ and ‘design for development’ for the participants from various developing countries.

Shashank has authored various articles and research papers and has widely lectured on the subjects: Understanding Design: Imperatives of Technology and Design Interface, New Product Development, Aspiring Creativity: The Indian Context, Design:The Indian Context among others. In 2005, Shashank organized and co-anchored the first of its kind International conference on Design education in Asia – Design Education: Tradition and Modernity, DETM05. Later on, he jointly edited the publication, comprising over eighty scholastic papers from this international conference, which was released in 2007. He also served as the member of the advisory Committee and the member of the review committee for the international conference FLUX: Design Education in a Changing World; organized by DEFSA, South Africa.

 
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