The Divergents of NITR: Department of Industrial Design
Aug 01, 2016 | Sejal Singh
It has been five years since NITR welcomed its first ever batch of Designers, yet the Department of Industrial Design continues to be perceived of as a flashy sidekick of Mechanical Engineering. Apart from the courses that have been actually borrowed from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, which constitute about 30% of the curriculum of Industrial Design in NITR, the Department is an independent discipline with a curriculum unique in itself, being different in nature from the curriculums of the other Departments. The curriculum varies sharply from one institute to another when it comes to Industrial Design, with ours resembling those of IITB and IISc Bangalore in many aspects, the basic emphasis being on product design and development. Stating the basic difference between design and manufacturing, senior faculty and ex-HOD of the Department, Prof. B.B.Biswal stated:
“There is a very thin line between design and manufacturing. There is nothing like the design which is not used for manufacturing. When we speak about manufacturing, Product Engineering comes into picture as a sub-branch of Mechanical Engineering.”
The Department boasts of distinctive courses such as Art, Design and Aesthetic Laboratory, Product Design and Development and Ergonomics and Simulation Laboratory, which are aimed at inculcating the knowledge of ergonomics and the artistic skills into the students to create products which are attractive, user-friendly and innovative.
Unlike other institutes that specialise in Design or house an Industrial Design Department, such as NID Ahmedabad and IIT Guwahati, NITR offers a B.Tech degree to its Designers, which is sui generis to say the least. When asked about the reason behind the same, Prof. B.B. Biswal quoted:
“Right from the beginning, we did not want to create a difference between Designers and Engineers. Hence, we offer a B.Tech degree in Industrial Design, unlike NID Ahmedabad and IIT Guwahati, which offer a B.Des degree instead.”
The Department is currently on a lookout for new faculty, particularly with a background in Art and Aesthetics, who may or may not necessarily be engineers.
Speaking of the average placement scenario, with a negligible number of core companies visiting the campus, Prof. B.B. Biswal stressed on the need to push the students in the right direction, right from the time they apply for internships:
“It requires a certain kind of drive from our side to invite recruiters and let them know about us and our abilities. That again asks for a combined effort from the Placement Cell and the Student Representatives. Maybe our Student Representative did not do his job properly.”
He also accentuated the importance of applying for internships at the right places, in order to make the core industries aware of the presence of the Department.
Team MM wishes the Department all the very best for their future endeavours.