Tuesday, March 19, 2013

India – Design Bound!

By Savitha Hira
Photography: Courtesy IDF 2013

IDF 2013 Mumbai- session in progress
India Design Forum 2013 Mumbai
With the India Design Forum 2013 summing up the design scenario in India as largely aware and progressive, does the overall picture necessitate the intervention of more such interactive platforms that can make design come of age?

Last week, India Art n Design asked you all a very compelling question – “Where have we, as a growing-design-awareness-nation reached? How close are we to our global counterparts? Or is the road ahead still full of stumbling blocks?”

India Design Forum 2013 Mumbai
Armando Brancini

The thought was propelled by 2 significant growing-awareness conferences that were held to question design status in India. India Design Forum that was an intense two-day conference attempting to better understand the discipline of design in India has concluded on a positive note. With various internationally renowned design thinkers adding their valuable insights into the kitty of receptive mind-sets, the chances of the road ahead paving the way for smoother design-industry-layman interaction could only be strengthened by “involving policymakers - the men and women in power who need to fund and implement design sensitive policies”, as aptly pointed out by Atul Punj, chairman, Punj Llloyd Group, who have supported the IDF venture from its inception. This further mulls the fact that probably more such platforms need to be raised, asserting design education, values and solutions.

India Design Forum 2013 Mumbai
Subodh Gupta

Overall, encouraging facets of the conversations revealed that while the “current generation is starting to identify design as a process- a way of thinking” as stated by Dr Isher Judge Ahluwalia, chairperson, Board of Governors, ICRIER “Design is getting connected to business and commerce”, the need of the hour is to harness “the power of design to humanize, unite and surprise”, as UK architect Thomas Heatherwick proclaimed and substantiated with his own portfolio.

India Design Forum 2013 Mumbai
Ar. Rahul Mehrotra

While there is aplenty to solve and reallocate in the everyday approach to design in the broader social, cultural and political spectrum, to effect a scenario of informed design-oriented decision-making calls for “both sides - the client and the designer - to empathize with each other, to understand each other's perspective and constraints”, to take the journey together to arrive at the desired pinnacle of design excellence.  This very significant aspect that possibly marks the bottom-line of design success was diligently debated in a discussion on ‘Creativity and Innovation in Business’ by stalwarts like Abanti Sankanarayanan, MD, Diageo India; Nick Talbot, Global Design Head, Tata Elexsi and Rodrigo Rodriguez, Vice Chairman, FLOS, and moderated by none other than Parameswaran Venkataraman, Head, IMRB Innovation Labs, Member, Executive Council, Centre for Emerging Markets Solutions, Indian School of Business.

India Design Forum 2013 Mumbai
Christian Louboutin   

And the most important injunction, as eminent Fashion designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee pointed out is that Indian designers “understand and appreciate the strength in our own legacy and revel in it”, creating and glorifying a distinct Indian identity on the global design platform.

India Design Forum 2013 Mumbai
Amitabh Kant

India Design Forum 2013 Mumbai
Shammy Jacob of SAAF Foundation 

Visit www.indiadesignforum.com for more details.

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