The budding designers are to be groomed in the design institutes to effortlessly reconcile the seemingly disparate and opposing parameters a design problem would generally come up with. For instance, the required optimum performance against the constraints of materials and production process, the physio-psychological needs of the ultimate user or user group against the imperatives of cost factor and marketing, and so on. The students at the design schools are encouraged to learn and internalize ways of evolving concepts imaginatively and systematically. They should be able to hold a persuasive discourse on it and after selecting appropriate media, effectively communicate to all concerned. A design problem is best solved by team effort, however small the team. In the real world, the team may comprise of members from disciplines other than design. Many a time in such situations, a further role a designer may be expected to play is that of a co-relater.
To design is to change. Any act of design in a way is a proof of a designer's basic instinct and acquired competence to bring about a change; whether it is a smallest improvement in whatever exists or a comprehensive innovation.
A beginner at a school of design comes with this very instinct that needs to be reinforced with the competence not just to think - innovatively but more important, to test every such innovative concept against the touchstone of its eventual effect on the society and environment.
At the foundation of design education, lies an approach that can be best described as generalist. A quick look at a typical curriculum, would prove the point. Hence, the beginners must spend the best part of the first year getting 'indoctrinated' to a philosophy of learning which to them is totally new and rather strange. Specially devised initial 'exercises' at design colleges put them through a process of unlearning the linear and set method of thinking. It is in this ambience of generalist learning that students are later encouraged to select their specialist areas in design.
Designers have penetrated into almost every sector of the economy at various levels and platforms. Designers today work with industries not only at the grass root level but also at the systems planning, business development, and strategy mapping levels. Designers work as teams in industries or support them as consultants from outside.