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March 2012 | # 21 Indian edition

Supported by

“With good looking people and their tablets and mobile phones, Seoul subway looks like a mix of a fashion show & technology expo!”

“I am fascinated by, and interested to understand, what topics and issues make people more likely to engage with. ”

Cagri Cankaya 05

Ishan Khosla


India’s First International Design Magazine D E S I G N • I N N OVAT I O N • C R E AT I V I T Y

OPINION Tet Reuver 06

CARTOONIST Noor Mohammed 24


Prof. Dhimant Panchal


Photographed by Sudhir Sharma

Dithi Chakrobortty 28 MAESTRO Sunil Pant 09

PHOTOGRAPHY Amit Sharma 12

ILLUSTRATOR Lokesh Karekar 16

CRAFT Sabeena Karnik



CALL FOR ENTRIES WIN A TRIP TO LOS ANGELES, ADOBE SOFTWARE AND CASH The Awards celebrate innovative students and faculty members from all over the world for their achievements using the dynamic combination of technology and the creative arts. For this year‘s competition, students are encouraged to CREATE YOUR WINGS AND FLY.

2012 Judging Schedule: 1) November 28, 2011 – January 27, 2012 – Semifinalists announced in February 2012 2) January 28, 2012 – April 27, 2012 – Semifinalists announced in May 2012 3) April 27, 2012 – June 22, 2012 – Semifinalists announced in July 2012

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Integration: Find the Ocean

Abhijit Bansod Studio ABD, India

Kigge Hevid CEO, Index Awards, Denmark

Adil Darukhanawala Editor, Economic Times, Zigwheels, India

Kishor Singh Business Editor, India

Dr. Inyoung Albert Choi Professor, Hanyang University, Korea

Kohei Nishiyama Founder, Elephant Design, Japan

Anaezi Modu Rebrand, USA

Madhukar Kamath Managing Director and CEO, Mudra Group, India

Prof. Anil Sinha Principal, NID, India

M P Ranjan India

Anna Muoio Social Innovation, US

Prasoon Pandey Corcoise Films, India

Anuj Sharma Designer, India

Rajesh Kejriwal Kyoorius Exchange, India

Aradhana Goel Designer / Strategist, Ideo, USA

Rodney Fitch UK

Cathy Huang President, China Bridge Shanghai

Shilpa Das Head, Publications, NID, India

Craig Branigan Chairperson, Landor, CEO, B to D Group, USA

Dr Soumitra R Pathare Psychiatrist, India

Christopher Charles Benninger Architect, Studio CCBA, India

Shrikant Nivasarkar Founder, Nivasarkar Consultants, India

David Berman David Berman Communications, Canada

Subrata Bhowmik Subrata Bhowmik Design, India

Deepika Jindal Managing Director, Artdinox, India

Sudhir Sharma Designindia, India

Essam Abu Awad MIDAS, Jordan

Suresh Venkat CNBC, India

Hrridaysh Deshpande Innoastra, India

Uday Dandavate Sonicrim, USA

Jos Oberdof NPK Design, Netherland

Umesh Shukla Auryn, LA, USA

Julia Chiu Executive Director, JIDPO, Japan

William Drentell Winterhouse, USA

Kieu Pham Haki Brand, Vietnam

William Herald Wong WHW Design, Malaysia

Editor in Chief Sudhir Sharma

Finance Kuldeep Harit Deepak Gautam

Copy Editor Ashvina Vakil

Art & Design Pradeep Goswami Swapnil Gaikwad Sayali Lonkar

Design Coordinator Shriya Nagi Research Team Maitreyi Doshi-Joshi Rajlaxmi Datta Vaibhav Mohite Triveni Sutar Layout & Production Pradeep Arora Satyajeet Harpude Subscription & Logistics Seema Sharma

Christine de Baan of Dutch DFA with Sudhir at the launch of Design workspace in Mumbai

Many designers have written to me about getting bored with the routine work they have been doing for many years; some need to find new ways to grow, others feel stuck in the rut. On the other hand, too many customers of design services feel that designers fall a bit short in providing service. It is a very common complaint from clients. Ask any client in the midst of changing designers why they are seeking a new design company and invariably the answer is, “Our earlier designer was very good at work but didn’t provide service.” Scratch the surface of what this ‘service’ is and you discover a whole world of unfulfilled promises, expectations not met, and incompetence from designers. From the point of view of designers, they are focused, each providing a niche service, some to surgical specialization. Most of the time designers have no idea that the client needs more from them, perhaps work from unrelated disciplines. And then there are some who understand this but become greedy and deliver the wrong /inappropriate solutions to the client. This scenario plays out in almost all growing economies - where clients look for service providers who can give them everything, and designers trying to hold on to only what they can do. So what is the solution? There is something to be learned from the way the advertising industry has consolidated and integrated its services. But then they operate on a higher scale of economics than design companies. You also find the architectural and fashion industries integrating their services very quickly. It is time for design companies and designers to integrate geographies, skills, and services. Learn more about unrelated services. Learn more about related services. Create alliances and partnerships, and keep your own focus. Step outside your disciplines and domains and discover growth. You can focus on your skills and integrate with others with complementary skills. There is no need to be will learn to swim and discover the ocean. Sudhir Sharma Editor in Chief Publisher INDI Design Pvt Ltd

March 2012 | # 21 Indian Edition March 2012 | # 21 IndIan edItIon

Supported by

“With good looking people and their tablets and mobile phones, Seoul subway looks like a mix of a fashion show & technology expo!”

“I am fascinated by, and interested to understand, what topics and issues make people more likely to engage with. ”

Cagri Cankaya 05

Ishan Khosla

India’s First International Design Magazine D E S I G N • I N N OVAT I O N • C R E AT I V I T Y

Digital Manish Kori Marianna Korniienko Aboli Kanade Marketing Arjun Samaddar Tarun Thakkar Assistants Yamanappa Dodamani Shailesh Angre Pranil Gaikwad

Designindia was founded in 2002. It was started as a platform for interaction for the design community in India and abroad. Over the years it has grown into a forum spread over many social and professional networking domains, linking design professionals into an active, interactive and thought leading community.


Indi Design Pvt Ltd C-1, Unit No 503-504, Saudamini Commercial Complex, Bhusari ColonyRight, Paud Road, Pune 411038 Phones: +91 20 2528 1433

oPInIon tet Reuver 06

International Design Media Network Participant

CaRtoonISt noor Mohammed 24


Prof. dhimant Panchal


Photographed by Sudhir Sharma

dithi Chakrobortty 28 MaeStRo Sunil Pant 09

PHotoGRaPHY amit Sharma 12

ILLUStRatoR Lokesh Karekar 16

CRaFt Sabeena Karnik



A new identity for the biennial IDA Congress was recently unveiled under the banner of the International Design Alliance (IDA) by partner organizations the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid), the world body for professional communication design (Icograda) and the International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers (IFI).

Entries are in for The European Design Awards, the comprehensive annual awards organization celebrating the best of graphic design, illustration and digital design in Europe. A joint effort by 15 prominent communication design magazines from across Europe, the EDAwards 2012 will be officially announced at a ceremony to be held in Helsinki in May this year.

Designed and developed by Pentagram, the new look focuses on an artistic restructuring of Pangaea, a theory of Greek origin meaning ‘all lands’ in support of the idea that at one time, all of Earth’s continents were once a single landmass. The six inhabited continents have been merged and rearranged, resulting in the new IDA Congress logo, which is a seemingly abstract shape composed of the silhouettes of all continents, geographic details of which come into view when enlarged. The new logo brings together Earth’s continents, as the IDA Congress brings together design disciplines, uniting designers and their stakeholders to shape regional and global agendas that further the impact of design.

