It gives us immense pleasure to announce that Henri Christaans, a world renowned industrial designer, will be one of the guest faculties at the DYPDC College. Henri Christiaans (1947) is an associate professor at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering of the Delft University of Technology (TUD). He also is a visiting professor at the University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), The Korean University of Technology (South Korea) and the Fachhochschule Voralberg (Austria). Furthermore Henri is member of PATO-board (Post-academic Education in Technology) and chairman of PATO committee ‘Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Design Engineering. Besides he is working as an editor-in-chief of the ‘Journal of Design Research’.
The following is an interview of Henri Christaans conducted by the communications team at DYPDC College:
What does Design mean to you?
Henri: Interesting question. Design to me is not just the outer appearance or aesthetics of a product. Design for me, is a way of thinking. When a designer is designing a product, he has to keep several things in mind. Design process starts with analysing a problem followed by extensive research. He has to know who his target audience is, what’s the present environment or situation, whether the product will be relevant in all situations.
Design has to bring change of some sort, it has to add value, make the product stand out. But most important of all is that a designer should bring his own touch to every design of his, because that’s what makes it special.
Tell us a bit more about your background?
Henri: I pursued Psychology at the University of Amsterdam, then later did a PhD from the TUD university on a dissertation entitled ‘Creation in Design: the role of domain knowledge in design’. That was my first tryst with design and I have been fascinated by it ever since, 25 years, to be precise.
Presently, I perform research in the directions of design process, thinking, methodology and cognitive ergonomics.
How do you see India in terms of design?
Henri: India has quite a distance to cover in terms of design and that’s what makes it exciting. There are only a few qualified, talented designers while the jobs are aplenty. The demand has always been more than the supply.
What do you think of the DYPDC College?
Henri: I have a good feeling about this college. It has the necessary set-up, infrastructure and facilities to conduct a program of this magnitude. The other good thing is that you are planning to have small batches, which means the quality of graduates produced will be top-notch. This is a great initiative because I believe education plays an important role in spreading awareness about the role of design in the society.
What’s the biggest high for a designer?
Henri: The biggest high for a designer is to see his product in the market, to see his months of hard work finally bearing fruit. But, it is also important for a designer to see his client happy.
Who is your favourite designer?
Henri: My favourite designers include Raymond Fernand Loewy, Marcel Wanders, Philip Starck and I’m also a big fan of Droog Design’s work.
Any words of advice for upcoming designers?
Henri: The best advice I can give to upcoming or aspiring designers is to be yourself. Never try to copy anyone. Develop your own style.