Many of you may not be aware, but when computers first came on to the design scene, along with all the software, they created a huge shift in the professional practice of design. So many new roles came in, and many jobs that were earlier handled only by trained designers got automated and started to be done by people with a singular skill in operatinga software. While computers changed the way design happened and the design process, the final application areas of design remained the same. Print, Films, and TV remained mass media of consumption.
The ‘digital’ change that is taking place now, where the media itself has changed, has again created massive changes in design practice, process and outputs . This change that happened in the last few years and is still happening is more fundamental and seismic in nature. I believe this will be considered as major as the ‘invention of the wheel’. This time, it is the way media is being consumed that has changed and that has shifted the role of design forever.
Design is now created in the head (it always was, but putting it out using skills counted as design too) – extracting it from the head and communicating it has become the role of so many other professions. Expect education to follow suit now. Traditional education in design is going to be useless very soon. Design education has always been practice based – it will now be even more rigorous in terms of coping with technologies. Technology is evolving and changing even before students graduate. What is required is a flexible education system. We perhaps need to evolve a continuous education system instead of the prevailing one shot education system. It will be interesting to have a dialogue on this.
Sudhir Sharma, Editor-in-Chief