Apart from the main awards for categories ranging from company logos and annual reports to packaging, calendars and posters, three special prizes will also be announced: Jury’s Prize, for work that promotes design best among the wider public; Agency of the Year; and Best of Show, chosen from gold winners across all categories. Each winner will receive a much coveted trophy known as the ‘European Design Star’ due to the logo of the ED-Awards (an asterisk) located on the top of it; the nickname has also come to mean that those who win this trophy are ‘design Stars’ in their own right. The Jury comprises specialized design editors and critics from leading European design media whose job is to recognize and promote the best of communication design internationally, granting winners top quality awards and visibility. The judging is done in the presence of an observer appointed by ICOGRADA (the International Council of Graphic Design Associations).


The ED-Awards receive the widest publicity in the design awards field, simply because the awards are based on a network of design media, i.e., the means of communication themselves. For further details:

Each Congress host, selected on a biennial basis, will be able to customize the identity within a system developed by Pentagram, showcasing the unique attributes and culture of the host city. The new IDA Congress logo provides a visual anchor for key text elements such as the host city name, the year and theme. The next IDA Congress will take place from 17-19 November 2013 in Istanbul (Turkey). Istanbul Technical University (ITU), official host of the 2013 IDA Congress, will be the first to use this logo under the theme ‘Design Dialects’.

Amitabh Bachchan @SrBachchan T 665 - “ Do not get upset with people or situations. Both are powerless without

your reaction .. !!”

2 POOL | 3.12 | #21


Deepak Pathania, who helped design the award-winning ‘Saakshar Bharat’ tableau for this year’s Republic Day Parade, tells POOL how the Tree of Knowledge came to light... While watching the 2011 Republic Day Parade on television, I suddenly had this urge to design a float for the Parade. Many months later I was introduced to Saumya Sen, Consultant Creative Director, NFDC, who had identified an opportunity to pitch for a float for the Ministry of Human Resource Development (Department of School Education and Literacy). As they were already working on the Adult Literacy Mission called ‘Saakshar Bharat’, we took that as the theme for the float. Saumya and I partnered as creative directors and thus began yet another new journey for me and for my company, Design Intervention (I) Pvt. Ltd. We wanted a visual for the tableau that stood out as something refreshing but did not want to depart from the standard storytelling too much. We therefore mixed some standard visuals with that of a huge contemporary metal sculpture depicting the very familiar ‘Bodhi’ enlightenment tree; its leaves were composed of alphabets in 11 Indian scripts, which cover most of the 22 languages. The single color gold was chosen to not only sum up the entire story but also allow one to appreciate the beauty of the tree

sculpture in isolation. Making it one color made sure that nothing shouted for attention out of turn and we could let a person see the entire float and all its parts in the sequence that we intended.


To have participated with a design for this national event was good enough for me, but to have won the first prize for it was really a gift from God. The tableau was displayed on the biggest visible Indian platform and it was amazing to have pulled off the design with our tiny core team consisting of Amit Pathania (partner director and head of operations), Sheroy Katila (industrial designer) and I. It is the last of the projects that I have done as a Mumbai based Creative Director of my multi-disciplinary firm, Design Intervention (I) Pvt. Ltd. I soon shift base to Goa where my wife Carol and I will team up with Art Escape for a subventure into innovation related activities and also start a DI-Goa branch. I now want to use all my cross-discipline and materials experience of 22 years for innovation projects and to explore work as a sculptor. I worked closely with a great structural engineer, Mr. Kelkar to stabilize but yet keep free the branches of this 2-ton ‘Tree of Knowledge’ on a moving/ lurching platform. This tree, the highlight of the tableau, is my first big sculpture and is now being put up as a permanent installation at the NCERT building in New Delhi. I hope to do many more in the future. We knew that the cost of this tree would be higher than regular elements on floats because if it had to withstand the lurching on a moving platform, it had to be over-engineered. Importantly, the tree being thus immortalized is a tribute to our multidisciplinary expertise where we have always seen things beyond the scope of the project. We are thankful that things turned out the way they did! (Left to right) Amit, Deepak and Sheroy

Animation filmmaker Dhimant Vyas received the ‘Outstanding Individual Achievement for Character Animation’ Award at the 4th Global Youth Marketing Forum 2011 held recently in Mumbai. “It is great to see that the marketing segment is recognizing animation as a powerful medium and is recognizing individuals from this segment,” said the NID alumnus, who has an impressive body of work. Currently working as Creative Director for social gaming giant Zynga at its India office in Bangalore, Dhimant has in the past worked with Aardaman Animation, and on films like Taare Zameen Par. The Global Youth Marketing Forum (GYMF) is a gathering of marketing professionals, researchers, and brand specialists behind some of the world’s most successful and sought after youth brands across fashion, music, technology, sports and lifestyle. An annual nonprofit making activity, it is strategically partnered by CMO Council USA and CMO Asia.

Sahil Khan @sahilk So, Pentagram took away everything at JDRA last night? Some, they deserved. Not all the ones

they won. Slightly disappointed. 3

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4 POOL | 3.12 | #21


Around the World

ATIONthe C U D E UING ri Cankaya rediscovers... N I T N O C world ad’ Cag across the on the Ro urney ‘Designer fe on his jo li f o y a w Korean

After four weeks with Lowe in Vietnam, I moved on to a well known design office called Continuum in Seoul, South Korea. They have four offices in different parts of the world. I was pretty excited about Korea because I already had many friends there. In 2006 I was invited for a design workshop by Hong IK University, which is the top art and design school in South Korea. I missed those days and my Korean friends, who had visited me in Turkey several times. I was happy that I was finally making a return visit. Continuum is more about designing and developing products and graphics than creating advertising. It was an interesting experience for me to see how a real design office helps its clients and how things work. I helped the team with a package design project for a fair trade brand called G;ru. Real hand made products, ranging from toys to clothes, from developing countries are sourced and sold in G;ru showrooms. A percentage of money from sales goes to producers from these countries. Continuum Korea was planning to hire some new talent for their team, so I designed some print ads for their needs. First I came up with the idea of using logos featuring super heroes, but they thought them too funky and asked for a more serious looking, minimal, clean ad. Then

they wanted to use some office photos and I thought it could be a nice opportunity to make something interesting and enjoyable. But in the end, one of those usual ‘hiring’ ads was finalized. I was a little sad but they asked me to design an illustrated poster featuring all the office members. I had really good times in Korea. I met most of my Korean friends from Hong IK University. We visited many interesting places, ate and drank traditional Korean food and beverages...hung around, chatted till midnight and shopped. Seoul is a colorful city, with huge streets and tall buildings. The city has an interesting spirit. Unlike other fully developed new cities, Seoul doesn’t have a hospital-like feeling. Yes, it is well planned and clean but there are many things to do and discover in Seoul. There is great street food everywhere which one must try. There are bazaars, night clubs, bars and mind blowing shopping malls. Korea has some of the biggest shopping malls in Asia, where you can probably remain lost for three days! The bad thing about Seoul is that it is a very expensive city, so you have to be careful about money. Some districts are made for really rich people. The transportation system in Korea is awesome. Seoul has the third best subway system in the world and it is truly amazing - there is no place you can’t reach on the subway, and all on a single ticket! Though the subway map looks very complicated, the well designed graphics ensure that nothing goes wrong and you never get lost. Travelling on the

