I have asked myself this question every now and then… am i creative? observant enough? do i understand needs or users? can i come up with solutions? am i good at problem solving? most of all its where is it that i can make a difference…
I think i wanted to become a designer, because i refused to learn something that i did not enjoy doing (most of the time). From the age of 15, architecture fascinated me. A lot of people tell me i am fortunate to have known what i want at that age.
In high school i forced myself to learn higher arithmetic to get through… I then went on to study architecture, there is forced myself to learn enough mechanics to get by, on the other hand did very well in the design projects courses as i enjoyed playing with ideas, often being on top of the class, and so forth. Through all the times i concentrated on what i enjoyed, and as i grew more independent, i could exercise this more. I joined masters in product design at IDC IIT Bombay, as i was interested in the micro designing, and in lighting design. I found i was interested in photography and graphics, so i started attending those classes (that meant not attending some of my stipulated classes) so much so, that my classmates said i belonged to the discipline PC (PD- Product Design, VC- Visual Communication). After finishing my course i joined a lighting design company for couple of years, was successful as a designer, designing domestic lighting fixtures, but unfortunately after a while the working environment grew bad and i quit. The next job i took up was to design furniture, enjoyed the work and the team, and would have probably stayed there for a long time, except things were not going so well in my personal life, and i needed to make changes on that front.
I moved fromIndia to Dubai, changed from designing for corporate companies to academics. I learnt to teach, to listen, to learn differently, and found out that this is what i loved doing most, teaching design.
To be a designer it is important to think for yourself, to question the existent solutions, sometimes even the basic premise of the need. It is important to not be afraid of change, and some level of risk. To be a designer and a teacher, to me means to never stop learning, listening, and sharing.