With a journey spanning over three decades, Rajan Iyer stands as an educator, designer, and creator deeply rooted in the realms of interior and furniture design. His academic pursuit led him to a master's degree in industrial design, specializing in Furniture Design, from NID Ahmedabad. His design odyssey has traversed a diverse tapestry, ranging from shaping interior spaces of ships to crafting exhibition designs and retail environments.
Infusing his classroom with a wealth of industry exposure and consultancy acumen, Rajan shares these invaluable insights with his students. His versatile approach empowers him to navigate projects spanning interior spaces and exhibitions, along with crafting furniture for mass production and engaging with eco-friendly materials to cultivate a handcrafted allure. A decade of industry immersion, followed by an extended chapter as a dedicated consultant, paved the way for his teaching sojourn in 2009. In this role, Rajan imparts his wealth of wisdom, offering a unique blend of professional expertise and educational commitment.
Rajan served as the HOD of Retail & Exhibition Design at Maeer’s MIT Institute of Design, Pune, for a span of nine years, from 2009 to 2018. During this tenure, he mentored approximately 32 Postgraduate students and over 90 Undergraduate students, spanning disciplines such as Furniture Design, Interior spaces, Retail, and Exhibition design.
Notably, Rajan contributed to exhibitions for esteemed entities like Telco Motors and Videocon at Pragati Maidan, Delhi. In addition to spatial design, he excels in product and furniture detailing tailored for mass production.
As a Design Consultant to CSL (Cochin Shipyard Ltd), Rajan left his imprint on notable projects such as the interior accommodation of vessels like 'Maharishi Parshuram' for the Shipping Corporation of India, and ATCO tug vessels for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, among others at the 'Cochin Shipyard Pvt Ltd.'
Further showcasing his versatile expertise, Rajan also served as a Design Consultant to "Inspiration Architects & Engineers" in Cochin, contributing to a diverse range of projects spanning residential interiors, offices, hotels, and resort interiors.
One of his standout achievements is the Cochin chair in tubular steel and cane weave, conceptualized for a coffee shop in Kochi. This innovative design garnered recognition and was put into production by Dovetail Furniture, Bengaluru, achieving remarkable sales figures exceeding 30,000 units.
Prof. Rajan's research pursuits have centered around innovative applications of bamboo. He annually conducts 'Creativity with Bamboo' workshops, offering students a hands-on, experiential learning opportunity outside traditional classroom settings. This approach provides a refreshing and engaging experience for learners.
One significant aspect of his research involves exploring bamboo's potential in product development. Prof. Rajan delves into heat and steam bending technology to harness bamboo's versatile properties. His efforts have culminated in the creation of a diverse collection of lifestyle accessories, an integral facet of the SEED (Science for Equity Empowerment and Development) Project.
In his educational approach, Prof. Rajan emphasizes the uniqueness of each student's mindset, advocating tailored nurturing to facilitate their growth and realization of their full potential. His teaching methodology fosters vibrant learning through active engagement and student participation.
Promoting a hands-on learning philosophy, he motivates students to imbue their concepts with tangible form. Prof. Rajan insists on idea validation through the creation of scaled models or prototypes in the workshop, encouraging a practical approach to concept development. To unlock students' creative capabilities, he has innovatively curated teaching methods that inspire innovative thinking.