subway is extremely easy even if you don’t understand the Korean language. It seems that everybody has a smartphone in Seoul! Every single person has one of these machines and they can’t live without them. With the good looking people and their tablets and mobile phones, the Seoul subway looks like a mix of a fashion show and technology expo! The Korean people are very kind and friendly. They invite you home to have dinner, and ask you to stay! They love to serve traditional food, drinking, dramas, pop bands, and high tech toys. They are very happy if you can speak some Korean. It’s a very weird language but everything sounds so cute! The girls of Korea are also cute. They really care about how they look – they wear lovely short skirts even when the temperature is 0 degrees! I believe Korea is the number one country for plastic surgery. While people from different countries go to Korea to have plastic surgery, it is also very popular among Koreans. Most women have had some operation to augment their looks. Many of them start having these operations when they are teenagers! It was good to be back in Korea after six years and have good times with old friends - Kim Minsu, Umin Jang, Sumin Mo, and all the others. Next month I will be back on the road and head to Ukraine - where the beautiful girls are! I’ll see you then... 5


Tet at INDI Office, Pune



Tet Reuver, Head of Jury, Dutch Design Awards, drops in at the POOL office for a tête-à-tête with Editor, Sudhir Sharma

Mariana Miller @ItsThingsInLife Not having to set an alarm for the next day is one of the best feelings

in the world.

6 POOL | 3.12 | #21

I used to work for a sports company doing design, for hockey actually, so I often came to Jalandhar. In those days we went to Lahore for hockey sticks, so you had to cross the Wagah border pass - you had to get out of the car and walk 200 meters. I used to visit India for the weddings of friends and there I was - dancing in the streets of Amritsar! I am always very happy to be in India and to meet people here. I have good Indian friends. I think Indian women are really very, very good and they inspire me. It’s good to be here! Tet at Dutch Design Awards, Eindhovem

Tet speaking to the INDI Team

Tell us about your time at the Design Academy in Eindhoven. TR: I am a designer by profession, educated at the Design Academy in Eindhoven in the ’90s. After graduation I worked with the Academy as Manager Commercial Affairs from 2000 to 2011. I tried to interest companies like Air France, Renault, Peugeot, and Nike to work with students, to do projects with students, and also to understand what we do as designers. Many companies did not, and still do not, have an idea of what design is. They think that as a designer you just color something here and there and that’s it! We wanted companies to realize how important design is and what it can do in terms of product design, services, systems, communication, and spatial design. We wanted the companies to work with teams of students to do research on totally new concepts and things - something they had never heard before! We also wanted students to understand the complexities of these companies.

years ago. They needed new concepts. It’s important to know the business, and you can have debates about it or discourses on what is design, why are we doing what we are doing, etc. We have discussions on mobility, spatial and communication design, and with the teams of people who are selected.

When did you get involved with the Dutch Design Awards? TR: I think I started about four or five

When did you first visit India? TR: In the ’80s…

What impact do the Awards have on the design community? TR: In Eindhoven, we have an exhibition space, a greenhouse – many people from Eindhoven come there. It takes time - it’s not an instant success. Of course, it’s a success for what it is, but you have to build it up and your ambition and vision has to be higher - that people from different backgrounds understand ‘what is design’ and what it can do for humanity. There are so many topics to tackle and it takes time. It is important that we focus on what’s done now and where it is going now to where we can go.

How have you seen India change in the past few years? TR: It’s been a very long time since I’ve visited Jalandhar. I saw more when I was on a holiday in the ’90s. I saw Rajasthan and last year I went to Ahmedabad. I think Delhi has changed a lot in terms of infrastructure - the Metro is really a fantastic solution! I went to Bangalore last week and saw how many things have developed there. What has really changed is the positivity; people have a lot of faith in things developing and that’s a great feeling. Of course there are many problems, many struggles, but on the other hand you see so many leaps forward. I was in Mumbai in the ’80s too and to be honest I do not recognize the place anymore. It’s a totally different place - in terms of building, people and their way of life, just the kind of resilience to move on and succeed. When you look at Europe, for instance, it’s more fearful because we have a crisis. People think they should stick to everything they have and know. It is always like that in a country that has everything, they don’t change easily I think change is an important thing. When did you discover Osho? TR: That was a long time ago, before I first came to India. I had never met him, but I had read his

Neha Kapoor @_PWN People get defensive when

they love themselves too much or too little. 7

Opinion the best you can in a blissful way, in joy and happiness, by meditation. It’s easy to get into a blissful state through the techniques he taught. It’s wonderful that you have people who love peace and who love each other in the sense that they want to connect and share.

books. Actually I had designed a bath for people who don’t live in big places, made of material which you could roll out and blow up. It did not take too much water - only 40 liters, compared to 200 liters - and yet you had the feeling of being in the bath. In those days I called it ‘Osho’ because the name had to do with everlasting water. As a designer I always work with water. I don’t know how and why but I design things related to water! But the thing is, in those days he was not called Osho, he was called Bhagwan. The name was printed on the bath and when they began calling him Osho I thought I should remove the name from the bath! In Holland in the ’70s and ’80s there were all these people walking around in orange clothes on the streets and we all thought they were crazy. But when I came here last year, which was the first time I came to Pune, I decided to visit the Osho Ashram. I think it’s magical that you have people from all over the world who come there, and be there, and meditate. It’s very celebrative. I had always thought it was a crazy idea – one heard all these things, that it was all about sex - but it’s actually about spirit, mind, living

Was that your introduction to meditation? TR: I have been meditating for quite some time, but never in groups. There were about a thousand people in a beautiful designed place at the Ashram in Koregaon Park. I think the rooms and spaces here are extraordinary it’s a joy to have this in Pune! I meditate to keep myself balanced and not get overexcited about everything. I like to be excited, to enjoy and to be enthusiastic about many things, but also you need to have a balance…to understand this is me and that is not about me. It’s important to learn how to have a stable life, a happy life. Sometimes you have to get into your inner self, and to reflect on ‘who am I, what am I doing’ need silence for those kind of questions. As designers we deal with a material world. How do you reconcile being a designer with being a person looking for inner peace? TR: Interesting that you ask. Design has everything to do with empathy, and to be empathetic you need to know yourself. For us it has to do with self-

Diogeneb @diogeneb SC finally wakes up to what Bappi Da has known forever.

