Designing Better Designers was a three part event organised by British Council to explore developments in design education in India and UK through dialogue and engagement of various stakeholders.

In association with the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) in India, a round table discussion as well as a series of workshops and panel discussions were organised on 25 Feb 2012 at British Council, New Delhi. It served as a platform for design educators, students and policy makers, to relook at design education and the role it plays in a rapidly growing India. The event was supported by Sushant School of Design and University of Arts London, and was held in three parts:

A panel discussion on “Design Education in India: where is it heading?

A forum for discussion and exchange on Design Education, the event also aimed at building collaboration between design communities in India and UK, to fill gaps in their current education models. Chaired by Penny Egan, this discussion was initiated with the hope of delivering practical outcomes for design education in India. Recognising the role of design in society, industry, economy and policy-making, the discussion was initiated to reflect upon the need to train larger number of designers, and the issues surrounding it.

The panel discussion brought to light, issues in teaching practice and pedagogy, as well as explored how to shape future ready, empowered and original designers. It generated an insight into opportunities for design students through scholarships and collaborations, and also promotion of design education in schools. 

Further, the participants discussed on inclusivity, craftsmen and communities. A need to look beyond formal definition of design and structures of design institutes, to include craftsmen and skilled personnel was also identified.

The summary of the discussion and the paraphrased transcript are available below.

Event for design students and educators, “What I wish they taught in a design school!”

We invited students and educators to discuss and explore issues within teaching practices that would be crucial in designing better designers. Continuing with the theme of the event, this provided an insight into different directions design teaching is headed, and aimed to serve as an inspiration for design students and teachers.

Prior to the event we had organised a competition “What you wish they taught in a design school!” where students were invited to send notes on what they wish was done differently at their design institutes, to give voice to their concerns and suggestions. Those selected were given a chance to present before and share their views with design educators at this event.  

Following the event and the issues it raised,  British Council is organising a delegation representing Indian Design universities from across the country to visit their counterparts in the UK.

Design Education Delegation

From October 06 through October 11, 2013 a delegation of design educators are participating in a design education study tour organised by the British Council to the UK. Participants include educators from five design institutes in India accompanied by representatives from British Council India.

Image Courtesy: National Institute of Design