Past IDer: Rajat Shail

by New Idiom


Please quickly introduce yourself in a sentence or two. Where are you from?  Where are you now?   When did you graduate from ID and which program?

I would like to describe myself as an passionate designer and an idea generator, a confronter of preconditioning and advocate of new thought. I derive comfort from the realization that even on the worst day at any design job I’m getting paid for doing something I love most. Part of my American work experience includes corporations like Motorola and Whirlpool. Currently I work as a Design Lead for Whirlpool, working on projects related to  products, platforms and  business models. My role is also defined as a sustainability expert within the organization.

Married? Yes

Children? No

Politics? Liberal views

Religion? consider religion a private affair.

In which ways and dimensions do you think ID changed your career?

ID changed my outlook to life which also effects my career in many ways. It not only helped me understand the dimensions of design and its facets better but also empowered me to better communicate that message across different functions I work with. ID methods have helped make my design process more inclusive of various thoughts and viewpoints. It has helped me break away from the stereotype which designers have often been associated with of being isolated thinkers. It has humbled me to recognize my limitations and taught me how to built upon others experiences and expertise. Most of all ID has helped me become a better advocate of the end user while meeting the profitability targets of the corporation.

What are skills learned at ID that you are using there?

At ID I learnt how to develop and communicate empathy towards the user. The varied frameworks have helped me understand and communicate design challenges to myself and others effectively. ID taught me how to deliver emotive design solutions through rational packaging. I learned how to scale down complex systems and information into manageable proportions.

What hard times did you have at ID while a student, and what got you through them?

I did not have many difficult times at ID. The parts I remember as being scary were being surrounded by very intelligent people and like most ID grads I learned how to channel that intimidation into inspiration.

If you could have changed one thing about your time at ID, what would it have been?

I know this might sound like a cliche but if I could go back I would like to change that skepticism I had in my mind during classes. Its only now that I understand the courses in its entirety and value them. And of course I regret not socializing enough and missing out on many trips to Fado’s.

What other advice do you have for current and/or future ID students?

Have a good time, enjoy the courses and treat each one as a portfolio piece. Coming to ID was the best decision you have made.