Decoding Design Thinking with Dr Nachiket Thakur

DYO (Discover Your Oeuvre), GIPE’s very own art club had a splendid start- the club welcomed Prof. Dr Nachiket Thakur (Deputy Director, MIT Institute of Design at MIT Art Design and Technology University, Pune) and he spoke about  ‘Design thinking and its relevance in the field of Economics.’ According to him, the vital mantra of immaculate design thinking is to have the eye to enjoy the diverse experiences and appreciating them – restricting oneself never helps in this case. He enthusiastically explained how economists make a big difference by giving particulars to designing. Magic happens when technological input and design intervention blend together. Examples like UrbanCompany and Wakefit solidified this stance. Any design impacts the users when it’s conceived after considering the basic elements of logic, imagination, functionality and evolution. Due to reasons like socioeconomic referencing, economists are usually at the forefront of designing – especially when it comes to identifying the demand for something and keeping a check of the supply of that good/service once the designers come up with it. He believes that a successful designer is the one who involves and amalgamates the experiences of the people present around him/her in the designs. Keeping the needs and wants of the users at the topmost tier of priority, this is where a user-centric approach comes into play.  Empathy plays a crucial role in design thinking. It means keeping oneself into somebody else’s place and giving their perspective a chance. He also very clearly explained the difference between empathy, sympathy, apathy and antipathy. The success story of McDonald’s in India is a significant example of the same. Apps like Ola and Uber are other such examples. He meticulously explained the minute points through real-life examples which created substantial impact and were very engaging. He personally believers a user-centric approach and empathy are both momentous cornerstones of design thinking. He also spoke about data visualisation and the sustainability ventures that he’s taken up over the period of the last two decades (Careform, Sanotion, Boond, Karwak and Bamboo Vishwa). Dr Thakur also answered questions from us, students. The answers to these questions helped us understand things like the design for specially-abled people, enhancing design skills as a student of economics, pricing a new design invention and the evolution of the teaching process in a dynamic field like the design.

The meet ended with everyone posing for a WFH photograph (aka screenshot!) and that’s how we concluded the spectacular start to this exciting new addition at GIPE!  

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