The Design Journey of Prof. Sudhakar Nadkarni

A ringside view of how design education in India has evolved over the years, as seen from the eyes of Prof. Sudhakar Nadkarni

For international orders, please write to mrane [at]
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. 

The book, Design Journey is a long conversation with Prof. Nadkarni about the birth and evolution of design education in India and where his personal journey falls along the continuum. It is peppered with his humour and anecdotes. This book is not an academic or a historical discourse on design education in India. However, it does question whether design education today largely caters to create labour for the western imagination-shaped by the global economic forces; a luxury for the elite few within our country or is it democratic in its nature and cultural identity as was initially imagined. Is design education solving the wicked problems of 1.3 billion Indians?

Rationale behind ‘The Design Journey’ series:

This book series hopes to acquaint design students with those who shaped the discipline in our country. It may inspire both students and practitioners of design to find their own purpose and a unique voice. It may help design schools course-correct along their own path, bringing them back to the anchor of why do we do, what we do in the context of design and current times in a developing nation.

Book in Library for easy access in India

1. IDC, School of Design, IIT Bombay, Mumbai, INDIA
2. Department of Design, IIT Guwahati, Assam, INDIA

Book in Library for easy access Internationally

1. HfG-Archiv / Museum Ulm, Germany:
Special thanks to Dr Martin Mäntele, Director of HfG-Archiv / Museum Ulm to include the book in the HfG-Archiv / Museum Ulm library for its visitors.

2. Musashino Art University, Japan - Kohei Sugiura archive
We are honoured to inform all that the book has also been added Kohei Sugiura archive at Musashino Art University where it is accessible to the library/archive visitors. Thanks to Kohei Sugiura and Sachiko Sugiura.

3. Royal College of Art - RCA, London, UK
4. Art Center Library Pasadena, CA
5. I. U. Southeast Library, Indiana University Southeast, Indiana, USA
6. Rhode Island School of Design Fleet Library, USA. 
I am known as a forgetful teacher, father, friend and partner. My wife who stores information as a computer has fortunately rescued me throughout my career. She is the one who comes up, on-demand, with the names of my students, the details of their degree projects at IDC, their first jobs, their then girlfriends/boyfriends. Everything she did was a big support for me without which, a forgetful man like me would have been at sea. Thanks, Ulka, I owe you a lot.
– Prof. Sudhakar Nadkarni

Project Team:

Author/ Interviewer: Prof. Mandar Rane
Cover and book design: Priti Rajwade
Research associate: Hriday Gami
Editors: Collins Assisi, Ulka Nadkarni,
and Aditi Kulkarni
Illustrations: G.S. Pradeep

First Edition, Paperback – 2017
Publisher: Mandar Rane;
First Edition (2017)
Pages: 96 
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-93-5268-727-5 (Paperback)
Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 24 cm
Product weight: 300 gms
Price: INR 500

Printed at:
Trikkon Printers
231/ A, 1/ 1, Rangari Building,
N.M. Joshi Marg, Lower Parel
Mumbai 13

Published by:
Prof. Mandar Rane
B/ 55, Anil CHS, Gavand Path,
Naupada, Thane (W) 400602
Maharashtra, India
Photo credits
Cover photo: Prof. Sudesh Balan
Commercial Art Guild (CAG)
Dalwadi Parmanand
Dashrath Patel
Gupte Mukund
Furst Roland
Industrial Design Centre, IIT Bombay
Nagarkar A K
Patkar D V
Penk Michael
Prabhu R.R.
Sanjeev Pai
Sharma Hitesh, DOD, IIT Guwahati
Sugiura Kohei
Ulm Design edited by Herbert Lindinger
Ulmer Museum/ HfG archiv
Vilas Bhende
Watanabe Fujio

Special thanks to:
Prof. Ravi Poovaiah
for archival images of IDC.

Special thanks to:
National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, Paldi Campus
for archival images
‘The Design Journey of Prof. Sudhakar Nadkarni’ was launched on the occasion of alumni meet as part of ‘Design Degree Show’ on Sunday, June 11th 2017, evening 5:30 to 6:30 pm at IDC Auditorium. Inauguration video | Panel discussion video

Gift wrapping idea for the book in a single sheet

How to fold an invite using a single sheet

The Design Journey Gallery