Emerging Trends In Design Study

Emerging Trends In Design Study

The integration of new technologies and digital adoption is taking centre stage in design study.

Thomas DalUpdated: Monday, April 15, 2024, 03:12 PM IST
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Thomas Dal |

In recent years, design studies have witnessed transformative changes. Realising constant advancements in technology, increasing importance of human-centric and inclusive designs, evolving industry needs, demand for innovative solutions and pivot to sustainability, design institutes are now embracing these changes in their curriculum, and adapting to these shifts to prepare students to face complex challenges, become resilient, competitive, and future ready. As a result of this, new trends are constantly shaping up in design study including:

Growing focus on tech adoption and digital skills

Today, the integration of new technologies and digital adoption is taking centre stage in design study. With digital tools and innovative methodologies, design institutes are emphasising nurturing digital design skills among students to make them competitive. Learning various software tools for graphic designing and creating captivating visuals, UI/UX design for crafting intuitive user interfaces, 3D modelling for intricate three-dimensional designs, animation for bringing designs to life with motion and virtual reality platforms for designing immersive experiences are some examples of this trend. By gaining these competencies, students not only keep pace with changing industry demands but they also become future-ready, capable of tackling complex challenges across diverse design fields.

Integration of sustainable and responsible design principles 

Sustainable design principles are being integrated into design studies amid rising environmental concerns. Design institutes encourage learners to adopt a holistic design perspective, going beyond aesthetics and functionality by emphasising ecological, social and economic areas. Nowadays, students are learning to analyse life cycle assessments, adopt eco-friendly materials and design for circularity to reduce waste. Moreover, they are also focusing on the social implications of design and considering important factors like inclusivity, accessibility and community impact to contribute meaningfully and drive a positive impact through responsible design practices.

Emphasising human-centric designs

The rising importance of understanding and empathising with the users’ diverse needs and behaviour is trending in design studies. Students are now encouraged to think broadly with a holistic approach, focusing on keeping the users central to the design process and addressing their needs, challenges and aspirations. By emphasising user-centricity, learners can engage with users, and they manage to find insights to improve their design solutions. A human-centric approach enables them to have a deeper understanding of user experiences and develop products and services that not only cater to aesthetical or functional requirements but also enhance users' lives, leading to more empathetic, inclusive, and effective design outcomes.

Interdisciplinary approach

By embracing this approach, design institutes prepare their students to deal with multifaceted challenges. Through a collaboration between design and diverse fields like technology, healthcare, sustainability and business, institutions help students acquire diverse skill sets to cater to real-world demands. With this approach, they get a chance to think beyond conventional design practices and create innovative solutions, empowering themselves to navigate the complexities of the interconnected world.

Design education is becoming increasingly important for students seeking a successful career. Institutions that adopt the newest trends and technologies in design create many chances for their students. By keeping up with these advancements, students can take advantage of new opportunities, develop the skills needed to succeed in a constantly changing job market and be ready for whatever the future brings in different industries.

The author is the Dean of the Strate School of Design

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