Jhumkee Iyengar

Principal Consultant @ User in Design

Building Industry-Academia Design Bridges

India is projected to have a significant shortage of design professionals in the next few years. In this talk, I will speak about the importance, challenges and possible approaches for building much-needed bridges between industry and academia in the area of design, to address this issue. I will draw upon my own experiences in navigating the worlds of industry and academia to do so. Starting with a look at the current global climate of design in industry, I will first highlight the need for such bridges in order to serve the needs of a growing industry. Baselining from my experiences, I examine the implication and importance of industry readiness in our graduates. I then consider what this means from the academic perspective, in structuring the education process in order to create a design graduate pool that is better prepared and able to effectively navigate the corporate environment. I will share some successful approaches I have been using in order to service this need. This then takes us to the question of how do we achieve the difficult balance between delivering a holistic education on the one hand and the industry requirement of ready young design professionals on the other? How then do we envision a ‘Design India’ brand that creates global designers with Indian sensibilities? And what of our Indian-ness could we capitalize as enablers for this? I conclude by speaking about my visions for industry, for academia and for policy makers for effective bridge building.

About Speaker

As an independent consultant at User in Design, Jhumkee provides UX consulting services.Her prior corporate experiences in the US and India have covered technical, consulting, research and project leadership roles in enterprise applications, financial services, low literacy mobile research and service strategy.

In the US she worked at Pitney Bowes and Philips Research Laboratories, on embedded products and next generation concepts respectively.
In India, she founded the UX practice at Persistent Systems, also initiating ‘usability in e-Governance’ project for Pune city, delivering four projects.
Jhumkee is a Certified Lead Instructor at LUMA Institute, a MAYA company, helping design the strategy for customer-focused cultures and teaching Innovation through HCD at various global corporations.

Jhumkee is an Adjunct Faculty at IIT Kanpur teaching executive MBA and design students and has delivered an online course on India’s NPTEL platform. Two social innovation projects she mentored are undergoing technology transfer. She has 3 awards, several publications and articles to her credit.