Interview by Sakshi Aggarwal
Prof. Manisha is Director of School of Design, NMIMS. She did Master of Design, Visual Communication from Industrial Design Centre, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay; Bachelor of Arts, Applied Art from Goa College of Art, Bombay University and did her schooling from Peoples High School.
A post-graduate in Visual Communication from IDC (IIT Bombay), Prof. Manisha has built, mentored and managed multidisciplinary teams, each time unleashing, channelizing and fueling their creativity.
She has travelled globally for Consumer Research, Market Research and Business Development. As a Trainer and educator, she has conducted lectures, seminars and workshops in Design Thinking and its applications in Business for students, faculty and professionals–at Design and Management Institutes such as S P Jain, NMIMS, TISS, IDC-IIT, Indian Institute of Jewelry and Indian Institute of Gems and Jewelry. Over the recent years, Education Technology has been her principal domain of work, in both Android and Web platforms. Her specialization is in using Design Thinking, integrating various instruction methodologies, learner psychology, pedagogy, UX and technology to enhance the innovation capabilities of education businesses.
Prof. Manisha’s experience in the education sector
I have been associated with education sector in more roles than one-teaching, training and a designer of educational content and programs. The fast-changing pace of this industry presents an opportunity for innovations in curriculum, pedagogy, instruction methods, content, technology and assessments. The value proposition here is not limiting to accredited campuses but in being future ready with unique programs. As a practitioner of Design, I see this process similar to the design of interactive products. Here the students who are on a continuous path of evolution! We are dealing with lives here which is a tremendous responsibility but also a pathway to a rewarding satisfaction-a small drop in the creation of future.
Life experiences that help Prof. Manisha cater along the current role effectively
The vision of the Institute stems from the learnings from my own professional experiences and of those who were a part of my pre-design research of this school. I cannot pinpoint a single experience, but a collective currency of being a professional, trainer and a parent has contributed in strategizing, conceptualizing and launching of this school. The agility acquired from being a consultant did facilitate in effectively performing my role.
Significant challenges faced by Prof. Manisha as theDirector of School of Design, NMIMS
NMIMS management is progressive and professional which in turn facilitated the creation of this unconventional Design School from ground up in a record time. Since the School envisions education that is futuristically employable, I consider it as an exciting challenge!
Curriculum at NMIMS and some changes that Prof. Manisha has brought or is looking to bring in the School of Design
Design schools in India and the world over, each have a unique value proposition rather than a commoditization value. One can see some exchange of thoughts to evolve Design education to cater to the current expectations. Research findings on individual entities in Design education are available as well.
NMIMS deemed to be university stands for a quality educational experience. We have taken the steps to align our School (culture, curriculum, teaching and learning) with the best practices of graduate education without compromising the requirements of Design Education. This is a pioneering step in the field of Design education.
Growth of students through placement opportunities available at School of Design, NMIMS
Since we are a part of a prestigious university, the services of the placement department and its opportunities will be extended to our school as well.
Our program will enable our graduates to cater to the upcoming job profiles, where in sectors are no limitation. The multi-disciplinary approach of the curriculum will equip them to be well-rounded team players. The focus on ‘humanizing Technology’ will give the students an edge to work in the current experience driven economy.
Prof. Manisha’s relationship with the students
We have an approachable culture at our school with regards to the faculty, staff and the director. Since the Director is also a faculty, there is an equal opportunity to connect and build student relationships. I also engage with the students at a holistic mentoring level.
Ideal Institute environment according to Prof. Manisha and how does she encourage that kind of culture at NMIMS
A design culture that is professional in its approach, innovative and respectfully collaborative. The mantra of our institute is ‘Challenge’ yourself to ‘Evolve’ and ‘Impact’ lives. We inculcate this culture through every aspect of our school.
Measures taken in NMIMS, School of Design to cope up with the ever-changing and evolving design sector
Our school envisions education in sync with this changing paradigm of the Design profession. Problem-solving wherein the user-centric solution can be mostly technology is driven and combination of more than one design streams.
Our vision and mission definitely set the stage. Our Vision is-A hub that evolves new pathways to actualize designers who will create life-enhancing solutions in an increasingly digitized world, whereas the Mission says-To nurture students to thrive by providing immersive, holistic, multi-disciplinary learning opportunities and to engender innovative professionals who will create value by humanizing technology in emergent scenarios.
The undergraduate design program in Humanizing Technology offered here actions this ethos. The curriculum of this undergraduate ‘degree’ program integrates Design Fundamentals (Design Technicals) with Multi-disciplinary Fundamentals (Design Influencers). The Design Technicals comprise the core design modules, whilst the Design Influencers include modules such as Psychology, Sociology, Technology and Management. The students learn to build problem-solving skills and sensibilities and knowledge is imparted to enable them to arrive at solutions that can be multi-stream/level manifestation. The stress is also on ‘learning to learn’.
Goals in mind for NMIMS for the next few years
To make it the most preferred choice to study design and to be a part of the ecosystem of the changing landscape of Design, breaking paths and conquering newer frontiers along the way.
Suggestions for the current youth and the aspiring students
It is your future, ‘design’ it with a sense of purpose and driven by passion.Last Updated - 27 Feb 2018