“A Design Journey of Prof. Sudhakar Nadkarni” by Prof. Mandar Rane is an exemplary documentation of the journey of Design Education in India. The narration, in form of an interview, talks about the genesis, initial founding years to the establishment of a well-structured design pedagogy in India. It talks about the revolution that Design education ushered in. How it started, unfolded and manifested in young minds and budding & practicing designers. Its an extraordinary journey that Prof. Nadkarni takes us through his life starting from his inspiration from bill-board painter from a Mumbai’s chawl to J J School of Art to Europe’s best Design School – The Ulm School of Design (Hochschule für Gestaltung, HfG). It is because of his pioneering feats, he was tasked with establishing the many design Schools of India such as IDC- IIT Bombay & DOD-IIT Guwahati. He has also been instrumental in developing the Design Pedagogy, its structure. Dr. Nadkarni remains an inspiring Design Thinker, who is timeless in his thoughts with his extensive contribution to design, science and education. Its an amalgamation of ideas and bringing design as a primary focus, making it relevant to the time and upgrading it eventually.

Going back to his days at ULM, he talks about the great minds and founding members Otl Aicher, Inge Scholl Aicher and Max Bill, who founded Ulm in 1955. Ulm was going through a paradigm shift from various ideologies from Bauhaus School of Design and was adopting an antifascist pathway after the World War II. Germany at that point of time, was trying to recoup and rebuilt its country and economy again. The idea was to revive the industry and to be able to mass produce.

Adorned with numerous info-graphics, photographs and time-lines, the book aids effortless reading. With a flowing timeline of milestones in design education, the book keeps a track of what’s important.

DESIGNING IS A SCIENTIFIC PROCESS. AESTHETICS IS AN END RESULT NOT A STARTING POINT. OUR CONTRIBUTION IS TOWARDS MAKING DESIGN MORE HUMAN MORE SOCIALLY RELEVANT.” –

SUDHAKAR NADKARNI

The questions asked by Prof. Mandar are immensely relevant in today’s time and helps us to understand as how it shaped today’s design ideologies, methodologies and thought process. This 94 pages book ends with a descriptive info-graphic map of Prof. Sudhakar’s Journey, his life and contributions. … and the Journey continues! I would recommend this book to any designer or would be designer especially from India to have a generalized world perspective as well as to develop an understanding of what is relevant for Indian markets, and how things have evolved.

Prof. Sudhakar Nadkarni studied Industrial Design at the School of Design (Hochschule für Gestaltung), Ulm, Germany (1962-1966). When he returned to India he started the first post-graduate design program way back in 1969, today what is known as the Industrial Design Centre (IDC) at Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. 

About the Author/ Interviewer – Prof. Mandar Rane teaches Communication Design at the IDC, School of Design, IIT Bombay. Please visit his website here.

Mrane Publication India, 1st Edition, Paperback 94 Pages