IDS (International Design School), the first fully English-language Faculty at the Georgian Technical University was initiated, with the aim to integrate engineering and design, by one of the most famous designers in modern history – The Car Designer of the Century - Prof. Dr. Giorgetto Giugiaro, the Italian automobile stylist and founder of ITALDESIGN Group.
IDS first enrolled students in October 2013. By summer 2017 the school already had the bachelor and master students from 7 different countries, and started to consider forming an international Board of Trustees which will oversee the strategy of the school and set up the vision for its development. In our vision of the IDS future, the Board should be chaired by Giugiaro and we intend to invite, among other Trustees, some world-famous figures who we personally know and respect, such as the Pritzker Prize (the architects’ “Nobel”) laureate British architect Richard Rogers, a leading international designer, founder of the Dutch company Moooi Marcel Wanders, German artist and owner of the world’s famous baby-food company Klaus Hipp, and Alex Velasco, the first design instructor of the IDS and the author of its curriculum and the school’s concept.
The first group of 50 bachelor students, joined by the three master students, had been introduced to the Building 8 of the GTU Central Campus, next to the Rectorate Office and the GTU stadium. Alex Velasco was the only design instructor in 2013-2014, supported by Prof. Nick Shavishvili on the art and design theories and philosophy. In summer 2014, when the second group of students enrolled the IDS, Alex left Georgia to continue his lecturing practices in India, and was replaced by the local professional – Giga Khatiashvili, visual communication designer with a teaching experience and a good command of English. In 2015 Eric Binder, the American artist, illustrator and designer, joined the School. The same year saw young Georgian talents – Lasha Kobulia and Maka Samarganishvili joining the growing academic staff and capable to further expand the scope of studio classes from graphic and visual communications, and product design to interior and furniture. Irakli Tkemaladze of a leading Georgian developer Flash Ltd. became the website design instructor; from 2016 Oto Chekurishvili started to share with the senior students – then in their third year – his proven skills in mobile applications design; architect Sandro Mgaloblishvili introduced the students to CAD, and a very well-known professional photograph Gia Javelidze demonstrated the potential of digital tools and graphic software. From October 2016, Prof. Otar Chekurishvili joined the academic staff of IDS sharing his rich experience of a graphic designer and the very first Georgian digital publishing expert.The 2016 witnessed the first successful graduation from the IDS – three master students, from Iraq, Armenia and Georgia, defended their thesis and left the school. The 2017 saw another “first” in a short history of the IDS: the group of the bachelor students who enrolled the school in October 2013, celebrated their graduation and received BA qualifications.