8th July 2024  New Delhi, Delhi, India  In a dynamic exchange of ideas, the fourth edition of the Indian Institute of Art and Design’s (IIAD) annual Industry Conclave brought together over 50 industry stalwarts from 40 leading brands, igniting discussions on how design can address pressing global challenges and create a social impact. From fashion giants like Urvashi Kaur Label to global corporations like Ernst & Young LLP, the conclave served as a platform for dialogue between industry experts and over 140 students and alumni.

The annual event witnessed the participation of industry heavyweights like Ernst & Young LLP, India Today, Charkhee, Groyyo, PDS Group, JCPenney, Urvashi Kaur Label, Design Plus, RLDA Studios, Miraggio, Genie Mode, Alt Mobility, QUOD, RATA, OR & Aur, Aaquib Wani Design, Kaboom Social Impact, Yellow Brick Road Media, PLUGD. Recognized for their innovative approaches, experts from these brands brought real-world insights and fueled thought-provoking discussions.

In a time marked by global challenges, the imperative for design to drive positive social change has never been more pronounced. This urgency takes center stage as the theme of the conclave: “Creating Social Impact by Design.” The event focused on how design can tackle contemporary issues, with students and industry experts from diverse design sectors – communication, fashion design fashion business management, and interior architecture and design—engaging in one-on-one dialogues through the World Cafe format.

Bridging the theory-practice gap, initiatives like Industry Conclave serve a dual purpose: sparking discussions on design’s role in driving social impact, while offering students practical insights. Beyond theoretical frameworks, these interactions establish much-needed clarity on the practical applications of design across various industries, thereby equipping students with the skills and perspectives needed to navigate the complexities of the professional landscape.

The Role of Sustainability in Fashion

Sustainability dominated the discussions at the Fashion department, where fashion design and management experts, such as Urvashi Kaur (Urvashi Kaur Label) and Shilpi Nigam Sharma (JCPenney), tackled the multifaceted issue, dissecting its true meaning and the challenges of implementing sustainable practices within the industry. A key debate centered on balancing business needs with social impact by design. While sustainable practices often incur higher costs, the conversation emphasized clear communication with consumers to bridge this gap. Experts also challenged the notion of tradition as static in fashion, arguing instead for its evolution and adaptation to changing needs and community engagement. Deconstructing outdated practices and embracing authenticity emerged as key takeaways for driving sustainable fashion forward.

User-Centric Approach in Design and Cultural Sensitivity

Conversations at the Interior Architecture and Design department shifted gears, highlighting the importance of user-centric design. Experts such as Rahul Singh (RLDA) and Abhishek Bij (Design Plus) emphasized the need for designs that adapt to specific contexts and celebrate the diverse needs of users. The dialogue expanded into ways to incorporate a range of design trends and materials while maintaining cultural sensitivity. Collaboration strategies were also a point of discussion, with some advocating for direct community involvement, not just within groups of design specialists. This focus on user-centricity and cultural awareness suggests a growing recognition of the impact interior architecture and design has on individuals and communities.

Value, Ethics and Audience Collaboration

Discussions at the Communication Design department underscored the importance of creating conscious designs that build upon existing ideas. Experts condemned the practice of free work and advocated strategies to empower local artists through fair compensation. Communication design leaders like Vandana Pant (Folklogue Studio) and Yogesh Gagotia (Simpleplan Media) emphasized the importance of ethical practices and audience-centric design. In this conversation, Nirmala Nair (Kaboom Social Impact) highlighted the need for integration between design thinking and marketing, ensuring that sustainability is addressed throughout the entire design process. A key shift advocated for by experts was the evolution of designers from creators to facilitators, collaborating with audiences and iterating designs for maximum impact. This shift highlights the growing emphasis on both ethical practices and audience-centric communication in the field.

For a complete list of the design leaders who participated in the conclave, read below:


Communication Design:

Vikas Vashisht Ernst & Young LLP
Nishant Sapra The Dreamer Design
Samya Ghosh Purpose
Vandana Pant Folklogue Studio
Anurag Sehgal Digital Tranzform Pvt. Ltd.
Nandita Sengupta Yellow Brick Road Studio
Nirmala Nair Kaboom Social Impact
Dharmesh Mehta Bluone Consultants
Raksh Anand and Khushi Mishra Alt-Mobility
Dhruv Goel Brand Catapult
Vikram Kazanchi Threye Interactive
Yogesh Gagotia Simpleplan Media
Utkarsh Srivastava Rusk Media

Fashion Business Management:

Radhika Mittal OR & Aur
Shilpa Aggarwal Charkhee
Mohit Jain Miraggio
Dhruv Kapoor Design One
Shefali Gupta Nutrabay
Kajol Aurora Aurora Creatives
Abhishek Yugal, Divya Mohan and Jigyasa Sachdeva Groyyo
Ankita Gulati Design One
Pranav Pandey Genie Mode


Fashion Design:

Urvashi Kaur Urvashi Kaur Label
Namita Mahajan PDS Group
Garima Bhat Creatnet Fashion
Shilpi Nigam Sharma JCPenney
Ikshit Pande QUOD
Chirojit Bhattacharya India Today
Meeta Mastani Bindaas Unlimited
Mrinal Jain Asmara India Pvt. Ltd.
Naina Sehgal Nalphi India
Pratiksha Tandon RATA


Interior Architecture and Design:

Shivani Mittal Lalittya
Navya Aggarwal Navya & A Quarter
Abhishek Bij Design Plus
Aaquib Wani Aaquib Wani Design
Kulveer Bhati, Ritu Yadav TOD Design
Rohit Jain, Vandana Jain Dreamscape Design
Priyamwada Singh Common Ground Practice
Rahoul Singh RLDA Studios
Ritika Malik PLUGD
Priyanka Sood Kingsmen India Pvt. Ltd.
Disha Gulati Kingsmen India Pvt. Ltd.


This Industry Conclave reflects IIAD’s commitment towards bridging the gap between academia and industry, ensuring students become future-ready with the skills and real-world exposure that the industry seeks today.