Sona hamara adhikaar hai. 8 POOL | 3.12 | #21

respect and self-love before you can give respect to other people. I think this is the beginning for every designer when you work with people, and make products for other people - you have to understand the needs of other people. Therefore it is important to understand yourself. Everyone has a way of getting there… meditation is a way. It depends on your education; it’s about self-esteem as well. At the Design Academy I sometimes thought we were too focused on setting goals, being successful, being a star. It seems so wonderful to be a star but once you are, you cannot live up to stardom. It’s not interesting anymore. It’s different when you are young and you have your role models who are stars. At the Design Academy for instance, all the people who work there have their own company or design office, so they work with students like master and disciple. It works very well. But for students it’s a constant stress – they need time to reflect as well. The Academy also offers yoga classes - luckily more people these days are interested in finding ways to relax and disconnect. Students have the choice of getting in touch with themselves through yoga. I myself have been doing yoga for almost 30 years. So when do we see you again? TR: Whenever you invite me, I will come! I never plan that much… because I don’t know how my life is going to look like in the coming months…


Monorail Maintenance Vehicle

3D visual development artist Sunil Pant tells POOL about the lure of the medium

So, what exactly does a 3D visual development artist do? SP: A 3D visual development artist, in my experience, has two jobs. The first and most important one is to be able to interpret already existing designs handed

down by the art director or production designer, but from a designer’s stand point as opposed to a modeler’s. What that means is ‘being able to keep the charm of a design alive from its sketch stage’. What usually ends up happening in pre-production is that when a design is sketched it has a certain ‘lively’ quality or ‘energy’ to it. My goal when I’m interpreting a sketch into 3D is to keep that energy alive in my design so it’s not just a stiff 3D model. I achieve this by adding on to the sketch elements that I think suit or are consistent to the design esthetic. ‘Consistency’ in a design is KEY. The second job is to come up with designs from scratch but in 3D form. When I work I usually do a very rudimentary sketch

and then jump straight into 3D since that’s where I work out all my details and have the most fun - again, keeping the esthetic of the movie in mind. What inspired you to become a 3D visual development artist? SP: 3D visual development artists are fairly new in the industry. Though the field is fast picking up, I hardly ever see any openings specifically asking for a 3D design artist. I took it up anyway since I really had a passion for 3D and at the same time I wanted to create designs that were my own. I think it’s very important to follow your gut instinct! Even though I knew the job prospects for what I was doing might not be great I saw real potential in the idea that since the final

Ramesh Srivats @rameshsrivats And remember, Right to Sleep means Right to *Sleep* okay. Not the right to sleep with whomever you want. 9

product today in film is usually 3D, why not start with 3D in pre-production and let the director see early on what the look of the design in going to be since that’s where we would end up anyway! Fortunately, things worked out and more and more people started to realize its potential in production. Tell us a little bit about yourself. SP: I’m a 3D modeler turned designer. I started my education in design and art at age 22 at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California, where I majored in Visual Development / Illustration. Since my background was in the science field I really had little experience in the field of art, but learned early on that the key to good art and design is good observation. My background in science helped me immensely since it brought a sense of believability to my designs. A few semesters into my education, my work was seen by one of the leading designers / art directors in Hollywood today, George Hull, whose work includes movies like Matrix Reloaded, Matrix Revolutions, Transformers, Jurassic Park and many others. I worked as an apprentice to him for about two years, learning what I could. Now we have collaborated on multiple projects together where I help or assist with 3D designs and visual development. These were my beginnings in the world of film design. I’m currently a Senior Concept Designer with Rainmaker Entertainment in Vancouver, Canada.

Do you follow a specific process while creating your animations? SP: As a matter of fact I do, and I call it ‘Research’. I spend a lot of time doing research on the subject before I start my designs. That helps give my designs a good amount of credibility. Once the research work is done I start to filter the information out in my head and use the information to dictate the look of my design. I believe ‘Research’ is THE most important aspect of design. To quote one of my professors from school, Anthony Kristov (Art Director - PIXAR), “Your designs are only ever going to be as good as the amount of time you put in to do your research.” Now after having worked on a few films I know this holds true! What is the most challenging part of being a 3D visual development artist? SP: Coming up with something believable that peaks the interest of the audience. Something that I as a designer ‘like’. As Steve Jobs once very famously said, “If I like it I know the people will too, you just have to trust your instinct.” What was your experience working on films like Megamind and Ironman? SP: In one word, ‘FUN’! It was a learning experience as well of how things in production really work - collaborating with a great team at DreamWorks Animation and really learning the ins and outs of production. A good designer is one thing but one should really know what the

job of the artist ahead in the production would be. That influences your choices in design and helps your production designer stay in budget. What is your opinion about the 3D industry in India? SP: I think it’s growing by leaps. The animation industry is still in its beginnings but shows a tremendous amount of future prospects. I would in the future love to collaborate with Indian directors or maybe start something myself so I can contribute to the Indian sci-fi and 3D industry. On my trip to India this year I saw Ra-One which is India’s first CG superhero flick. I liked the story and in some parts I thought things could have been done better but overall I stand in admiration of the creators of the film for taking on such a tremendous CG feat! It’s not easy to make movies like these, be it production wise or the sheer scale of it. What are your inspirations? SP: My overall inspirations strangely enough have not been film designers but art works from the Impressionistic movement like Monet, Cezanne, Van Gogh, Degas and the like. I like sculptors like Bernini. I’m very passionate about fine art since it’s all about observing the real world. My inspiration then in essence comes from what I see around me and life itself. My favorite designers from today would be Marc Newson, Massimo Vinelli, Dieter Chopper design: 2 wheel concept

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Value Study: Car Garage

Rams, Ron Cobb, Syd Mead, Ralph McQuarrie, George Hull, Marc Gabbana, and a few others. What do you love most about your work? SP: Waking up every morning to a new challenge and a new task of creating and putting out something new that people haven’t seen before; or a design or an environment that they haven’t seen treated in that way before. What’s next for you? SP: A few projects that I’m not allowed to talk about, but am very excited to be a part of. I’ll also be teaching a 3D design workshop on CG Society but the dates haven’t been finalized. I do think that would be sometime early this year.

I’m also looking forward to the release of two animated films I worked on in 2011 - Escape from Planet Earth and Max Steel, both of which come out this year. I also briefly helped out on the amazing Spider-man last year with George Hull – it’s coming out this summer so I’m looking forward to that as well. Eventually I hope to work as an Art Director and Production Designer on live action and animated movies. Do you have a dream project? SP: That would be working on a David Fincher or a Ridley Scott film. So far, it would be unfair of me to say that I’ve not already worked on a few of my dream projects or at least with people I admire. Working in some capacity in Bollywood

would also be something I look forward to in the future. What career advice would you give young 3D artists? SP: Draw! Observe and put your experiences in your work. Have a passion for whatever line of 3D you choose and go to the fundamentals of your field. Let’s say your aspiration is to be an animator: take acting classes. Every individual is unique so what you put into your character in 3D is your experiences and it shows when someone truly puts his or her heart and soul into their work. As I’ve always been told, ‘Find what keeps you inspired and at the end of the day, be true to yourself and just do it!’

Castle Design 11

Photography give it a go if I felt very strongly about photography.


EYES AS BAIT A marketing major turned webdesigner and photographer, Amit Sharma showcases his striking images on a blog called ‘Recaptured’

How did you get into photography? AS: A marketing major from IIM Indore, I have been engaged in activities involving photography, design, and animation from my college days. As a kid I was inspired by movies like Jewel Thief, Mera Naam Joker, Shaan, and Mr. India for their visual feel. I’ve been fascinated with photography for as long as I can remember. I guess in the beginning I was intrigued by my father’s Agfa point-and-shoots and the Yashiflex TLR. I would spend hours playing with those, even though no one would trust me with a camera with film inside! Around 10 years back I bought my first SLR – a second hand Minolta 35mm camera, and around four years back I got myself a digital SLR. Somewhere in between, over late night discussions with friends it occurred to me that, at the risk of sounding immodest, I had it in me to be a good enough photographer if I worked hard on it, and that I should

Why ‘Recaptured’? AS: Around 5-6 years ago I used to maintain a photoblog by the name ‘Capture’, which was quite popular amongst my friends. A couple of years later I gave in to the temptation of joining Flickr and sharing my photographs there. For obvious reasons I wanted to use the same name, but it wasn’t available. While searching for an alternate name, I thought it was like a second round for Capture, and so I called it ‘Recaptured’. It’s like I capture again with the camera what my eyes see at first. What is the most challenging part of being a photographer? AS: Doing something new every time! It’s unnerving at times to take a picture thinking that it might be similar to something I have clicked before, or someone else might have. Photography as an art has been around for quite a long time now, and nowadays it has become so accessible and so many people are expressing themselves through this medium that it’s almost impossible to remain entirely ‘original’. One has to keep inventing and reinventing all the time to stay relevant. We all need to learn all the time. What comes naturally is the interest, the attraction to the equipment, the insane thrill you get when you see a good picture you’ve clicked on the camera screen, or a computer screen, or in print. What is your personal choice of subject? AS: Landscapes. And people. Objects give me the chance to practice my technique, and become technically sound, but ultimately it’s when I catch a momentary smile or the glint in someone’s eye or a sombre portrait, which conveys different emotions to different viewers, that I feel the thrill of having captured something wonderful. What equipment are you comfortable using? AS: My bare minimum kit contains an ultra wide lens and one of my fast primes.

