Why a career in arts and design is mainstream today

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Why a career in arts and design is mainstream today
Alfonso Albaisa encourages students to get into the design industry at a recent event organised in Dubai.

dubai - Kids today are not intimidated by the idea of becoming designers and they don't think of it as a strange choice


Rohma Sadaqat

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Published: Thu 21 Dec 2017, 6:14 PM

Last updated: Thu 21 Dec 2017, 8:16 PM

Every great design started out as nothing more than a rough sketch on a drawing pad. For designers, artists and motor enthusiasts, the only thing stopping them from working on the next big breakthrough is a belief that design is not a profitable career.

This is the mindset that Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan's senior vice-president of global design, wants to change. Albaisa spoke to Khaleej Times in an exclusive interview on the importance of getting more young students into auto design.

"All industries have today evolved when it comes to delivering global excellence. We all know from benchmarking how to make a nearly perfect object. The differentiation is in the idea itself and how innovation brings about a new spin to the product. Many have turned to design, even when it comes to brainstorming, to ensure that they have thought about everything," he explained.

He added: "This is true, even in my own company; I am a designer, and I am a board member. This is because they know that the ideas that come from designers are different and in many cases a bit non-linear. This is becoming much more of a resource that they tap into."

Albaisa recently spoke to students at the Dubai American Academy, as part of Nissan Design's global speaker series titled the 'Roots of Design' - a campaign launched earlier this year at the London Design Festival. Spearheaded by Albaisa and inspired by his career and life in design, this grass-roots outreach programme engages high school students from around the world, encouraging them to pursue careers in arts, design and creativity.

The technology that is available to the non-mechanical world is changing lives and hiring has changed across the industry, Albaisa observed. "Technology is completely changing the way we live and function in this big world. There has been an explosion of creativity. Before, we would hire 3D experts and mechanical engineers; today, we have to look at people specialising in electronics, connectivity, autonomous systems, sensors, artists and designers. In other words, people who can take complicated information and make it beautiful and easy to understand. My studio has completely changed from what it was a few years ago to reflect the change in technology. For example, I now always have a pair of 3D goggles on my desk that allow me to view designs in different settings."

He also noted that kids today are not intimidated by the idea of becoming designers; and that they don't think of it as a strange choice. "Today, saying that you are becoming a designer is like saying you are becoming a doctor or a lawyer; it is not out of the mainstream. Becoming one today also gives you a chance to celebrate the technological breakthroughs that we have, and help form the vision of the future in amazing cities such as Dubai."

- rohma@khaleejtimes.com

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