For almost five decades Uday Athavankar has balanced design teaching, consultancy and research with ease. Though he trained as an architect, it is in design that he has found his métier. He shares with POOL some of his pioneering ideas on design methods and processes…
“The best way to learn”, he says, ” is to teach and that is how the game design elective started about a decade ago. It forced me to structure my ideas, theorize and get clarity. I am now confident that a student can develop a good marketable game within a 12-day module. I realized that game design is a very different class of design problem and it badly needs a theory! A number of these student games were later marketed by companies in India and abroad.”
Professor believes, that:
“The world is going to change so fast that the only thing education should do is to create the urge for learning so that the student remains a lifelong learner. Education must create visionaries who are full of optimism and who aspire to change the world of objects and ideas, and contribute to professional knowledge. He should be a person who outdates himself.”
“It is unfair to treat fresh recruits as paidfor-products”, he added, “that is what the term ‘industry ready’ recruits means. One must be clear about the difference between training and education. For most industries, reducing the gap means toning down a recruit’s initiatives so that he maintains a status quo and subtly works to ensure this. Nobody likes the idea that a 22-year-old wants to change things around. I am not justifying the current educational system. It needs drastic changes, but the direction of change need not exclusively go towards reducing the gap.”
Uday Athavankar currently mentors a start-up called twobythree, a design research and strategy firm founded in 2014 by Prasad and Ameya, who used to be design research associates with him at IDC. The firm works across two areas – design research & strategy, and applied game design.
Read this story in POOL 90.