Nitin Pal We need more nuclear power. More coal power. More oil & gas power. More hydel power. More solar power. More wind power. More of everything. 12 POOL | 3.12 | #21

My favourite lens at the moment is the Sigma 30mm f1.4. It’s fast, reasonably light, quite sharp, and gives amazing colors and contrast. The field of view is slightly wider than what you’d call a nifty fifty (50mm on a full-frame body), so I can take close ups of people as well as take pictures with ‘context’ and ‘atmosphere’. How does a photo session usually pan out? AS: I choose a location or subject depending on how good it looks, how I envision the picture will come out, and most importantly, whether I will enjoy taking that picture. As a rule of thumb I click around 50-60 pictures (including the ones I would reject at the end of the

day in the camera itself) in an hour of shooting, and if I’m lucky I get around 8-10 good pictures in that span. It all depends on the light conditions, and whether I have a composition in mind or I’m passively waiting for something ‘magical’ to happen, such as a kid smiling while looking directly at me, or an animal baring its fangs in self-defense, or simply a lightning streak. It’s important to know the subjects, and for the subjects to know me before I start shooting them. It helps if I spend a couple of hours with them beforehand, if I don’t already know them. Talking about our interests, their work, life and what they expect from the shoot are a few of the topics. When I am shooting on the street,

often I click the picture at the opportune moment and if the subject has noticed me, I smile and nod. This technique works most of the time, and so far I have not fallen in trouble for shooting anyone without expressly asking for permission beforehand. Do you feel the need for computer manipulation of pictures? AS: If the light is wrong in the picture you can’t fix it without being dishonest. Having said that, I spend a considerable amount of time working on each of my pictures on the computer, as I’m sure any of my contemporaries and senior photographers do. There are plenty of things that need to be adjusted in a photograph, other than lighting and composition, which

Arcopol Chaudhuri @mishtydoi I’m suspicious of people who Instagram their profile pictures. It’s like they’ve

used too much make-up. Hiding their real selves, no? 13

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Photography can only be worked upon on a computer or in a darkroom. What has been your most exciting project so far? AS: During Diwali of 2010 I rode to Gokarna – a place no one I knew had been to, or had any idea of what it was like. It was like discovering a place based on limited information available online and my GPS, and finding a treasure chest. What makes it more worthwhile is that so many of my friends have been inspired to go there after I came back and shared my photographs and experience. Has training in marketing helped further your career in photography? AS: The time I spent at IIM Indore gave me lots of inspiration to follow my dream, and the friends I made there are a big part of the support base that pushes me to do exactly that. Apart from that, the basics of business and marketing taught there do help in shaping up my offerings and managing the operations involved. Who are your strongest influences? AS: I admire Ansel Adams and Henri Cartier Bresson, and I regularly follow the work of Steve McCurry and Chase Jarvis. What is your career advice for young photographers? AS: Learn the skills. Learn the language. Learn the techniques. Learn composition. Know your equipment like the back of your hand. Study the masters and study great pictures, and try to analyze why those pictures appeal to you. Dream about photography. Be always excited about clicking the next picture. What are you looking forward to doing next? AS: In the short term, it would be spending a month in the north-eastern states, documenting the scenery, the people and their culture. In the long term, I would love to go to a land I literally dream of often: the Middle East. I have heard so much about the natural beauty of Yemen, Morocco, and Turkey; the socio-cultural and political underpinnings of the region intrigue me. So I’m hoping the future is about more trips, more photographs, more stories…

Nachiket Barve @nachiketbarve Three nights in a row I have been dreaming of a show going wrong, when it’s already done n finished with!Maybe I just need vino before bed! 15

LINES of COMMUNICATION Visual artist Lokesh Karekar is inspired by the city of Mumbai and the other places he comes upon on his travels

projects like identity design and creating illustrations for brands, books, magazines, products, etc. I also experiment with graphics, materials, and mediums and try something different each time. Do you follow a specific process? LK: The process usually depends on the illustration or design brief. I like variety in the process. I like to take on projects where the process is interesting and different. I keep noting my ideas in a sketchbook and use them whenever necessary.

Lakme Fashion Week Graphics

How did your journey into graphic design begin? LK: I am from a middle class Marathi family. My father was an artist, and I grew up watching him draw, and doodle on the floor with white chalk. I studied Applied Art at the Sir JJ Institute of Applied Art in Mumbai and at the time I was more into typography and design. After completing my BFA (majoring in Typography) I worked at design firms like Grandmotherindia and Alok Nanda Company where I used to draw, sketch, and doodle a lot. While working on projects I started using illustration as a medium of communication.

How did Locopopo come about? LK: After working as an art director for three and a half years I decided to work individually - not only on illustration projects but also on typography and design. That’s why I call myself a visual artist and not just an illustrator. I wanted to have my personal space where I could work and experiment. In mid 2008 I started an independent studio called Locopopo - ‘Loco’ is from my name Lokesh and ‘Popo’ was my pet name in college. Locopopo produces selective illustration and design projects – often contemporary graphics inspired by Indian culture and tradition. I do pure design

For example, for the project I did for the Lakme Fashion Week, the brief was to create illustrations which would express fashion and textile in the true sense. I took inspiration from retro textile flower prints and fused them with black figure silhouettes. The process started from scanning different textile flower patterns; I made approximately 12 to 14 different compositions of the flower pattern elements and silhouettes, and we shortlisted six of them as final compositions. I work with a Wacom tablet but I don’t think any tool can replace pen-pencil and paper. Illustration is not entirely about skill - it’s also about your approach, style and how you think. Actually doing

Jasjyot Singh Hans @JasjyotSHans Watching my little cousin the other day I suddenly felt the need to learn how to eat with chopsticks. One of those things :} 16 POOL | 3.12 | #21

Illustrator the illustration does not take as much time as thinking, visualizing and planning the illustration. Sometimes I am happy with the first attempt and sometimes it takes 100 revisions! What is the biggest hurdle in your style of work? LK: It’s very difficult to create simple, minimal stuff. Most of my work is simple and involves crafted shapes – while the final result looks simple, it takes time and effort to create and balance such forms and to create simple work. Would you like to branch into other areas of art? LK: I already have my product range where I experiment and create different usable products with the help of my illustrations. I learn a lot about different materials and how I can make my illustration more experiential in terms of the product. I try to convert my design-illustrations into products which people can use. I supply these products to select lifestyle designer stores in India and they are also for sale at an online store ( It’s nice to see my illustrations turning into 3D objects which you can touch and feel. I do limited edition prints, and badges. Recently I made a series of handmade badges out of postage tickets and stickers; animal coasters; and mugs inspired by traditional ikat prints.

