Season of Love for Design in India

It’s the season of love. While Valentine’s Day, week, or month is celebrated world over, India is on an overdrive to celebrate it’s love for design. It’s visible and in-your -face at least in the Mumbai- Delhi circuit.

Suddenly, you are spoilt for choice.

February saw the launch of yet another edition of Auto Expo that celebrates India’s contribution to the global automobile design and manufacturing, by showcasing all the indigenously manufactured cars, buses, bikes and the like. Concept cars, that show cased the talents of young Indian designers were exhibited for all to see.

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One may want to take a look at emerging design talent, in the exhibition 20 under 35 by Design x Design. This is carefully curated exhibition of designers’ work that show promise and chutzpa, was inaugurated this week. It works as a launch platform for new designers, who are looking to establish their work and puts the much-desired spotlight on new work.

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Designers whose work borders on art are chosen to exhibit and sell at the now popular Kala Ghoda festival in Mumbai, that is currently on this week. Designers and artists have known to use this platform as stepping stone to international fame and fortune.

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Also launched this week in Delhi, is an ambitious India Design ID, that focuses more on the furniture-space-lighting domain. New designers exhibit work along with established ones in the show. A symposium on Design with keynote speakers like Tom Dixon and Suzanne Khan, set the tone for the show this week. An interesting aspect to this, is the open houses at the design entrepreneurs’ shops and studios, where people can get a first-hand feel of how designers work.12710903_1016069261798434_4936616498754768690_o

In a slightly smaller scale, but worthwhile all the same, is Dastkar’s bazaar that helps artisans  get their products designed and marketed at their outlets. Dastkar also helps designers who work with artisans to launch their own brand. It’s a good place to go this week in Delhi and appreciate craft design.12671812_10153946363613979_3594470031411850874_o

Of course, the Surajkund Crafts Mela, in the out-skirts of Delhi is the ultimate medley of crafts, culture and design. This two-week festival which is a Haryana Tourism initiative has been successfully doing this every February for the past 30 years. Visitors can enjoy a day’s trip and return home with souvenirs from India.

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Launching today in an un-precedented scale in Mumbai is the 5-day ” Make in India” event. Design is also being showcased through workshops and exhibitions by ADI, India Design Council, CII, India Design Forum and the like. There is a concerted effort to showcase Design expertise that is both global in outlook and local in context.

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This will hopefully trigger more opportunities for Indian designers and businesses. The month concludes with a two-day get together of Designers from India and abroad at Pune Design Festival. Organised by the Association of Designers of India, the PDF is on its tenth edition and has grown from strength to strength. This year’s focus is on the exponential power of design thinking. The conference promised to be cerebral and inspiring.

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February cannot get any more exciting. If you love Design, like I do, make sure that you are a part of this celebration. Visit, participate, buy, write, review all things design. “Love is all you need”.

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What’sappening to Design?

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Look closely at this un-credited picture doing the rounds in social media. The Saree worn by this lady from an obvious semi urban background from India has all the popular internet logos like What’sapp , Facebook. Google and Yahoo.
This is so unique to Indian design done for the masses. The context is in the designer’s mind, quite unmindful of the consumer. The design preempts a trend and finds a new audience. Come to think of it, it’s much like Steve Jobs way of designing products that we did not know we wanted.
I would like to  meet the designer of the Saree and credit the photographer too who saw this unusual trend.
Both may not know that this is so happening!!!

Thinking of a Design Career?

It is that time of the year.

Children having finished school tend to go from pillar to post, trying to get admission into a course they are keen on.

Invariably, they settle for a course that they are found eligible for and kill their passion in the process. It is at these times, I wonder when will our governments wake up to the aspirations of the young adults of today. I am also inundated with calls from parents and their wards about the merits of various design schools in the country.

If you have just completed your school, you are probably one of those, wondering what to do next. While some of your friends are seeking admission into professional design programmes, you are still in a dilemma about exploring something new.

Are you considering a career in Design?  Know what you want.

You have probably nurtured an ambition to design new automobiles. You may wonder who designs those fancy apps on your mobile phone? You imagine your bedroom space to be different and stylish. You are stunned by the fancy dress your cousin bought in the mall. You are impressed with the design of a website you just visited.

If you see yourself in any of the above scenarios, you are probably creative enough to follow your passion and explore getting into a career in design.

There are other pointers in your daily life that tells you that you are ready for a creative career.

You have always been told that you are creative, or you are one of those with ideas for every problem.

You are thorough and detailed.

You pick up a pen to draw an idea to explain.

You enjoy making things or taking things apart.

You have always been told that you are stylish.

Your friends consult you for ideas on their dress sense.

You love colour.

If you are all this, or even some of this, you should explore a serious professional career in design.

If you have not made it to the big institutes, do take time to check out the smaller ones. Some of these are better suited and more contemporary.

If you are passionate about the future, don’t settle. Remember, only dust settles.