Blog Archives

  1. Reminisce: Pool Magazine 6

    The advent of 50 years of Indian design has made sixth issue of Pool magazine revisit this long journey from inception till what design stands for in contemporary India today. As a part of this editorial search they interviewed few professionals in the industry. I am proud to be one of them. This post is an excerpt from my interview. To view or read Pool magazine online click here.

    What is your thought on “Made in India” as opposed to “Made for India”?

    In this context neutralized global marketplace ‘Made in India’ and ‘Made for India’ does not seem to be very different. In a way this is good. The Indian sense of quality and design is global now. However, there is loads of hidden needs buried in our small towns and villages which demands an appropriate ‘Made for India’ response. There are a few global companies, especially in telecommunications, quenching these needs with solutions. There will be more soon. A growing economy is an orchard for the wounded west and designers will be bridging this context gap.

    What is the most impactful, landmark project according to you, which was a turning point in the history of Indian Design?

    The most visible event to the world was Le Corbusier designing Chandigarh. But the true turning point was the establishment of National Institute of Design. Creating a knowledge center is the perfect way to grow a discipline.

    What is Indian Design?

    Indian designers should wake up to a frame of reference that is neither fully urban nor borrowed from an alien culture. Designing for this complex country of varied languages, cultures and ethnicity lies in defining the context right. Indian design is about realization of products or solutions for this specific context established through research and create using global best practices in technology. For example, designing farm implements for the terraced fields of wet north east or designing a vernacular newspaper for a large southern state.

    What is the future of design education according to you?

    Institutions should equip young designers with a palette of components that help them build solutions that affect lives. This pedagogy will reinforce basic design competencies with culture/context sensitive articulation to arrive at a holistic solution that engage users consistently across multiple nodes of engagement. The future of design education lies in creating responsible professionals who can deliver and articulate humanistic results within intricate contexts.

    How has the journey been and what in your opinion should we watch out for (phenomena/designfirm/upcoming technology/philosophy)?

    The Indian future is set in the vernacular. Culture will be the new black. Every solution is going to be made ready to fare well in the non-urban context. Indian designers should venture out of their comfort zone of urban cubbyholes and get ready to play in the larger arena. We will also see technologies that help us manage crowdsourced solutions and peer to peer collaborative creative platforms that help create stronger virtual teams. The user will participate, partially create and eventually use solutions. This process will be owned, moderated and enhanced by professional designers.

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  2. Inspiration series: 50 years of design education in India

    Recently I attended a meeting at Idiom campus in Bangalore. The agenda was to define a structure to celebrate half a century of formal design pedagogy in India. There were a few ideas floated. I came out of the group with a specific mission.

    How many times have you met a fellow designer one-on-one and talked about how they evolved, present day design business, expectations and future? I decided to do this with my friends and document it as a personal note – an inspirational capsule for creative professionals. I want to meet designers with varied objective and write a series of articles. And why?

    1. Seek Inspiration: We are constantly looking at the next best thing to do. We are seeking a spark that will stimulate us for a while and then we can seek the next one. I probably will find a few in this journey to keep me running for a longer spell. Be inspired!
    2. Show and Tell: With my association with publications and Mario I have acquired skills in representational techniques for narratives. The truth in editorial design is about creating compelling narratives through written word, images and typography. I want to do this myself and see it working.
    3. Dry Design Writing: I am not a great writer. Yet I have an opinion. Other than large documentation projects that culminate in exquisite books, Indian design writing lacks personality or emotion. They read like industry journals on commodities or aluminum scrap forcibly written by clerks in dungeons. My articles are going to be personal accounts on people I know, with a hope that it will make these a good read. Keeping it honest.
    4. Exercise Humility: There are a few of us who can listen, enjoy, appreciate and assimilate good work by other designers. Over the years it has bothered me a lot. Visits to seminars and Designyatra has strengthened this belief further. I take this as a personal cleansing, getting off the proverbial ivory tower to look around and feel humble.
    5. People: Finally it is all about human beings, friends and fellow professionals. There is a lot that we can share and everybody has a story. I like that thought!

    There are more reasons not articulated yet. If you are somebody that I contact to do an interview or a profile I will promptly point you to this post. This is an easy way to understand the ‘why’.

    As of now this series of articles are going to be published right here in Apparatus blog. If you are interested in publishing, sponsoring or helping with this exercise please do leave a note here. You can mail or call me too. My contact details are at here.

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