Industrial Design Center was set up in 1969 by the Government of India under the auspices of Indian institute of technology Bombay.
Prof. V. N. Adarkar was the Adviser for the first five years. Prof. Sudhakar Nadkarni took up the headship and was responsible for setting up of IDC.
Aims and objectives put down by the committee for formation of the center were: "The aim of the Industrial Design Center is to prepare students to enter into new creative activities as professional industrial designers who with experience and maturity can reach the highest level of design practice, research and development necessary for the industry".
It began with an academic programme in industrial design. The initial efforts were focused on setting up the facilities and developing the faculty. IDC as an institution was conceived to be part of the 'Indian Institute of Technology Bombay'; to give it a strong "result oriented" character so that there is always the possibility to actualize the design concepts emerging from its field of education and research along with a broad technological support from the IIT as a whole.
As the design center emerged, it was realized that industrial design in a developing country with its varied cultural heritage has a vital role to play in national development. It soon became clear that a profession constantly dealing with development and the future of people will have to inculcate values in the society appropriate to fulfill the physical, social and cultural needs and aspiration of the people; in a manner acceptable to the majority. The efforts at the center have been concentrated on the task of inculcating these 'desirable values' through education, practice and propagation. The design projects and other activities reported throw light on how this task is being tackled at the Center.
These efforts were assisted by UNDP funds in the early eighties, which helped IDC in evolving a two year postgraduate program in industrial design. The Masters of Design program in Industrial Design was started in 1980. Taking advantage of the on going UNDP assistance, IDC also started a masters program in Visual Communication in 1984. The two masters program has evolved as strong program and the students are very well received in the industry.
During the 80's and 90's there have been other changes in the design education scene in the country. School of Planning and Architecture in Delhi and IIT Delhi have started master's level programs in Industrial Design and the new IIT at Guwahati has started a graduate level 4 year program in Industrial design and Communication Design. Srishti school of art design and technology, a private design institute started in late 90's in the city of Bengaluru.