Professor Jatin Bhatt has a combined experience of over 40 years in consultancy, entrepreneurship and academic leadership. A graduate in Industrial Design with a specialization in Product Design from National Institute of Design Ahmedabad, he has engaged in a variety of assignments in consumer goods, automobiles, packaging, machine tools, lighting, furniture, construction equipment, watches, toys, leather goods, handicrafts, exhibitions and large installations along with institution building & development and sector development strategies.
Professor Bhatt joined Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD) as the founding Dean of the School of Design in 2012 wherein he led a new imagination of Design in form of 2&1/2 year MDes programme in Social Design focused on services, systems, processes and structures to address the issues mainly in public domain. Prior to this, he was involved with institutional development and design practice along with setting up four enterprises in design practice, toys, handicrafts and academic consultancy. He was appointed the Pro Vice Chancellor at AUD in August 2017.
He has conceived and led varied initiatives in holistic development industry and craft clusters of Handicrafts, toys, jewellery, lighting, home products, architectural accessories, carpets, wool, footwear & leather goods, cane & bamboo through capacity building, entrepreneurship, technology development, market strategies, design & product development, artisans’ rehabilitation, training and resource linkages.
His academic journey began with being invited to advise National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) New Delhi in 1991 to set up a new department along with a new education programme in Accessory Design to develop programme focus, curriculum, infrastructural needs, faculty identification & induction and student selection process. Appointed to head the new Department of Accessory Design he was the Department Chair since 1991. This was the first and only design programme developed indigenously at NIFT then.
Subsequently, he conceived and put in place Centre specific specializations of new programmes at NIFT expanding the scope of Fashion & Lifestyle Design at five centres in sector specific four years duration aligned to the global format of 10+2+4 years for professional programmes. This included the development of new curricula, faculty induction process, infrastructure & equipment needs, teaching/learning environment to be implemented in each of the five programmes namely, Jewellery & Precious Products, Leather Products & Footwear, Interior Products, Handicrafts, Mix Media & Glass, Interior Accessories & Personal Products and Fashion Accessories at new centres of NIFT at Gandhinagar, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and New Delhi. With one of the most successful models in Industry-Professional Education tie-ups, the industry invested over INR 20 million every year in students’ final projects between years 1996 to 2004.
Apart from the academics, a robust and thriving environment was created under his leadership for various consultancy and action research project initiatives with State & Central Governments, NGOs and private sectors such as Rural Non Farm Agency, Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), Care India, Dastkar, Swarovski, Council for Leather Exports, Council for Carpet Exports, UNDP, UNIDO, World Gold Council, National Leather Development Programme, Action India, Toy Association of India, Jindal Steel, Gems & Jewellery Exports Promotion Council (GJEPC) and Indian Institute of Craft & Design (IICD) Jaipur. As first National Convener of Craft & Industry Cluster Development initiative in 2002, he conceived and authored Sector Development Programme in Handlooms and Handicrafts as a National initiative undertaken by various NIFT centres across India funded by the Ministry of Rural Development, Govt. of India. He was also the first National Convener, Intellectual Property Cell, National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT).
His research includes developing the Design Resource Book for Jewellery industry based on an all India research on design diversity and trends funded by World Gold Council, “BY DESIGN- Cultural Sustenance of Crafts” funded by the British Academy UK from 2013 to 2016 as a collaborative research project with Dr. Eiluned Edwards from Nottingham Trent University UK, emerging design & product development needs of craft exports industry with Moradabad as a study location (leading to a holistic IT enabled Centre for Design Management visualized as a Service & Expertise Platform with a funding of INR 13 Crore by the Planning Commission GOI) and various Trend forecasting research for footwear, leather goods, Jewellery, handicrafts for interpreting emerging market scenarios.
He has been on the Governing Council and Board of Governors for Toy Design & Development Institute, NOIDA, Kalhath Institute, Lucknow, UP, National Institute of Jewellery Design & Technology, New Delhi set up by the Government of Delhi. As an advisor and expert, he has been involved with Indian Institute of Craft & Design Jaipur, Science & Society Division, Ministry of Science & Technology GOI, Craft Development Institute Srinagar, Indian Institute of Gems & Jewellery Jaipur, Central Leather Research Institute, Chennai for Footwear and leather goods forecast for Indian Industry where in he was the First official Indian representative on the European forecasting group MODE EUROPE on emerging trends in leather products at Munich, Germany. He has been the advisor/expert for National Centre for Design & Product Development, Moradabad and Delhi, Global Consumer Design Studio, Asia of Whirlpool and CKS, Development through Heritage- towards a New Model of Development” for Vikas and Virasat Conclave Jaipur, the expert consultation group of the World Bank for potential intervention in crafts sector under its Cultural Heritage Programme, Parliamentary Committee, Government of India on the proposed NID Bill to consider the status of “Institute of Excellence, Kashmir University Srinagar, JAPAN DESIGN FOUNDATION and ACCESS Development Services New Delhi.
He has been an external expert and examiner for Nottingham Trent University (NTU) UK for their accredited UG and PG Design programmes, School of Planning & Architecture (SPA) Delhi for the PG Programme in Industrial Design, PhD proposal review Committee and faculty promotion, Craft Development Institute (CDI) Srinagar as the Chair, Faculty Selection Committee, IIT Delhi for the M.Des Programme, Lady Irwin College New Delhi for Design and Resource Management Programme, Indian Institute of Craft & Design (IICD) Jaipur, Pearl Academy New Delhi for curricula design and Bengaluru Central University for accreditation to Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore. Most recently, he has been the Chief Mentor to Commitment to Kashmir project funded by Titan Industries Ltd. for development of 25 craft enterprises with a team of 5 design professionals.
He has been a visiting faculty at NID Ahmedabad, SPA Delhi, IICD Jaipur, MIT Institute of Design Pune, Pearl Academy New Delhi & Jaipur, CDI Srinagar and NIFT New Delhi. He has also mentored postgraduate students from Design Academy of Eindhovan, Netherlands and Ecole Commondo Paris. He has visited Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Italy, France, Germany, Netherlands, Pakistan, UK, USA and Canada for various international trade shows and events.
He has given talks and Key Note at seminars and conferences on varied areas like Design, Crafts, Cluster Development, Design & Marketing, Product Development, Trends, Design Education, Curricula design and Industry- Academics synergies at various forums in India, South Africa, UK, Pakistan and Canada. He has been on many national and international design competition juries in India, UK, Italy and Pakistan. He has also been the recipient of six months UNDP Fellowship to study institutions and industry in Europe and USA.
He was awarded Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004 by PERLES DE TAHITI for his contribution to the Jewellery industry.