British Council India 70 Years

Invitation and Call for Participation
India - UK Design Education Workshop Series
Future of Design Education

Organized by India Design Council with British Council in India

January 29, 30 and 31, 2018
At India Habitat Centre, New Delhi

Download : IUDEWS Information Brochure

Download : IUDEWS UK Profiles


India Design Council along with British Council in India takes great pleasure in inviting you to the second workshop of India – UK Design Education Workshop Series. The topic of deliberation for the first workshop was Future of Design Education. The focus of the second workshop is on “Capacity Building”.

From the UK, the workshop facilitators are:

Anne Boddington      Kingston University

Steve Rigley                  Glasgow School of Art

Derek Jones                 Open University

Kerry Curtis                 Bath Spa University

We invite design faculty from all across the country along with design professionals interested in design education, to this immersive design dialogue. This three-day intensive program is the beginning of a journey towards collaborative brainstorming to shape design education.

Aims of the Workshop

The key aims of these three days is to improve understanding and create the conditions to build effective and lasting partnerships between Design Education providers in India and in the UK.

It builds on key challenges identified at the first workshop held at NID in Ahmedabad and aims to examine the personal development and pedagogic aspects raised and how these may be co-developed as a means to build innovative partnerships between the two countries.

Both the UK and India face a number of challenges to design education, these issues are rarely discussed and there remains a lack of understanding as to what design education and design skills can add to the design economy in its widest sense.

The Design Council in the UK has recently launch a new report entitled "Designing a Future Economy" which investigates the skills used in design, the link between these skills and productivity and innovation, and how they align with future demand for skills across the wide UK economy. It maps the skills associated with design and measures the economic value those skills generate.

The full report is available for download from the Design Council’s website.

The project will therefore build on the first workshop and consolidate and assimilate the knowledge and discuss the key expectations and requirements for partnership working on new and emerging cross-border models of design education that would be mutually beneficial for Higher Education Institutions (HEI) both in India and the UK.

To collaborate across nations of the world means ensuring there is a mutual understanding of the frameworks and structures of each institution such that these do not become barriers to partnerships or create bureaucracy that limits the advancement of the subject. It is clear that many of the challenges we face are shared although others are distinctive to either India or the UK.

India is facing the challenge of rapid and significant growth and the need to develop specialist design education leadership and pedagogic knowledge, which arguably has not developed and progressed as much as might have been anticipated, and neither the curriculum or the modes of delivery have changed significantly.

In India, design professionals are returning to education but with limited knowledge of higher education. As we discussed in Ahmedabad, colleagues in the UK and India often teach as they were taught previously, and scholarship and research about either design or design education is limited. Courses and curricula built in this context will be by definition, 'behind the curve' when it might be expected that design courses would be the most innovative and the most progressive. So, what is it that constrains them or limits such progress in future facing subject?

Although we cannot solve these questions in three days, we can try to develop a shared understanding of design education and how we might plan and build successful partnerships and networks through which we can advance the subject and co-produce an international curriculum built upon sharing a transnational discussion between students and faculty working together to rethink their education and how it will bring together expertise and experience. The three days of the workshop will each have a different focus.

Day 1 will focus on PEOPLE

Day 2 will focus on FRAMEWORKS and STRUCTURES

Day 3 will focus on SOLUTIONS and PROPOSALS

Day 1: People

What does it mean to be a Design Academic? We rarely share discussions about how we support the development of professional (design) academics and what the expectations are in India or in the UK as to the qualifications, skills, knowledge and competencies we expect our academics to know and to be able to do, prior to joining the academy.

How do we employ an outcomes-based approach to academic development and how might we design such a program? Design in Higher Education must be professionally, creatively and academically credible and it is anticipated that design research will develop insights and advance the subject.

Internationally the PhD is generally considered a proxy for academic credibility although doctoral training in any field does not currently provide the skills and competencies required for working in the academy and HEIs are expected to provide and fund training to develop their employees although in the majority of HEIs these are optional and rarely tested other than through experience.

How then do we gain these and where are they discussed other than through building our prior experiences and how do those experiences assist in creating conditions for design education fit for the future and such that design education advances such ideas in addition to developing the next generations design professionals?

Where and how do we learn the following leadership skills and what and where can we develop this learning and begin to meet the particularly acute challenges for India, but equally those in the UK.

  • Leadership and Scholarship: Professionalization
  • Scholarship and Research
  • Teaching Excellence and understanding learning
  • Knowledge Exchange
  • Internationalization
  • Impact and Outreach

Itinerary for the day

  • 9.00 - 10.00   Registration, Refreshments and Welcome
  • 10.00 - 11.00   A series of short presentations/provocations by the UK facilitators
  • 11.00 - 14.00   Facilitated Discussion groups
  1. 1.   What makes a successful design academic?
  2. 2.   How would we/do we test these before appointment?
  3. 3.   What is the baseline knowledge we would want faculty members to know?
  4. 4.   Where are these skills taught or developed?

Workshop Groups: Creating a Poster

  • What are the criteria for the modern 'design academic'
  • What are the gaps and challenges that we need to resolve or what training do we need to develop?
  • What role do academic qualifications play in this context and at what level?
  • What role does practical experience play in this context?
  • What evidence of professional experience is required?

