What is the main idea behind World University of Design?
Among the new fields of studies, Sciences, Commerce, Engineering, Technology and Management education had their run. Fields of studies like art and design though existing since long, could not expand for want of demand for employment in production and distribution of goods and services. That scenario has drastically transformed now. Today design is all around us; physical spaces, virtual spaces, electronic devices, mechanical devices, apparels and accessories,all are designed to fulfill our specific needs more efficiently than ever. Owing to the growing awareness and design consciousness among people, design is often the differentiator when it comes to making a purchase decision, thus creating a tremendous scope for the Design Industry to thrive in India. This is resulting in creation of a handful of job opportunities for students holding a degree in design. This is where WUD come in to picture bolstering design aspirants with the finest education to become successful design professionals.
Are the creative courses in demand now-a-days because there’s saturation in general degree courses?
Saturation in some areas is certainly one of the reasons. However the primary reason is that the Indian industry has begun to appreciate the value addition capabilities of design and innovation. It has become clear to them that the only way for the economy to grow, for the businesses to grow is through design intervention. The awareness that there is an immense scope for the Design sector to flourish in our country is growing by leaps and bounds. Demand for creative people therefore galloped while supply has not kept pace. Creative courses have made their place as a mainstream career option and hence the growth in demand.
How is WUD different?
In a globally competitive world, it is the quality of design that has a significant impact on the overall experience and usability of the products and services created. There are only ahandful of institutions addressing this need and catering to quality in this field of knowledge and practice. WUD is India's first and only design university, focusing completely towards addressing cause while uphold global standards of design education.
How does World University of Design make their students industry ready through curriculum?
Some of the unique measures that are being followed at WUD to make its students industry ready and more importantly future-ready:
Practical learning approach: The world is changing every day and so are design processes. A lean and efficient learning experience is required. The best way to go about with it is to adopt an immersive, project-based and technology-oriented curriculum close to the real world to learn and experiment. Collaboration is the key. WUD curriculum is able to provide students with sufficient exposure to work across streams, doing live projects. Only such an approach will help them build their professional skills, including that in communication, brainstorming ideas and practical thinking.
Campus without Walls: Quite unlike the ‘Ivory Towers’ that universities of yester-years were projected to be, the campus of WUD seamlessly integrate into its surroundings - nearby schools, workplaces, the community in which it is located, and other institutions in the state, country and around the world. Universities without walls stand to transcend the typical internal and external barriers of current educational model: The rigid division of campuses into departments and programs; the divide between curricular and extra-curricular, between theories and practical. WUD encourage collaboration across institutional boundaries, creating solver communities or communities of practice.
Personalized Learning: Personalization is one of the defining trends of the digital economy that is slowly reshaping higher education. It promises a move away from the course-based, term-based educational model being followed currently where all students are expected to acquire a common body of knowledge at the same pace. WUD’s personalized approach allows for individualized learning and alternate modes of assessment. It supports faster or slower pace and allows student mobility across streams and across institutions.
Open electives to provide flexibility & interdisciplinarity: WUD recognizes that an optimized pathways with a career-aligned curriculum and learning objectives work well for some students, while other students may want the opportunity to explore uncharted territories. WUD therefore offers open elective courses that are interdisciplinary, addressing issues in art, aesthetics, literature, ethics, moral & political philosophy etc. Some elective have also been planned for entrepreneurial bent of mind with maker-spaces and innovation labs.
Using Advanced Technologies:The contours of designing and manufacturing are rapidly changing and future trends indicate that things might look very different in coming times from how they look now. Many existing technologies will go obsolete. WUD therefore integrating the latest technologies in its course deliveries and making sure that student are well-versed in new as well as emerging technologies.
Which programs of WUD are most popular?
Fashion is still an all-time favorite and so is architecture. What’s new is this huge swing towards more technical programs like product design, interior design, animation, game design and transportation design. In visual arts, there is a significant move away from the traditional courses. Creative painting, contemporary art and fashion art are attracting students. The design thinking based bachelors program in Design strategy & management is another popular program.
In what ways WUD’s fashion program vary from those in other countries?
The universe of fashion is a complicated one. While there is a huge industry catering to fashion for the domestic market and thereby driven by the Indian sensibilities, demography & culture; there is another set of industry that exports fashion to global markets and thereby follows international trends and silhouettes. The uniqueness in both cases is the Indian fabric and the fabric embellishment skills like embroideries, Indian patterns and use of natural dyes. A fashion design course abroad has none of these variations. They focus primarily on western fabrics and silhouettes. WUD’s fashion program is therefore richer in content and more comprehensive.
What new programs will be taught uniquely by the university?
As times & technologies change, existing programs would lose their relevance and newer ones would come in. At WUD we have mapped the latest industry demands and created many new and unique programs. Each of these program will try to equip the students with know-how of all related areas and make sure that it take care of the ‘why’ (feasibility), for whom (empathy), and ‘how’ it will work/help (functionality).
Some of the new programs introduced by WUD are – BDes in Animation & Game design, and Transportation Design; BBA/MBA in Design strategy & Management; MVA in Curatorial Practices in Art, Art & Design History, Fashion Art, Contemporary Art etc.
What is the future of careers for WUD students?
Careers in creative field are on an upswing. Presently, there is an estimated requirement of more than 60000 qualified designers across different design domains in India against a supply of slightly over 7000 trained designers. About 6000 odd students are currently pursuing design education. There is thus a huge gap in demand & supply.
In next two years, by the year 2020, India’s design industry is expected to reach Rs 188.32 billion. A recent study by the British Council and IDC has revealed that financial services, retail, transportation, manufacturing, telecommunication, consumer goods, real estate, and luxury segments are employing design graduates in a big way. Large and medium-sized businesses alone are employing 57% of the design graduates. Multinational players such as Microsoft, TCS, Infosys, Wipro, Sap Labs, Cognizant, and Infosys are hiring qualified design graduates by the dozen so as to say. There is no dearth of job openings in both private and public sector for competent designers and employment opportunities for both graduates and postgraduates in creative streams are only likely to multiply in coming years.
By - Dr Sanjay Gupta, Vice Chancellor of World University of Design, Sonipat
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