Teaching Is A Profession That Creates All Other Professions
BW Education Spoke to Ms. Rupal Dalal, Executive Director, JD Institute of Fashion Technology
file photo of JD Inst of Tech
Q. What is your learning from this journey?
I consider myself fortunate to have deep roots in education. My mother was a school principal and my observations of her since childhood has been an important stepping stone in the effective running of the Academics Department of JD Institute of Fashion Technology. I have learned that success is not overnight, rather the result of consistent, committed and focused work. While being consistent and working hard is important, what is equally important is to take each day as it comes. The longest and the most arduous of journeys begin with a single step, hence it is important to be consistent in following your passion.
Q. Designing education like fashion, interiors, jewellery etc are considered to be vocational streams, for those who aren't academically successful. Do you see this norm change?
As an educational institute, we are proud pioneers of setting several trends and changing perception for the profession on fashion designing. We were one of the first institutes in India to offer the full spectrum of courses in fashion, interiors, and jewellery design. While starting out, our former Founder and Executive Director, Mr. RC Dalal had a challenging task ahead of him of changing society’s perception of fashion designing as glorified tailoring and positioning it as a coveted profession with ample opportunities. Today, JD Institute of Fashion Technology is one of the most sought-after fashion institutions in India. With the advent of technology and media influx, the world is becoming a smaller place allowing ample exposed to global fashion and trends. With society becoming more and more aware and fashionably evolved, design education is much sought after. Even schools are introducing art and design from primary school as it facilitates to discover and channelize an individual’s talent.
Q. This is a creative field, and requires a lot of persistence, hard work and patience as well. What do you tell parents and students who look at this a means to earn quick money n fame?
We have observed many young students who enroll with us coming in with pre-existing notions and dreaming of becoming successful fashion designers overnight. At the beginning of their tenure with us, we undertake an orientation with students and parents alike and give them an insight into the ecosystem of the industry. Designing is not only limited to sketching and drawing, it is the art of applying design, aesthetics, and logic and transforming it into physical attire.
Q. A lot of institutions giving fashion designing education have international tie-ups giving global exposure. What is your opinion about this?
Fashion and design cannot be taught through books alone. It requires absorbing people, places, and culture which I believe are key influencers to fashion across the world. Ample exposure to these allow young creative minds the required inspiration and achieve new levels of originality. London has always been the nerve center of global fashion way ahead of its time. For over 29 years now, JD Institute of Fashion Technology has been pushing the boundaries of design education. With many firsts to our credit, JD Institute of Fashion Technology was the first fashion school to curate an international exchange program with London Research Programme. The program offers students to the global stage and places where design and fashion were born. Students receive first-hand, international exposure to the world of fashion, designers, art, and culture — thus giving them new knowledge, skills and vital inspiration to take their craft to the next level.
Q. How do you ensure your teaching staff is up-to-date with industry requirements to train students to be industry ready?
A famous saying goes, ‘Teaching is a profession that creates all other professions’. At JD Institute of Fashion Technology, we are constantly endeavoring to equip our lecturers and teaching staff with the most up-to-date knowledge and skills. As a part of this, our faculty is provided with opportunities to enhance their own knowledge by participating in various seminars, conferences, workshops etc.
Q. Tell us about the innovative pedagogies you have introduced to make design learning more effective among your students?
The pedagogies followed at the institution are innovative enough to keep the students engrossed in learning and make the learning process more enjoyable. We do believe in having some serious fun. A lot of research projects are given to the students so that they can explore more, identify their strengths and weaknesses and can work accordingly. Teaching methodology includes interactive sessions, presentations, role plays, classroom activities, field trips, outdoor study along with the classroom lectures. Employing a variety of methodology to deliver the content ensures an effective understanding and leaving an imprint on the student’s mind to help him/ her in the long run.
Q. What makes your institute a preferred choice than your competitors?
JD Institute of Fashion Technology offers a learning-friendly environment to the students. The lecturers are industry professionals who share their vast experience with the students. The students are also provided with a subscription of WGSN, so as to make them understand the international fashion scene. The academic knowledge is supplemented with industry visits, seminars, hands-on workshop and practical exposure. We offer a study tour to London whereby the students undertake projects on Fashion Styling and Visual Merchandising.
Q. What are the students/ faculty exchange programmes? How do they help your students/ faculty?
With our JD International Programme in London, our students undertake projects on fashion styling and visual merchandising under the mentorship of some major celebrity stylists.
Q. What is your vision for design education in India in the coming years?
We feel we have a lot of hidden creativity and craftsmanship skills across the country, we aim to provide the best education for the generation to understand functionality yet keeping sustainability in mind. However, timeless designs are made with the best understanding and knowledge of the long-standing history of textile, design stories, and an ancient legacy of culture. This can be achieved only if we acknowledge and work hand in hand with the untapped talent pool of skilled artisans and today’s craftsmen. Our vision is to give recognition and honor to the country’s innumerable skilled artisans, craftsmen, and weavers, and bring them to the center stage, who are almost on the verge of extinction because of lack of awareness and administrative support. Because we understand we need to educate our young design students about the importance of environmentally sustainable and green materials in the coming year.
Q. Lastly your advice to industry aspirants and to those who wish to take up entrepreneurship in the field?
For the industry aspirants who wish to become entrepreneurs should understand the aesthetics of arts and design. Believe that it’s our social responsibility to make the best use of our knowledge and provide most functional and sustainable designs to make the world a better place to live and to bring life at more ease. Through this idea of work, you will be able to make a mark in the world, in the role of designers, artists and in other disciplines of creativity.
Around The World