Mookesh Patel / Indian School of Design and Innovation, Mumbai, India / Dean / ASU Faculty: 1990-16 / 04.18.18

Where is design going?

Design activities of the past contributed largely to the dire state of current environmental conditions. Design of the future will focus on the correction of this state. Based on the results of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Survey 2017, the destruction of nature and climate change is the paramount concern amongst our future students (48.8%). Inequality [income, discrimination] is the third concern (30.8%) next to dominated concern of large scale conflicts [war] 38.9%. These concerns are desperate display of plea for conscientious organizational design and business design of organizations. Design will interact with people and the environment while dismantling the distinction of the disciplines. It will be the mathematics of the future learned from K12 – integrated in healthy, intelligent and humble existence.

How can design education be more relevant?

Design education will be relevant when it begins to center its curriculum on: • systems thinking • disrupting capitalism • social and political activism • empathetic ethical behavior • genuine innovation based on leanings from the past cultures • democratizing design activities • selfless analysis of machine learning, big data, and artificial intelligence • Humility

What are the future skillsets designers need to learn now?

• Study of design fundamentals • Diverse understanding of design disciplines • Diverse technical skills including Coding • Understanding the commerce of design outcomes • Understanding people and their behavior (psychology and sociology – both humans and machines) • Artificial Intelligence (AI) • Internet of things (IOT) • Collaboration (How it works) • Learning to collaborate with experts from other disciplines (including the everchanging disciplines of the future) • Self-awareness within local / global contexts and humility

What should a design school do to prepare students for transdisciplinary work?

The traditional relationship of disciplines led to the prosperity of capitalism. The future transdisciplinary relationship will foster environmentalism. The key component for this fostering is the interaction and equal involvement of the industry — industry that influences the majority of the world population and not the elite. At Indian School of Design and Innovation (Mumbai, India) we introduced mandatory industry observership (1 credit hour – 80 hours, between first and second year), apprenticeship (1 credit hour – 120 hours, between second and third year), and internship (1 credit hour – 200 hours, between third and fourth year). This intense industry involvement coupled with round table conferences each semester fosters formal and informal interaction between industry stalwarts, students and faculty. The stalwarts learn about the concerns and value systems of the young generation while students and faculty learn about the current concerns and value systems of the industry. This constructive conflict influences the collective consciousness of environmentalism.

What should a design school do to forward equity and inclusion?

First and foremost, the faculty members of design need to adapt to the new learning and teaching approach to design education. The design education of the future must be a collaborative effort where instructors learn from the students as much as they share their experiences. They will facilitate more than they teach. Second, everyone will value each other’s voices irrespective of gender, race, ethnic origins and abilities. Third, all faculty members will have equal pay opportunity. Fourth, all students will have equal academic and professional exposure.

What other thoughts/ideas would you like to share?

Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to this continuing discussion on the future of design and the future of design education at ASU The Design School.

Mookesh Patel

Indian School of Design and Innovation, Mumbai, India


ASU Faculty: 1990-16

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