Work, Positions (1970-2018) and recognition

Currently Design educator & consultant based in Delhi. Have 40+ years of experience as Design Teacher, Professional, Design Researcher and Policy Maker/Planner at the National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad, India & other Instututes. Details as follows:

  • Design Associate and Jr. Faculty member, 1970
  • Head, NID Calcutta Design Cell, 1976-77
  • Designer and Faculty, 1978-
  • Coordinator of Post Graduate Programme in Product Design, 1983-85
  • Coordinator. Consultancy projects for Industrial Design Faculty 1984-89
  • Senior Designer & Sr. Faculty, 1994-
  • Acting Head, Industrial Design Faculty, 1993-95
  • Co-coordinator, Faculty Development & Fellowship Progs 1995-96
  • Member of the NID Forward Plan Group 1980-2006
  • Core Committee Member for Faculty Evaluation & Standing Committee of the Governing Council, 2001-07
  • Principal Designer & Principal Faculty 1999-2007
  • Head, Toy Innovation Centre at NID 2001-07
  • Chairperson, Resource Centre, NID 2000-01
  • Chairperson, Education, NID  2001-04
  • Chairperson, Research & Publications, NID 2004 – 07
  • Member of NID Governing Council 2003-04 & 2006-07
  • Ravi J Matthai Design Research Chair at NID, Jan 2008-May 09
  • Principal Design Consultant & Adviser to Gammat, Gujarat, India an innovative design for education & development company, 2010
  • Guest Professor and Consultant for Design Universities and Institutions in India, Europe, Scandinavia and Latin America,  2007 – present
  • Education development consultant at Learn Today, the education wing of India Today Group 2010-14.
  • Independent design educator, advisor and design development consultant 2009 – present
  • Advisor Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA)  2016 to present

Main Courses initiated and developed at NID

  • Design Overview Course
  • Design Methods & Process
  • System Design and Design with Community Participation
  • Rural Design Workshop & Projects
  • Crafts Study & Documentation
  • Materials & Process Experiences
  • Nature & Design
  • Toy Design & Development Course:
  • Research & Development Projects

Consultancy, Projects & Programs

  • Designer & Head of the following Projects
  • Trophies, Consumer Products  1975-85
  • Solar Cooker,    1986
  • 3 wheeler Auto redesign, 1988
  • Cable Drum Design System for Reuse 1990
  • Feasibility Report for a National Institute of Toy Design. Client Handicraft Board 1982
  • Feasibility Report on Reviving Craft Design Institute. State Govt of UP 1993
  • Khel-Khoj; Toys & Science Kit for BGVJ. 1994
  • A series of Toy Design Workshops for teachers, students from 1990-2009
  • Toy Design & Development Project to develop class room ideas 1999-2000
  • Public Convenience System for City. .Client Ahmedabad Municipal Corp, 2001
  • Reorganization of Ahmedabad Rly Station.  Client. Rly Dept 2001-03
  • UNIDO Project for Design service to Toy Industry Units in Mumbai, 2003-05
  • Design development of innovative toys & educational resources (1985-2016)

Main Speaker/Presenter

  • Invited for Talks-Presentations at many national conferences/seminars/workshops relating Education & Design from 1990 to 2016. This included Tata Institute of social science, Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, National Council of Education, Research & Training, Design Institutions, Institutes of technology. Raman Research Institute, several NGO in India
  • Several Talks-Presentations at many national and international conferences on Education, Design and Creativity (1990- 2011). Guest faculty dept of design & technology, Univ of Readings, UK (1997), Guest Professor at Nordic Centre at Halmstad Univ. Sweden (1997), at dept of medialogy, Univ of Aalborg, Denmark (2005), at Duoc, Univ.Chile (2007), at 5 main Design Universities/Institutions in German (2009), at University and Institutions in Argentina (2010)
  • Guest Speaker/ Design Expert, for German-Unesco creativity workshops for Toys for Children’s Rehabilitation at Germany, Mexico, Italy, 1995, 96, 97,2005,08
  • Invited as main resource professional for a series of workshops on toy design & education in Japan 2001 and as Design Education Expert in Chile in 2007, represented NID at Design Vision discussion in USA
  • Speaker/presenter at International Toy Research Association International Conferences in Sweden, England, France, Greece 1996, 1999, 2002, 05, 08
  • Key Note Speaker/Presenter at International Conference at by International Toy Library Associations. Paris.2008
  • Invited key note Speaker and workshop conductor at the Design Museum in Iceland and as guest professor by the dept of design at Limerick University, Ireland in Sept.09.
  • Invited as guest professor to give talks and workshops in Germany at the design universities of Berlin, Potsdam, Hanover, Halle and Wismar. This was a special traveling guest professor invitation by these 5 design universities during November-December 2009.
  • Invited as a distinguished speaker and expert for Design & Education at the Children University. Gujarat, India for Programs in 2010
  • Invited by Flacso Univ, Argentina for the main talk presentation at the International Conference relating education with new methods and mediums such as play, toys & games.  Also conducted special Education & Design workshops with toy design as medium at the invitation of dept. of Education & Culture of the states of Carlos Paz and Rosario, in Argentina   Oct-Nov 2010
  • ITRA conference speaker in Turkey in July 2011
  • National expert on design innovation, speaker at Singapore Oct 2011
  • Invited by Design institute, Tel Aviv, Israel as speaker for their conference on Toy Design Education program in Nov 2011
  • Keynote speaker at Swinburne university Melbourne, Australia in Jan 2012. The theme was culture based innovation and shared my experiences as design educator.
  • Invited by Brussels university, Belgium as speaker on Toy as Teacher, in Dec 2013. Also conducted a workshop
  • Invited by Social and Early Education Management of  Barranquilla, Colombia, South America (apr 2014) for conference on Early Education and Play. The topic of presentation and workshops was Joy of making innovative toys : a cultural resource for early and inclusive education
  • Invited by Sabana University, Department of Early Education, Chia, Bogota, Colombia, South America (sept 2014) for their International Congress of Pedagogy and Childhood “Innovative Teaching: towards a comprehensive childhood training. The topic of presentation was Innovative, Ingenious Toys for Stimulating Holistic Development, followed by workshop on Joy of Making Ingenious Toys.
  • For the 1st International Conference on Design, Learning & Innovation, 2-3 May, 2016 by Centre for Design, Learning & Innovation (DLI)  in close collaboration with the Department for Learning and Philosophy, invited  as a speaker and design & education workshop specialist. The conference aimed at design and technology as a tool for innovation.
  • Invited by King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, Thailand in February 2018 to participate in Saan conference – the first international conference on design, innovation and creativity. 

