With Industries fiercely competing to manufacture problem free products, the demand for product designers in India is on the rise. There are two apparently conflicting considerations that affect the product designing. We can standardize the products and improve the ease of their manufacture. On the other hand, we can offer a variety of products to meet different kinds of customers and their differing needs. There is a trade off involved here.
Industrial/product designers design commercial as well as domestic products of every day usage while keeping in mind the profitability of the business as well as the needs and demands of consumers. They are responsible for everything ranging form the styling to the safety of various consumer products such as microwave ovens and mobile phones.
Product designing is about unifying form and function. Designers have to create comprehensible and delightful products after thoroughly understanding the needs and aspirations of consumers. Unlike designers form other fields, who do not design something as a solution to a problem, product designers are problem solvers. However, this should not be confused with innovation, which is a very critical aspect of product designing. The high point in a designer’s life is when he/ she comes up with a unique solution for specific problem.
Product designing offers diverse employment opportunities ranging from designing consumer durables to high tech appliances. Some of the fields that a designer can work include consumer durables, computer aided industrial design and lifestyle accessory design among others.
With the tremendous industrial growth, talented product designers are the need of the hour. Globalization has forced Indian companies to step up and meet the challenges of competing with product standards. This is the reason we have come up products that are not only world class but also affordable, such as the Tata Ace and Nano in the automobile sector. Rapid growth in consumer spending and growing competition for sales has motivated manufacturers to perceive the possibility of designing products that are not only efficient and convenient to use, but also rank high on visual appeal.
With hard work and perseverance, one can expect to graduate to the level of a product manager and lead design efforts even in international firms. This field also offers the opportunity of entrepreneurship with many designers their own businesses and brands.
Passion, an eye for detail and a persevering nature are crucial qualities for entering this field. Additionally sketching, 3D modeling, conceptualizing, and prototyping/model making capabilities are also imperative. An aesthetic sense, creativity, an ability to develop products and problem solving are also important. A good understanding of design and engineering principles, cognitive sciences and materials is a must for all product designers. Being a team player is also important as the work involves collaborative effort. No educational institution can fully prepare one for this industry. As a designer, one needs to realize the importance of teamwork and understand, appreciate and respect the skills of others while working in a multi disciplinary team.
Entry to most design institutes is through an entrance test conducted independently by these institutes. A candidate should have completed his/her class 12 or higher secondary level education with physics, chemistry and mathematics in order to appear for these entrance exams. Few institutes offer a postgraduate course in industrial / product design for students with a bachelor’s degree in architecture or engineering.
1) Industrial Design center, IIT – Bombay (Two-year Master of Design (MDes) in Industrial Design open to graduates of design, architecture and engineering).
2) National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad (UG program – admissions open to students who have passed or who will appear for qualifying examination s under the higher secondary i.e. 10 + 2).