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 professionals in the industry. I was proud to be one of them. This post is an excerpt from Pool’s interview. To view or read Pool magazine Issue 6 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 are 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 the realisation 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 the wet northeast 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.