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. Flip through social

    I have been an active resident of social media. I am alive in three social networks, write two blogs and ardently follow a few. But lately I succumbed to information overload fatigue. I cannot machete my way through tweets and farmville updates anymore. Thought I should recede and reclaim my inner peace instead.

    Enter Flipboard on iPad. Created by Mike McCue, former CEO of a voice search services firm and Evan Doll, a senior iPhone engineer from Apple, Flipboard is an iPad application that effectively merges the beauty of print and the power of social media. And they had me at the first flip. On launch, the cover randomly picks posts from my list and plays them out for me. I can personalize the content page by selecting from a list of trusted sources including my twitter and facebook accounts. Flip on to read stories, photos and comments delivered to me like an attractive magazine. Delectable!

    However, there are a few ‘nice to have’ features that can better this product. I will be happier if I can add my own sources to the list, like a friend’s blog. Or easily post to social networks, which I cannot. The visual design can get better at places. Pages of the magazine filled with photos can be on black or typography can be enhanced on white pages with a few status posts. The landscape version of the pages are not as resolved as the portrait. They fold mid page over the content, which is unlike any good magazine worth it’s salt. There are more such niggling bits of peeves in this early version. I am sure the updates will solve them.

    But Flipboard is probably the most compelling new way to find, read and share social content – served as easily digestible nuggets of well designed magazine snippets. Happy flipping!

    As published in Pool magazine. View the issue online here.

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