After signing an MoU with the Indian Railways for a Railway Design Centre, the National Institute of Design (NID) may now tie-up with Khadi Village Industries Commission (KVIC) for establishing a design studio for khadi products.
"We are in talks with the Khadi Board to help them work out on contemporary designs in khadi. In this regard, there are talks of setting up a design studio for khadi products wherein NID students can assist in creating trend-setting designs in khadi. If things work out the design studio could be housed within NID campus," said Pradyumna Vyas, director of NID.
Apart from NID, Khadi Board is also in talks with the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) Gandhinagar.
"Talks are on with both NID and NIFT for a design studio wherein the academic institutes can guide us on both design and marketing aspects of khadi products," said Deepak Patel, development officer of Khadi Board.
According to Patel, as per the talks with NID and NIFT, the idea is to seek development of khadi as a must-have product among the young generation. "Initially the design studio will work on innovative designs on khadi fabric and its eventual conversion to garment. Product prototypes from the studio can be put up in the retail stores called Khadi Gramodyog. We can later on look at adding other khadi products," Patel added.
It is also its proposal of designs for apparel uniform for train drivers that has seen NID bag such similar design offers from sections of the textile industry like the Khadi Board.
Earlier, the institute had proposed enhancement of apparel uniforms of train drivers in Indian Railways wherein the idea was to develop apparel uniforms for train drivers on the lines of aircraft pilots. According to NID, uniforms of aircraft pilots have better functionality as well as visibility, on the similar lines of which it proposed designing uniforms which would also cater to ergonomic needs of the train drivers.
The proposal of apparel uniforms for train drivers is part of the ongoing talks between NID and the Indian Railways Board for setting up of a Railway Design Research Centre at its campus. In fact, some time back, the Indian Railways Board had asked NID to draft a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for setting up the research centre. Announcement of the research centre was made during the Railway Budget 2012-13 last year.
"The Indian Railways Board had invited us for a meeting in December 2012 with a desire to concretise the budget announcement of a design research centre at NID. As a result of this meeting, we will be soon signing an MoU with the Indian Railways," Vyas had said earlier.
Former Railway minister Dinesh Trivedi had announced a dedicated Railway Design Centre at NID's Ahmedabad campus during his union budget speech last year, although with frequent changes in the cabinet, the proposal had maintained a status quo. However, according to Jignesh Khakhar, activity chairperson, research and publication at National Institute of Design (NID), the institute has now been asked to draft an MoU that will be signed soon.
"We are in the process of drafting the MoU and will look at all aspects of design research for Indian Railways. The centre will primarily facilitate new ideas for design that could be later commercialised for Indian Railways," Khakhar told Business Standard.
As part of the upcoming Railway Design Centre at its Ahmedabad campus, NID will develop design concepts in station architecture, coach layout, luggage storage in coaches, toilets, ticketing kiosks and an online services system.
"We will have to take a holistic approach for design intervention in Railways. The attempt is to improve the overall services of Railways which could benefit multi-users like passengers, railway platform users and drivers. Several areas will have to be considered including communication design, signage design, IT integration, catering services, kiosk services and industrial design, among other things," Vyas added.
Moreover, service design for all facilities in trains and at railways stations, exteriors and interiors of railway coaches, environment design and design issues related to public transportation will also be taken into consideration. In all, 70 disciplines of NID will each play their roles as part of the Railway Design Centre. For this, NID will get Rs 10 crore from the railway ministry to start the proposed centre.