Prof. Rohini Priyadarshi explains how JD students get firsthand experience with Design Thinking, and new-age technologies to become professionals who are the need of the hour
“As we are in the post-pandemic world with its long-term issues in different walks of life, Design Thinking is crucial not only on a professional level but in the personal sphere with understanding and empathy too. After being introduced through workshops, it is now present in all streams as modules or workshops at JD,” says Prof. Rohini Priyadarshi considered an expert in the field. With over two decades of experience including a decade in Interior Design education, she has seen the industry evolve. She highlights why the learning experience at JD stands out, and how students embark on their journeys as professionals and entrepreneurs.
Prof. Priyadarshi identifies herself as a narrator of Design stories, who shares her diverse experiences and deep insights with students. According to her, this type of interactive learning is smooth and fun for students while driving the point home more effectively too. “The opportunity to work with students from different backgrounds has given me an understanding of their perspectives toward learning Design. I have promised myself that apart from the regular course content, I’ll always make sure that students are updated with the latest knowledge and skills. So narratives, anecdotes, prompting students to share are integral to my teaching,” she says.
Prof. Priyadarshi believes that this approach works on the larger level at JD because it has focused on creating a friendly environment where students have access to faculty members after college hours too. “It offers students a sense of security and belonging. We often make sure that our modules are backed by displays at the end and visits for an enriching learning experience. Various national and international competitions, design festivals, interactions with the industry, college events, and festival celebrations allow students to gain exposure, confidence, and insights through working with their peer group,” she explains.
Workshops and seminars not only help students get exposure but also provide them with options to think over. As someone who has organized several Design Thinking workshops as well, Prof. Priyadarshi knows that they are a source of inspiration for students and faculties too. “Workshops require teamwork, which encourages them to work with new minds. Freshers can interact with industry experts, often our alumni, whom we invite for sessions. JD Awards is another platform for students to go through the process and show their authentic work. Students get identified or can launch themselves as entrepreneurs after that,” she says with appreciation.
Looking ahead and focusing on the trends in the sphere, Prof. Priyadarshi explains that Design Thinking leads to the development of a mindset and an attitude. You learn to see that a problem is no more a problem but a challenge that has a scope of being solved. She suggests that the future of the design industry will be about aligning our mindsets with a priority on a balanced way of living. “In the post-pandemic world, two of the several challenges we face are bringing people back to workspaces in offices and homes becoming our workspaces. At JD there has always been an emphasis on equipping students with future-ready skills,” she declares strongly.
But as they gear up for the industry with Design Thinking and real-world insights, they also need to be in touch with the latest technologies that have made a huge impact. Prof. Priyadarshi reveals that technologies have helped with the opening of multiple avenues, collaborations, and imagining beyond what exists with an emphasis on smart and energy-saving homes, and a focus on sustainability. “At JD sustainability is an essential part of learning. In our last JD Design Awards, our new graduates used Virtual Reality extensively and it was enjoyed by everyone. There’s much to do and explore. Designers are the need of this hour to provide what is meaningful for society,” she ends on a thoughtful note.