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Beyond Borders

Dr. Henri Christiaans He holds a Ph.D in Industrial Design Engineering from Delft University of Technology, Netherlands. He focuses on design thinking, information processing in design, cultural diversity, and cognitive ergonomics and in education and research areas. And has published books and papers on these topics. Since 2008 he is a visiting professor at the Faculdade de Arquitectura de Lisboa, Departamento de Arte e Design in Portugal. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Design Research. On his fourth visit to India, he met with POOL’s Sudhir Sharma. Excerpts from an exclusive interview:

You head the integrated product design course at Delft University. What exactly is integrated product design? HC: Integrated product design means integrating several disciplines. It’s both about management and also about psychology; it’s about ergonomics and esthetics and form. You have to realize that when you are doing product design you first have to do an analysis of all the aspects which are involved in designing before you can go back to the client and say this is it! Often the client doesn’t even realize that all these aspects have an important role in design. So let me start with asking you about your first impression of India. HC: Talking about design, I think it is a very promising country. Though the community of designers is not big, many of them are of high quality. I compare it to the development in Holland; I have been faculty for 25 years and earlier it

was very difficult for our graduates to find a job, but now everyone in Holland knows what is design. I have the impression that India is still not that far ahead and there is a whole lot of development needed for companies to understand the value of design. What would your interest be in India? HC: I would like to see India reach the same level as the western countries, but in a uniquely Indian way. Let me go back to the basics – what is design for? I think that design is very important to bring people happiness and leisure. I think it is the aim of design to bring consumers and users to the center of design. India needs to reach there. Companies are designing for the people without having any knowledge of who these people are and what they want. My interest in India is to see how you bring here the knowledge and experience we already have; not by adopting western thinking, but by bringing

Dr. Henri Christiaans

in your own kind of local and cultural ideas and thinking to fulfill your needs. Delft University is also running a Retail Design, Retail Management course in India. Can you tell us about that? HC: Retail Design is one of the new areas of design where you find explicitly different disciplines of design brought together. Retail Design is deeper and has many more layers. When we talk about retail, it is also a mirror of what people do in leisure. It shows different cultures and it is not just about shopping. It also shows how people do social things together, etc. We have brought Retail Design to the school of Industrial Design Engineering; we bring together architecture, interior design and graphic design. We at Delft try to put together couses which are kind of split up in different disciplines; and also have close contact with industry. Our master’s project or our graduation projects, which take six months (full time),

nachiketbarve The money wasted collectively on unused gym memberships I am pretty sure can wipe out

world bank debt. :p 18 Pool | 8.10 | #2

POOL two  

August issue of POOL Magazine

POOL two  

August issue of POOL Magazine

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