MY first classroom teaching experience was with ESEDS in the summer of 2018. The subject of Sustainability in Design was a brand new dawn in the design curriculum and I personally loved the fact that there was no chartered territory on how to approach such a relatively new topic.
Apart from the university approved textbook that served the purpose of theoretical understanding, I constantly looked out for newer and relevant ways to get the students to experience the scope of the subject. That meant that I would open up the parallel worlds of TED X Seminars and Facebook Videos on our projector’s screen enabling the audience to soak in the mind-boggling advances being made in this field across the planet.
My biggest learning curve was the first-hand experience of witnessing the disconnect between theoretical textbook knowledge and the practical actions being taken towards sustainable development across the world. It's not something that I was unaware of as a student, but being on the other side of the classroom now, I had the chance to turn that around.
Completing the course as required by the university was always on my mind, but my first priority was to create an environment that promoted interest around the subject. On many occasions, we discussed a particular entrepreneur’s best practices while other discussions called for discussing renewed ways of looking at the supply chain.
These discussions opened them up to the possibilities of what an innovative subject like Ethics and Sustainability could empower them to do.
I wholeheartedly applaud ESEDS to sow the seeds of design education into the (much needed) fertile soil of sustainability. Its time, we understood that this subject is like teaching good manners to children as they grow up to become young adults and carriers of our civilization.
If we don’t invest in instilling the correct values and morals in them today, we shouldn’t complain about producing irresponsible entrepreneurs in the future.
I contributed and made a difference with the opportunity that I got. Similarly, the onus cannot be placed on only designers or only education institutions or only the government bodies to initiate change-making programs.
The most basic but most essential lesson for me was the realization of the responsibility that I had as a senior in my industry to mentor young minds who could benefit from my experiences and foresight.
On that note, I’ll be talking about another interesting design project that I led for Fashion Revolution India for their collaboration with ISDI Mumbai this year.