South Mumbai Prints

3 mix cards

Ikat Cloth Badges 17


FROM SCIENCE CLUB TO DESIGN SCHOOL Prof. Dhimant Panchal, Director of MIT Institute of Design in Pune, had a long and eventful career as a design academician and product designer before he took on the challenge of heading a new design institute that was in tune with modern times. Editor in Chief Sudhir Sharma, who first met Prof. Panchal 27 years ago at National Institute of Design, helps him recall what it takes to be a visionary in the constantly evolving world of design.

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Cover Story How did you get interested in design? DP: I cannot pinpoint an event or occasion that made me discover there was something in me to be a designer. I was born and brought up in Ahmedabad. My father had a medium-scale industry, manufacturing machines for the ceramics and textile industry, particularly the cotton baling industry. Hence, the conversations at home were always around machines, technology, gadgets and logistics. As a child I was reasonably good at my studies and keenly interested in making aircraft models. I used to make them out of chalk and other useful material that was available at that time. There were no special hobby stores so everything I did had to be crafted and put together with the basic material available. I would put my aircraft models in the glass cabinets in our science club. I was also actively involved in designing posters for science experiments. I always loved physics and still do. I would convert any simple experiment into a poster. If I were to pinpoint anything that helped me to discover the designer in me, it would be this ability.

My father and cousin encouraged me to apply to the National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad. Interestingly, NID’s famous spiral staircase was actually cast in my father’s factory, though I didn’t know this till I graduated. Anyway, so I went to the NID campus and realized that design was something I could pursue as a career. I was told that I had missed the admission process and would have to come back the next year. Although I had the option to apply for engineering and architecture I decided to wait to join NID and began working for my father as an apprentice. It was during this time that I gained immense confidence and understanding of the ground reality of how design physically happens. The grounding and seasoning that I got in this one year gave me an unshakable confidence that I had what it takes to be a designer. How would you describe the NID experience? DP: I got into NID the next year, and was exposed to a complete change of environment. I had studied in a Gujarati medium school where English was only a subject. It was a Gandhian school and we had to spin yarn for the Khadi Gram Udyog. Coming from such a different background, the journey at NID was anything but smooth. The

experience was filled with different emotions. There was a lot of struggle initially to get used to the environment and ways of thinking. At NID I interacted with designers so I would understand every level of design. Here I cultivated my belief that design never stops at the sketching stage everything has to be taken to its logical end. In the five and a half years at NID, I left no stone unturned in mastering every design related subject and went on to express my knowledge through Product Design, which was my main focus. During those days, from 1974 to 1980, many of the Product Design faculty used to work on professional assignments and projects. Since I was a day scholar I was able to work with them as their apprentice during the vacations. This also provided me insights into how to manage and coordinate different phases of the project. The variety of work that was done helped in developing a holistic approach towards design; it helped me develop appreciation towards other design disciplines. What was the next step after graduation? DP: To be honest I was not very clear what I wanted to do next. While studying at NID I had begun to identify areas in health and hygiene that I could focus on. The other areas

Blood Oxygenator 19

that excited me were related to medium and small-scale industry. A lot of my academic projects were done in these areas. In fact my graduation project was the design of a major operation table. After I graduated I was toying with the idea of doing something with health and biomedical products. I was sitting with the Chairman of NID’s Industrial Design Department, Prof. V.M. Parmar, and discussing the possibility of starting a new cell at NID, which specifically addressed the design issues of health. This cell was to work at designing for special needs and other biomedical product design requirements. It was during this

discussion that Prof. Parmar made an offer to me to join the faculty at NID within this new design cell. By this time, I had already decided to work specifically to design for special needs, and not only in product design, so I accepted the offer. I worked at this cell, Design for Health, and helped develop a specialized range of products, which were then given to a variety of institutions in Ahmedabad. These products were successfully received and applied by these institutions. I also started co-teaching with other faculty members. In 1986 I received recognition for all the work I did at NID in terms of professional

projects. I got a fellowship from UNDP to study overseas in San Francisco, USA, at the Exploratorium, i.e., the science museum. Here I developed science exhibits, which were put on display for children to learn the principles of science. This was almost like coming full circle, connecting me with where I started my journey with design back at my science club in school. My efforts with the exhibits I developed and displayed at the Exploratorium proved to be valuable inputs for the exhibition design students at NID. I was able to pass on the Exploratorium belief that no exhibit would work unless you make it participative. After working at the Exploratorium in San Francisco for six months I went on to work at the science museum in London for the next three months. You initiated some revolutionary courses such as ‘Bad Design’. Can you tell us about that? DP: On my return, I got into teaching courses in the Foundation Program and Product Design at NID which led me to develop a course called ‘Bad Design’. Students were encouraged to design products that don’t work. For example: I briefed the students to design a comb that should look like an existing comb but was totally dysfunctional – rather than evolving a totally new design solution. So basically, the comb needed to physically look like an existing comb but should not work at all as an existing comb.

Biotoilets for the Railways

This led to some very interesting ideas from the students. One of them took an actual comb and stuck it on the ceiling. So every time the hair needs to be combed you need to jump to try to do it! This strongly asserted one of the functional aspects of the comb to be ‘portability’. Another student cut out an exact replica of a comb from a flat rubber piece taken from a truck tire. When this comb was lifted it would become flimsy to hold and hence render itself dysfunctional to use. This asserted one of the functional characteristics of a comb to be its‘rigidity’. Another student made a mould of the shape of a comb and froze some water in it to make an iced water comb; this asserted the importance of the material used to make the comb.

Ramesh Srivats @rameshsrivats Dhoni is associated with India Cements. And Sehwag, with JK Cement. So there is er... concrete evidence for this rift, okay. 20 POOL | 3.12 | #21

Cover Story The aim was to set the students thinking of the dysfunctionalities and bring to light the functional aspects of the comb and the possible improved design solutions. We had some of the most intelligent bad design concepts that were made by the students and exhibited on the NID campus. The objective of this course was to make the students realize that to make a good design they need to know the bad design, but ultimately there is no such thing as ‘Bad Design’. The effort was to instill the belief that there is not just one way to learn design; you can also ridicule the product and discover a layer in the design solution. I feel this concept works with all design solutions, not just product design, and encourages you to question all the bad and the good points, hence giving rise to better design solutions. Creating the ability to find distinctions between the minute design aspects of one product against another was what the course was all about. What about the ‘Space Design’ course you developed? DP: The product design students were used to developing design solutions for hand held devices/products; through this course I wanted them to look at architectural space as a product. This course was essentially developed to help students understand volumes and masses without the use of architectural terms. I would ask them to make drawings of the objects and fittings, as they are a part of the space, hence giving definition to the surrounding space. These exercises were meant for students to understand how the space emerges around these physical aspects that come within it, without looking at the definite space within the walls or the floor and the ceiling. How did you come to be associated with MIT Institute of Design? DP: I left NID in 1996 because by then I was working with Marc Walker Opticians Ltd. in Ahmedabad and my association with them had become very important.

