In an extremely informative and helpful session with design aspirants, Archana Surana, Founder and Director of Arch College of Design & Business sheds light upon some of the most commonly held curiosities about design entrepreneurship in the modern world. One might think that Design is quite an umbrella term to be used so independently but the basic idea behind a design work remains the same in every discipline. With that very central idea, the purpose of this session was to establish a better understanding of a profession and career prospects in design.
Arch College is the first institute to offer a Master’s degree in design and entrepreneurship and by doing so, also the first institute to realize how the two disciplines can not be kept apart. For many years, a designer is a professional who would do the work on a commission basis for a client. This dynamic makes the designer more than just an artist, it makes them a part of the running economy, a business person or an entrepreneur, if you will! But for a combination like that to exist, it is required that there be a balance of ethics & professionalism. Arch College aims at preparing design entrepreneurs with such balance, a thorough understanding of the market, and a competitive flair & proficiency in design.
The following Q & A is the glossary of the complete session that was conducted on an Instagram live in which design academics and aspirants took part and asked their questions. All the very enthusiastic & practical questions made this session a treat for anyone who would want to have a better understanding of what it takes to be a design entrepreneur.
Q. What are your suggestions for a grad student who wants to pursue a career in Interior Design?
A. Interior Decorators are the people that enhance, improve, and update the appearance and usefulness of interior spaces in both residential and business settings. Many of them have practical experience in a specific kind of configuration, for eg. terrace or kitchen decor or lighting arrangements, and many of them are into product-based enhancements like adornments and furniture. Similarly, a lot of them would be an expert in all of it. This leaves you with a choice. The choice of what you want to specialize in. The best way to go about it is to carefully analyze your interests and then decide if there’s an academic specialization to it. I’d suggest you enroll for a Master’s degree in the specific discipline.
Q. How would you define the extent of augmented reality in the field of design?
A. If you think about it, there has been a paradigm shift already to the digital platforms, and with that shift, the design industry has adapted and evolved accordingly. But it’s not about technology. Technology is merely a medium, a convenience. It depends on the designers how they choose to utilize it. Usually, an obsession with technology is a short-sighted approach, whereas someone who’s far-sighted would appropriate the inventions with the utilities.
There has been quite an increased use of AI and augmented reality in the design sector. But it doesn’t define a standard extent to which a certain designer has to put it into use. The smartest relationship that a design entrepreneur can have with modern technology is the one where they can choose just the best out of it.
Q. How does someone generate design thinking?
A. To be able to think in the designer’s way, it is of utmost importance that we look up to the designers that have a reputed flair and proficiency in their work. Being inspired by the masters of our field gives us a frame of reference. Besides, it’s really important to consume and analyze the work of other designers with a critical appreciation. What we see is what we know and what we know decides the limits of our worth as a professional.
Apart from that, Research is a crucial part of every design professional/aspirant. There is never too much research that could be done, you’ll always find scope for more. Good research keeps us from delivering mediocre work. It also expands our ability to imagine and imagination by far is the best tool a designer can have. Along with research, the adaptation of various techniques from industry experts can also help in generating design thinking.
Q. What are the things that I should prioritize as a design learner?
A. Design is all about perspective. The very idea that you have a unique perspective makes you a potential designer. But from there to be an expert designer, you will have to widen your perspective so that you can perceive things and problems in multiple ways. Training to be more perceptive of visual culture and its symbolism is always a great idea for a designer. This should always be your priority. Besides that, you can always be in touch with the community and try to keep up with what sells and what’s obsolete. It can never hurt to learn by experience, and since it’s something that only a few people do, making this a priority would make you unique.
Among other priorities, you can also include the improvement of presentation skills and delivery. A good design is understood best when it’s presented appropriately.
Q. How do designers appeal to their customers?
A. With steep competition, comes a great opportunity of being unique and different. Using indigenous knowledge is the key to coming out as a real vogue and a unique designer. Design to delight should always be your motto. Whatever you design, it should incite a sense of glee and delight to the receptors. Then, and only then you will transform yourself into an appealing design. The sole objective of every design you create should be that it contains a unity that is extremely satisfying to human eyes. And this is the reason I mention the importance of indigenous crafts and their knowledge. They are culturally passed down for generations and have this sense of aesthetic beauty that captivates our attention and tickles our love for patterns.
Q. What additional course and skills can a fashion design student benefit from?
A. At Arch College, we encourage the idea of interdisciplinary collaboration so that students can expand their skillset and establish a better understanding of other fields that are related to their career. For eg., Fashion Design would always benefit from some aspects of jewelry design knowledge. Similarly, it is important to explore things outside of your academic discipline. But keep in mind that you shouldn’t go far away from it. There is always a general idea of how much a design niche could be extended. Be mindful of those limits and learn as much as you can. You’ll find out that things have their way of unfolding and presenting itself once you get engaged with the never-ending process of learning. There is always going to be that one extra scope of improvement that you would want to go after. By all means, go for it. Being a specialized expert doesn’t mean that you have the license to stop learning either. So to sum up, I’d say be open to as much positive information as you can. Try to mingle with students from other disciplines and take an interest in their work or syllabi. You’ll find the right thing.
The design industry is a rapidly evolving discipline. The skillset required to sustain as an entrepreneur is also modifying with this evolution. All in all, rigorous academic training which is up to date, and relevant to the industry is crucially important. Arch College is taking new admissions for the most relevant design courses. Our courses and specializations include every aspect of design expertise like jewelry design, product design, fashion design & graphic design. Besides these specializations, we train you to become the market leaders of tomorrow because having a skill is just well begun, being able to sell it is a job well done. Enroll for the beginning of a memorable journey. Apply here.