National & International Recognitions

  • National Award for Design-Science Popularization among Children 1995
  • Work featured in Surabhi, Turning Point and Educ. TV Progs by CIET 1986-2002
  • External Examiner for MDes Programme at IIT & for PhD scholar at HBCSE, Mumbai
  • Heritage Crafts & Educ. National Curriculum Task group/DEAA, 2005-2015 (NCERT)
  • President, International Toy Research Assoc. 2006-07. ITRA Board member 1996-2008
  • Founder President, Toys for Tomorrow International Vision-Action Forum, 2002-
  • Guest Professor, Nordic Centre for Toys & Edu. Medias, Halmstad Univ. Sweden. 1997
  • Guest Professor, Dept of Medialogy, Aalborg Univ, Denmark, 2005
  • Guest Professor, Duoc. School of Design, Chile 2007
  • Special Speaker at the Design Museum talk-series in Iceland, Sept 2009
  • Invited as guest professor by seven universities in Germany 2009 Nov-Dec 2009
  • Invited by Flacso Univ, Argentina for the main talk-presentation at the International Conference in Oct/Nov 2010 on education with new methods and mediums such as play, toys & games
  • Nominated as first International Member, Board of Governors, Fodern durch Spielmittel, Berlin (German NGO for design for children with special needs), 2009-2011
  • Invited by Social and Early Education Management of  Barranquilla, Colombia, South America (apr 2014) for conference on Early Education and Play. The topic of presentation and workshops was Joy of making innovative toys : a cultural resource for early and inclusive education
  • Invited by Sabana University, Department of Early Education, Chia, Bogota, Colombia, South America (sept 2014) for their International Congress of Pedagogy and Childhood “Innovative Teaching: towards a comprehensive childhood training. The topic of presentation was Innovative, Ingenious Toys for Stimulating Holistic Development, followed by workshop on Joy of Making Ingenious Toys.
  • Recipient of international BRIO Award 2013-14 for his lifelong contribution for research and innovation for toy design and development in India.
  • Prof. Sudarshan Khanna was felicitated as National Design Guru (Mentor) on 9th November 2017. This was in memory of Prof. M.P Ranjan, an eminent design educator at NID. The program was held at Sushant School of Design, Ansal University. It was organized by Association of Designers of India (ADI) and NID Alumini Association.

Papers, Presentations & Workshops

Over fifty papers/articles/interviews published related to education, design development and folk toys heritage and future of design education. Over 15 TV educational programs made on his work related to toy design heritage, development and education. Many workshops conducted in India and overseas at the invitation of institutions. Several presentations made at national and international conferences relating education, culture, design and toy development process for creative learning

 Books & media

  1.  Dynamic Folk Toys – Indian Toys based on the application of simple principles of science & technology, New Delhi, India Published 1983, The Development Commissioner for Handicrafts
  2. Joy of Making Indian Toys – Published by National Book Trust in several Indian languages since 1992
  3. Toys & Tales; with everyday materials – Published by Tara Publishers, Chennai 1999 (English, Japanese, Italian editions)
  4. Toys & Play; with everyday materials – Published by Tara Publishers, Chennai 2018
  5. Over 15 Educational TV Programmes made on the work related to Toys, Design, and Culture & Education

Prof. Sudarshan Khanna was felicitated as National Design Guru (Mentor) on 9th November 2017. This was in memory of Prof. M.P Ranjan, an eminent design educator at NID. The program was held at Sushant School of Design, Ansal University. It was organized by Association of Designers of India (ADI) and NID Alumini Association.

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