Nehru Award Seal for Government of India

I worked with this company from 1995 to 2000, during which I trained people on the shop floor - in the manufacturing of spectacle frames. I also designed the machines that made the spectacle frames. Later I began practicing as a product designer in Ahmedabad. In December 2004, Dr. Sunil Karad, the present executive Director of MIT Institute of Design, and Prof. Anand Chakradeo, the present Dean of MIT Institute of Design, came down to Ahmedabad and met Prof. Kumar Vyas and me. They mentioned that though they had about 30 to 35 institutions, they had no institute imparting design education. They wanted to start one, but Dr. Karad expressed clearly that the idea was not to duplicate how design is taught in the present context. I thought myself to be too inexperienced to start a design institute. I told Prof. Vyas that I had no idea how to go about this. I had no idea how to start an institution, how to build its philosophy, how to get people to teach, or how to train them. Kumar and I told Dr. Karad that we needed time.

started addressing questions such as what do future designers need to do? Is it the same kind of scenario they need to address or is there a new kind of scenario emerging in India? We then came up with the idea of understanding design education with respect to the phenomenal growth of the design industry. With this in mind we got in touch with a lot of people from the industry and took their feedback on what their expectations are from designers. After creating a large matrix of all our ideas and putting them together, over a period of six months, Prof. Kumar Vyas, Prof. Parmar and I prepared a

Charles Eames Award

We started creating a model of what kind of design institutes are required today, what kind of design minds are required today, what kind of training is required today. We spoke to a lot of practicing designers as well as a lot of senior faculty. Prof. Parmar joined us in these interesting discussions. We 21

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Cover Story presentation and presented it to Dr. Karad, articulating what we think MIT’s Institute of Design should be. Some of the mandates of this institute were to work as closely as possible with the industry; to get as many live projects for the students as possible; and to not have or speak about a stylistic approach towards design. So with these principles and ideas, and the immense experience of Prof. Vyas, MIT Institute of Design came to be. Was it a challenge to find design faculty? DP: It is difficult to find the right kind of faculty to join an institute, but I think we were lucky. We have graduates from reputed design institutes from India such as IDC, NID, and School of Architecture and Fine Art. Some of my senior colleagues also got to know what we were planning to do and showed interest. A couple of very senior people from the industry took a U-turn in their careers and joined the MIT Institute of Design. All these people had faith in us and shared our vision and what we were planning to do. They, along with me, relocated to Pune to be a part of this vision.

One thing I always stress is that design faculty must always practice design by way of professional consultancy. If our design faculty does not practice design then they alienate themselves from the mainstream design scenario and teach outdated stuff.

become a kind of design hub. Currently we are strengthening Transportation Design and this year we participated in the Auto Expo with four models. Someday we may also have an institute of architecture. With 140 acres of land, space will never be a hindrance to our growth prospects!

Where do you see MIT heading? DP: One of the visions we have is to add a few other specializations to make mainstream design more meaningful. By 2012 we are starting Fashion Design, in collaboration with the University of Creative Arts, London. The courses and graduation certification will be from UCA. This new specialization will bring a different kind of influence to mainstream design along with the design courses being currently taught. One or two years down the line we also have plans to start the institute of Performing Arts and Music. We hope MIT Institute of Design will

Blue Star Water Cooler 23


Self-taught animator Noor Mohammed gave up legal briefs in favor of more satisfying creative briefs! From law to animation – how did that come about? NM: I was born and brought up in a middle class family from a village who considered the art field as a hobby and not a career - but my parents were kind enough to encourage my artistic talents. I remember the days when I used to mess up our back and front yards with my drawings. That was my first school - the vast yards were my first canvases and some thin hard sticks my first brushes. During my school and college days I used to participate in all the competitions and win prizes – not just drawing and painting, but drama, mono acting, mimicry, etc. I believe all those elements developed the animator in me. I had normal career plans just like anyone else and decided to study law. In my law college days I concentrated on cartooning, especially political cartoons. Animation was not even in my wildest dreams, but I always wondered how Tom and Jerry were able to talk to each other, or how Mickey and Minnie danced

together. I wished my drawings could start moving! In my final days at college, I got the opportunity to learn Flash on my cousin’s PC and it unleashed my enthusiasm towards animation. At that time there were no animation colleges where I lived and I managed to get Preston Blair’s book - I found I could understand everything. I could do it! That’s how I started pursuing animation. When did you start working with Walt Disney? NM: I was doing story boarding for TV advertisements for a major product when I got an offer call from Playdom. I was nervous initially because I had never worked for a gaming company before - in fact, I am not even a gamer - but I joined to check out the industry. Just a few months later I heard that my company was merging with Walt Disney! So in other words, I didn’t go to Disney - they came to me by God’s grace! I am currently Lead Artist at Playdom – Disney Interactive Media in Bangalore, where I manage

the India and overseas teams. I do animation, character designing and animation direction. What are some of the memorable projects you have worked on? NM: There are a lot. Undoubtedly ‘The Story of Walls’ is the coolest project I have ever worked on. It was an animated short which was nominated for the Annie Awards ’09, and it was the project that took me into the IMDb list. Before that, I got a chance to work for ‘Growing up Creepie’, which had Flash animated episodes. There was an awesome animation project called ‘A Kind of Magic’ where all the colors in the world have been used! Now I am working on a game, and I am honored to get the chance to animate some of the great Disney characters. What are your inspirations? NM: Everyone! Everything! All the comics I read back in my childhood, all the animation movies and episodes I have watched till date. All the people I have met and observed, all the places I have Character line-up

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Crocoland character sketches

been and all the good and hard times I have been through. Do you follow a specific process while creating your animations? NM: I am not a man of any specific process. As a movie maker, I would like to adapt the right process according to the project or subject and it may vary from project to project, and depending on the budget. But, while there are no nailed down rules or processes to follow, planning is important. Each subject needs a different approach, but I would say there are two basic steps: planning, and animating. About 70% of the work is over after good planning. How does one plan? Think about your scene, and what the characters have done in the previous scene. Think like them. Study the plot. Plot is everything, from the basic mannerism of the characters to the mental condition of the character now. Do research if you have any questions. It is not necessary that you will know everything about the character. Then start planning – how are you going to do it? What process will be easier and most effective? You may have to redesign the characters or re-rig them to achieve the director’s vision. Step two is to do it accordingly. So simple!

tries to conform to the needs of the job market. I know many who are in some field but have skills in some other area. They are ruining their own creativity. For example, one has skills in story telling or painting, but is working as an animator. If you can pursue your inborn skill, you can do magic. Otherwise you will just be one among others. What is your opinion about the current animation industry in India? NM: Don’t believe advertisements that say there are millions of vacancies for animators. India is no more an animation hub for the West. When the pay rate went up in India, the rates went down in those countries, so there is a very narrow difference between their rate and ours. Now business is going to Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia, etc. No studio will outsource its prestige projects – those will be done in-house under their management. A few such as DreamWorks and Rhythm and Hues

did outsource projects but only to their own studios in India. Studios only outsource projects where quantity is more important than quality. If you can produce the same or better quality, you will get opportunities all the time. What career advice would you give young animators? NM: Find out what is right for you and where you are good and where you are weak. Always achieve the best quality and opportunity will follow you! Do not compromise with quality. At the same time be smart enough to plan your tasks. What does the future hold for you? NM: I want to start a good boutique animation school, and make a movie on some great warriors!

What is the most challenging part of being an animator? To find the animator inside you… to realize what is right for you. Each person possesses different qualities but Meeting Monster Color Concept 25


Lady Of

quilling technique. My alphabet series is a declaration of my love for the material and the technique. I’m always attempting to raise the bar of this craft, which has not been regarded very highly, mainly because it’s all made of paper. I wanted to bring it to a new level in terms of ability to convey meaning and emotions in typography.

