Naseema Tasneem

If you are reading this article, chances are that you are one amongst the nervous teenagers who have their hands and minds full with multiple options to pursue a ‘successful’ career. While some of you must have already gained clarity on your path ahead, the others might still be contemplating/considering the options staring them in their faces!

The design is integral to our daily lives - from the cafe/restaurants, we frequent with our friends and family to the movie we watch sitting in a theatre to the website you’re reading this article on at the moment. In short, the design is a serious matter! So let us tell you why you should be romancing Design in the first place.

1. Designers are in Demand

Let’s talk ‘Economics’! According to the Supply and Demand Economic Model of Price Determination, in a competitive market, holding all else equal, the unit price of a particular traded item increases if the supply is lesser than the demand. Are there any real statistics to back it up? Absolutely!

The potential size of the Indian design industry is set to grow from USD 2 billion to 3 billion by 2020 (Source: CII, India Design Report 2015). And, the demand for designers is projected to grow from 7,000 in 2016 to 62,000 in 2020, a staggering 785% increase in demand! (Source: “Future of Design Education” BCL-NID report 2017)

Currently, there are only a handful Institutes in the country engaged in grooming qualified designers that can hit the ground running the moment they set foot in the industry. This is the reason companies like Microsoft, Myntra, and the like are hiring freshers from D-Schools at 40-50% premium over Engineering Graduates, says an article published in the Economic Times.

Career options for a designer in today’s times extend far beyond the realms of boutique practices. For instance, Google, previously seen as a purely engineering company, has begun hiring designers with expertise in Communication Design. The tech-giant is constantly on the lookout for designers who are passionate about what they do, open to constructive criticism and hardworking, as quoted by Mustafa Kurtuldu is Design Advocate at Google.

2. The World is Moving Towards the Next Dimension

With Virtual and Augmented Reality engulfing the visual, interactive and experiential aspects of Design, there will be a newfound surge in need for designers skilled in the following domains:

  • Virtual Interaction Design - design exploring the realms of virtual and augmented reality
  • Specialist Material Design - a designer who can work seamlessly across myriad material types
  • Algorithmic/Artificial Intelligence Design - a designer with the knowledge of designing algorithms that determine the behavior of automated or intelligent systems
  • Post-Industrial Design - a design that takes into account the total end-to-end user experience of experiences that attempt to connect the physical and digital worlds (eg: an electric toothbrush)
  • Design Strategy - designing complex systems that help design products and services
  • Organisation Design - a design that will help reimagine all aspects of an organization

These are just some of the exciting opportunities in design where you can challenge the Human Centered Design (HCD) approach and design objects, experiences and, even system behavior.

3. You can get a shot at being a Superhero

Engineers and businesspeople are trained to solve problems while Designers are trained to see past all the fog and clutter and discover the real problem. This is followed by developing products that fit the needs and capabilities of people i.e, finding the right solution.

For example, as an Apparel Designer, you will design garments that common people will wear, as a UX/UI designer you will be involved in designing the user experience of a website or an app and make it less stressful for a user to navigate through it all. As an Interior Architect, you will (re)design interior spaces based on its purpose which could be a Hospital, a Museum, a Retail Store, a School or even an Office Space.  

With Inclusive Design being the order of the day, there are designers from across the world who are passionately involved in identifying and solving real problems. A Design Studio by the name Nendo has designed ‘The Minimilet’, a transportable toilet for Natural Disaster Victims. Yet another designer ‘Vestergaard Frandsen’, has designed ‘Lifestraw’, a portable water purifier that helps turn up to 1000 liters of contaminated water into safe drinking water.

To sum it up, Designers are no less than Superheroes in mundane attire!

4. You can choose from an endless list of options

There is a range of practice included under the rubric of design - to name just a few: product design, communication design, graphic design, fashion design, experience design, interactive design, spatial design and more.

5. You can work from any part of the world

The beauty of working in the design industry is that it does not restrict you to be physically present in a designated space in order to execute the brief. Companies are open to working with freelance designers who can be placed in literally any part of the world.

Experts have envisioned the freelancers growing into a strong network of skilled professionals who can compete with traditional firms in terms of skill-sets that will be integral to developing solutions and products for the on-demand world.

A majority of design jobs are defined by creative and social intelligence. These skill sets require empathy, problem framing, creative problem solving, negotiation, and persuasion. So if you have what it takes to be a designer, scout around for good Design Institutes that can offer you the right guidance and mentorship to acquire the necessary skill-sets. Go be a Superhero...