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Breaking the Design Myth; Story of a Product Designer

Jubin Mehta
12th May 2012
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Designing is not just about creating logosWhen one talks about designers, an immediate thought conjures up picturing a creative young girl or a curly haired guy with colourful pencils and an ensemble of scissors, creating logos or dresses. “No, that’s not all!” shouts the entire segment of the designing junta that has nothing to do with graphic or fashion designing. Interior designers are also recognized in popular culture but a huge chunk gets left out; the product designers. I caught up with Aastha Parikh, a product designer and she poured her heart out.

When you say you are a designer, you’ll always be assumed as a fashion or graphic designer; unless you spend a considerable amount of time explaining what you actually do – a lost cause on Grandparents. The field needs recognition, not so much on the industrial side because most of the companies do have a small product design team but a lot in the grander scheme of things. People need to know about Product Designers.

“So what do they exactly do?” you may ask. Product Design is not just about making things look prettier and your homes decorative. There’s more to it than meets your ears. Today, it has become much more than that. Product designers are trying to make the lifestyle easier, comfortable and of course longer in this case, through innovation in household commodities, appliances and furniture. It may involve thinking of ways to fit the ever-increasing desired items into whatever the little supply of space we are left with or it may involve making the World ready for the future generation.

We, as Indians, by accident invented the ‘jugaad’ system with a similar motive and today, it is recognized worldwide. This is more or less like making a Do-It-Yourself kit to survive when the disaster finally strikes. So, some of us are also engaged in looking for alternative materials, maximum reuses of resources and also cleaning the trash that we leave behind all throughout.

Now this was just to get you started, while here’s something to get you onto it; the Design team consists of ‘2D designers’ viz. the architects and ‘3D designers’ viz. the CAD modelling experts. There are a few requirements for Designing. We simply cannot do without them. ‘Inspiration’ is what tops that list, something that gets you excited and started. It can be anything from Music, to inspirational work, to movies or even idols! Next in line is expression; and there are numerous ways to express your mind. It can simply be a doodle, a kick-ass render, a group of words, an article, or an entire blog. It is also important to be prepared for it. So when the expression wants to escape your mind, you are equipped with the required tools, no matter which medium you choose.

This should be valuable enough to create awareness about a lesser known but by no means a less 'cooler' line of design; power to the product designers. Here are a couple of interesting portfolios from Aastha Parikh and Mileha Soneji which might give you a bigger byte into Product Design.

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