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S Balaram D J Academy of Design, Coimbatore

S Balaram is an industrial designer, senior faculty and former Chairman of Education at the National Institute of Design (NID) in India. He is presently Dean of D.J. Academy of Design, Coimbatore.

He is recipient of the honorary fellowship of the Society of Industrial Designers of India and an invited member of the advisory board of ‘Design Issues’, USA. Four inventions of Balaram have been patented by NID. The institute also won the first International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID), Philips Award for its outstanding achievement in industrial design. One of the seven projects which won this award was designed by Balaram. A life-saving medical equipment which he and a colleague jointly designed for Sri Chitra Tirunal Institute of Medical Sciences and Technology was awarded India’s prestigious National Meritorious Invention Award. He was recipient of Ron Mace international award for Universal Design.

Born into a farmer’s family in Gunnathota Valasa, a tiny Agraharam (a village gifted to a scholar by the king) in Andhra Pradesh, South India, Balaram did his post-graduation in Product Design from the NID, Ahmedabad and a research course at the Royal College of Art, London. He holds a diploma in Mechanical Engineering. He started his professional career as a sign-board painter and later became a mechanical engineer, finally settling down to design practice and teaching. His varied pursuits include short story writing, package design and film criticism.

He has held senior positions such as Chairman of Extension Programmes, Co-ordinator, Foundation Programme, Associate Chairman and Industrial Design at the NID. He was Governing Council Member of

The Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology, Vice-President of The Society of Industrial Designers of India and Co-ordinator, Design Foundation Studies, NID. He founded the Craft Development Institute in Kashmir.

His published writings form part of books such as The Idea of Design: Arthaya, Design and Development in South and South-East Asia and Quality through Industrial Design. His article on bullock cart design was prescribed as core course for secondary schools throughout India by the National Council of Educational Research and Training.