Nurturing Change Makers
A biotech engineer looking to bring in social change, Megha joined the Design and Innovation Program after manoeuvering her way through educational entrepreneurship for 4 years. 3 months into the program and she was in Finland, working at the Aalto Design Factory, on the Product Development Project, as the UX Expert (India) for team Findia. 5 months later, she found herself working with the Innovation Team at KPMG developing ethnographic research frameworks for clients. Using Design Thinking and Systems as her primary tools, she soon joined the KPMG India team as a Design and Innovation practitioner.
This course has helped me think differently & work cohesively with people from varied academic backgrounds. — Disha, 2016–17
A course crafted to challenge and change mindsets, the 11 month PG DI gives not just an in-depth knowledge of Design Thinking and User Experience but also helps shape the overall experience for products, services or systems.
“It has uniqueness in the sense that it has a mix and match of the different flavors of design courses including communication, product, universal, etc. This along with the understanding of current and future trends and technologies has given me a different lens to look at how design has evolved from the more traditional approach and along with technology, how it is contributing to the depth of impact to make people’s lives simpler with better design solutions.” — Pratik , DI 2018–19
The scrupulous curriculum gives Industry exposure and focuses on research and methodology, looking at social gaps, behavioral patterns, economic factors, among others, to give rise to innovators. Taking the cue from Tim Brown, the course also focuses on shaping students into T-shaped persons who have knowledge and practice of varied forms of design.
Our current batch of DI students includes Ajay Mathrani, a CFA with an MBA from IIM Bangalore, and around 15 years of experience in Finance. His quest to contribute to a startup brought him to a standstill — he realized that most startups looking to build/create new products did not why they did, what they tried to do. The focus was on profit generation, lacking value generation, which got him to look at Design and Innovation. He is currently a part of the ME310 team, from India, working on a Healthcare project, conducting medical research.
The learning model of the course is divided into three parts: Foundation, Specialization, and Capstone. The first four months help to build the mental model of a designer, focussing on building the foundation of design with methods, processes, and research practices to refine strategies for design and innovation. Real-life problems are picked up by the students so as to ingrain fundamentals of Design Thinking, Systems Thinking, Ethnography and Behavior Models, Human Centred Design, Material Studies, and Product Design. The following semester is customized as per specializations the batch wants to take up — User Experience, Augmented and Virtual Reality, Service Design, Maker’s Studio, among others. The final semester involves a 3–6-month capstone in the industry, where major projects are taken up to give absolute work and culture exposure to the students. The course runs with the sole idea of creating change-makers who value research, collaboration, and process, to design, contrary to the popular belief of design being abstract.
What’s interesting is that the course also picks up various workshops on Animation, Photography, Sustainable Design, Bio-mimicry, etcetera. Collaborations are a major part of the course, giving exposure and opportunities to work with students from design schools across the globe — Product Design Program at Aalto and ME310 at Stanford being the most prominent ones for the students to participate and get involved in. Students also get multiple opportunities to showcase their work for rewards and recognition due, starting their own ventures and applying for research grants. This not only helps them broaden their horizons but also challenges their boundaries, stepping out of college.