LUNCH (working lunch)

  • 14.00 - 15.00   Presentation of Posters
  • 15.30 - 17.30   Creating an International Cannon: Led by Steve Rigley Ideas to Practice

A rapid and intensive workshop exercise that explores ideas for developing, sharing and documenting an 'international design cannon' that may serve as a means to stimulate cross-cultural, international dialogue and stimulate new ways of learning through knowledge exchange?

This will examine knowledge of structures, content and delivery modes and aim to reveal what we need to know and tackle in order to deliver and shape such a project.

  • What the challenges and barriers to bringing them to fruition?
  • What is the critical path of stages that we would need to make?
  • Where are the gaps in knowledge that we need to bridge to enable this to be realized?
  • What else do we need to do to ensure and quality assure these activities?

Day 2: Frameworks & Structures

Resilient partnerships are essential if institutional relationships are to survive beyond individual or personal friendships. That is not to discount the bonds of friendship that develop, but creating a professional and rigorously structured governance agreement to provide the assurances that enable the energy to be invested in subject development.

Despite governmental rhetoric about cultivating more 'frictionless' relationships, there remain barriers to overcome as well as a tendency to find ourselves 'lost in translation' and talking at cross-purposes about the terms we use particularly with reference to quality and standards. Many institutional relationships fail in this context and because the student output and judgments made are not what was anticipated by partner institutions in the drafting and agreement of regulations.

Understanding the conceptual frameworks that underpin the quality and standards of any HEI whether in the UK or in India is therefore vital, including for example whether the course structures focus on a primarily outcomes focused or process driven structures and how we construct and align quality assurance and enhancement in our respective institutions are often issues that create misunderstandings particularly with reference to assessment and feedback. In the context of design, what role scholarship and research play and how we work effectively with business and industry are also challenges and how design skills might contribute to the boarder economic landscape are equally issues that are challenges in India and the UK.

Within the frameworks for design education we will discuss and explore:

  • The EU Bologna Accord: An 'outcome' driven approaches which is aligned to the UK's QAA model.
  • This will be compared with an objectives or process driven approach to developing courses.
  • Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ), which provides the definitional levels of an Undergraduate, Graduate and Doctoral Degree.
  • Subject Benchmarking Design will examine the 'meta characteristics' of design. What does design do?
  • What skills and competencies are learned? What can we guarantee a student can do? What can we guarantee that a student will know on completion of a degree in design, whatever the design discipline they are studying?
  • We will spend dedicated time exploring assessment and feedback in design. How can an outcomes approach aid more objective academic judgments about what is produced in a design project and how it is assessed?
  • We will also explore the role of scholarship and research, business, enterprise and knowledge exchange and how these inform and potentially contribute to the curriculum.
  • We will discuss changes that may occur as a result of different modes of delivery.
Itinerary for the day

  • 09.30   Gathering and refreshments
  • 10.00 - 11.00   A series of presentations/provocations about the structures above and their value. These will build on the comments and finding from the previous day and previous workshops.
  • 11.00 - 15.00   Facilitated workshop discussions that explore and apply the role of credit frameworks (as a currency for learning) and the rationale for an outcome driven framework for students and staff.
    The workshop will design and present a contemporary design program. Its learning outcomes, the balance of credits and the assessment matrix for the course and how it incorporates research opportunities, business and Industry and how to capture the Impact of the course. What will the website say about the course and how is that reflected in what has been designed? What are the key challenges and how might they be eliminated?
  • 13.00   Working Lunch
  • 14.00 - 15.00   Workshop Continues
  • 15.30 - 16.30   Presentation and discussion of ideas in poster format.
  • 16.30 - 17.30   Reflection on two days and building partnerships.

Day 3: Solutions & Proposals

  • 10.00 - 13.00   Discussion Groups and Panel Discussion including the following
    • Opportunities and Barriers
    • Choosing National and International Partners
    • Modes of delivery, Face-to-Face, Blended, Online, Accelerated Learning
    • Academic Development
    • Business Partnerships
    • Scholarship and Research
  • 13.00 - 14.30   Lunch
  • 14.30 - 16.00   Policy and Strategy Discussion

Dates & Venue

  • Dates:   Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday, January 29, 30 and 31, 2018
  • Time:   Day 1 - 9.00 AM - 5.30 PM   Day 2 - 9.30 AM - 5.30 PM   Day 3 - 9.30 AM - 4.00 PM
  • Venue:   Jacaranda, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, Near Airforce Bal Bharati School, New Delhi 110003

How to Register

The registration fees for the workshop is Rs. 3000/- per person (Rs. Three Thousand Only). For institutions registering three or more participants, the registration fees will be Rs. 2500 per person (Rs. Two Thousand Five Hundred only).

Interested participants please fill-in the enclosed registration form and return it to Sanjit Peter.


The payment for participation fees could be made by cheque or by electronic bank transfer. The details are mentioned in the enclosed registration form.

About India Design Council

The India Design Council is a national strategic body for design in India. It is committed to establish India as a center for design excellence. It constantly endeavors to increase knowledge, develop design capability, encourage businesses to use design, and drive value creation through design.