Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Retail & Exhibition Design - unplugged

By Priyanka Vikash
Photography: Courtesy Prof. Pritharshv Pushkar

retail design program follows stepwise plan
The Retail Route -  specialized skills  & a  specialized program

Prof. Pritharshv Pushkar, Head, Retail & Exhibition Design/User Experience Design, MIT Institute of Design, Pune, feels that Retail & Exhibition Design is going through a very glorious phase. He talks to IAnD about this intriguing and burgeoning genre…

A qualified product designer, Prof. Pushkar’s work traverses space, film and design strategy and design education. He specializes in retail, visual merchandising, and event and production design apart from teaching sustainability, packaging design and form semantics. Drawing inspiration from the ubiquity of modernism, and influenced by Frank Miller and Shepard Fairey, he has contributed enormously to the world of design as Creative Head of Whisper Design and Wizcraft Entertainment amongst others.

Prof. Pushkar - product designer, educator
Prof. Pritharshv Pushkar

Prof. Pushkar speaks to IAnD about the necessity for a focussed Retail Design education program that nurtures people with specialized skills to address the growing retail segment and its associated audiences.

student workshop
Prof. Pushkar  with his students

Excerpts from the interview:
1.    How important is it to specialize in Retail & Exhibition Design as a vocation given the current commercial boom in the retail environment of our country?
With an unprecedented growth in the retail industry in the last decade, there has been a huge shift in the preferences and perceptions of the Indian customer, making him more aware of offerings across segments. Retail design comprises elements of design in terms of space, product and communication apart from branding and marketing. A focused education program thus provides a holistic and broad-spectrum learning to better equip a retail designer, who will assimilate all the design elements within a space compelling the audience to make a purchase.

one message - manifold communication
Poster options

2.   What are the highlights of this specific course of study as against a general course in interior design?
As opposed to generalist interior design courses, the MITID retail program introduces retail design in its broadest manifestations. It allows students to work on live projects such as the recent interaction with designer Markus Heinsdorff in Urban Mela, an exhibition that commemorated 60 years of Indo German friendship. Such real-time and invaluable experiences ready the students for the prevalent cut-throat competitive environment.

attractive store display correlates with favourable consumer behaviour
Store Display is the preliminary facilitator

3.   What qualities should one look for in a student prior to guiding him/her to this specific stream in design?
We need clear and independent thinkers, who have the ability to endure heavy workloads, be open-minded and well versed with three-dimensional space besides traditional design skills.

exhibition design architecture
Enticing Pavilions at Trade Exhibitions

4.      What is the ‘edge’ over others that a student gets when he/she graduates  with this course of study from an institution like MIT Institute of Design?
MITID is the only institute in India with a 4-year undergraduate program in Retail Design. Students undergo a rigorous year-long foundation program, unique to design schools that follow the Ulm-Bauhaus model of design learning and imparts imperative design essentials to students. 

User Experience Design directly relates to potential customer
Periodic change in display contributes to User Experience Design

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