LE T T E R S A different medium It actually started with a campaign for handmade paper in my final year of graduation. I used a technique called paper sculpturing to create animals and birds, using layers of paper to give depth and a 3D effect. The result was quite remarkable - it fetched me an award and my first job! I started specializing in work that required the use of paper as a means of expression. I have just started taking up commercial work in this art form, the most recent being a project for Tanishq.

Mumbai-based Sabeena Karnik gives new dimensions to the art of paper typography Illustrative paper typography is a very meticulous art that involves paper, glue, very delicate fingers and a lot of patience and care. I have always considered myself a craftsman using hand skills, rather than sitting for hours behind the computer and taking help from various software to achieve what I want. I believe my hands and mind are the best tools. I studied Applied Art at Sophia Polytechnic Institute of Art and Design in Mumbai and have been working as a freelance graphic designer and typographer for the last one year. Whenever free, I love to create letters with paper and just explore the endless possibilities of this medium. Any project that involves paper appeals to me.

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Over the last one year I have found my own way of working with type and paper, experimenting and discovering new ways of using the

Initially I was concerned about the limitations of this technique and what can and cannot be said within the boundaries of the chosen medium - paper. However, I have come to realize that it has the potential to present thoughts and ideas in unique ways so that the paper can become a significant part of the message. Being hands-on The process is actually very simple. I design the typo and make a ‘skeleton’ out of paper. Then strips are rolled/ shaped and glued within the space inside or in the background. The theme is essentially very important. It dictates the colors and the style in which the paper will be shaped. For example, the Tanishq ad campaign required me to create alphabets

Paper Sculpture ‘Ecosystem’

based on the designs in their jewelry. I had to refer to individual pieces of jewels and replicate some of their intricate patterns in the letters. It was almost like making typographic paper jewelry. Being a 3D object, the artwork offers multiple views based on the angle of perception and the intensity and direction of lighting. This aspect can drastically alter the visual experience. Lure of letters As a child, I used to collect beautiful fonts and design alphabets in notebooks and then gradually was assigned to make school certificates using my calligraphy. In art college, I would randomly design the names of my classmates in creative typography. It always evoked fascination and wonder from everyone. I went on to pursue a major in the field and did some typo-based identity design for a few companies. But eventually my love for paper beckoned so I decided to combine the two to create something more meaningful and artistic. Inspiration comes from everywhere people, works of art, words of wisdom, nature. It’s very easy to get inspired, but it’s what you do with the inspiration that matters. It’s essentially very important to enjoy the journey towards achieving your goal rather than the outcome

itself. A recent trip to the Taj Mahal has been a huge inspiration. The inlay carving work that was done hundreds of years ago is just spellbinding! People are very shocked and awed on seeing my paper types, and wonder how long it takes me to do it - imagine the amount of time put into creating a masterpiece like the Taj! I consider all kind of artists very inspirational. Follow your heart and believe in what you are doing is my motto. There is so much art in India…just look around and you can get inspired. Paper trail I’m very happy about the fact that people have now come to realize that something as humble and unassuming as strips of paper can create magic. I had never expected paper letters to garner so much curiosity and demand. Presently I’m using this technique to design the title of a documentary film in the U.S. People from all over the world want to buy my letters as art pieces. The response has been overwhelming. But I’m just a beginner. I wish to continue endlessly - make a museum of 3D paper illustrations, explore and create my own paper typographic fonts in English and Devnagiri. I want to continue my love affair with paper typography and make it a lifelong commitment.

Gursimran Kaur @LimeIce “Even a husband was to live 200 years, he’d

never be able to find his wife’s true nature” - Marlin Brando, Last Tango in Paris. 27



THE INDIAN MYTH Though based in Switzerland, painter and printmaker Dithi Chakrabortty looks at her home country for inspiration. She believes eyes are the doors to the soul…and it shows in her work! How does someone with an M. Sc. in Food and Nutrition decide to make a living as a painter? DC: I am essentially self-taught so far as painting is concerned and it was a happy accident that changed my life! Before our move to Europe in 2007, I had been working as a nutrition expert in Mumbai. The career choices I had in Geneva (Switzerland) weren’t inviting as I did not know French (operative language) and had expertise primarily in Indian food. Painting/art-journaling and learning French were my two best friends while I struggled with a new way of life in Europe at age 28. I started blogging my work in 2008 and have an online store, which has been my only means of exhibiting so far. One of the reasons I started listing my work online was that painting is an expensive ‘hobby’ if you live in Switzerland and I wanted to sustain my artwork. What made me take my art more seriously was the growing interest of collectors, support from art and design lovers/bloggers and features/campaigns in a few of the leading magazines and journals in India. Now there is no looking back, but it didn’t happen overnight. What moves you to paint? DC: I primarily work with acrylics on canvases, and am inspired by Indian traditions, mythology and folklore the soul-stirring music of the Bauls as they dance to the setting sun, the overwhelming energy as the Kolkata ghats of the Ganges throb to the rhythm of the Durga puja dhaks, rural India and the art that is born there, Tagore, the beauty and strength of the Indian woman, journeys of some special people who have made a difference with their art, and my family. Validation is crucial to any art form and the feedback, love and support that I have received over time from complete

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The Batua

When a collector approaches me with a commission, more often than not, he or she has a theme in mind already. If it is in sync with something that I have in mind, we exchange notes but I do not steer away from the client’s original idea. If the requirement is not in line with what I think I can do justice to - I do not take it up. I am pretty uninhibited when it comes to publishing work or progress updates. Where I live it is difficult to get each and every work critiqued before publishing; I am almost completely insulated from a real time interaction with seasoned Indian artists or art critiques. Even if I could, I think it would be my instincts more than anything else that would drive my blog posts. I like spontaneity and go with my heart! I love working with acrylics as they are super versatile and take no time to dry. In Europe, one enjoys access to top quality art supplies - be it canvases, paints, brushes or varnishes that go a long way in ensuring a good quality final product with colors that are protected and last longer.


strangers, art lovers and connoisseurs keeps me motivated to continue. Friendships built on a creative connect are very close to my heart and the collective creative energy keeps me inspired. How has living in Geneva influenced your work? DC: Living away from home had everything to do with how my journey as a full-time freelance artist started. Staying away has helped me appreciate the Indian life more. When I visit Kolkata, I travel and collect photo stories; I treasure the interaction with people from the myriad of Indian cultures. I chew on that when in Europe to keep me inspired for new canvases. In its defense, what I enjoy about living in a French speaking part of Switzerland is that you are surrounded not just by the serenity of the Alps and its lakes but by art in everyday living – be it in drinking coffee

in the quaint tearooms sprinkled all over the city, in the carefully sculpted parks and gardens that take on a new avatar every season, in dressing up, or appreciating a glass of good wine! Geneva houses over 40 public and private museums and numerous art galleries; it hosts art shows and concerts from all over the world and is steeped in culture. Staying there and the interaction with friends from different parts of the world has broadened my horizons and helped me grow. Tell us about the process of painting. DC: Some paintings are spontaneous. For some others, I have my little sketchbook and let ideas incubate. When I am ready, I put it down on paper and that is the starting point. The composition is then finalized on canvas when I am happy with the sketch, keeping critical elements in place. The process takes over at this point.

Is painting a skill that can be taught? DC: I believe techniques can be taught. One has to learn the basics – be it any medium of painting or printmaking. You can’t write poetry if your grammar is weak! I paint with acrylics, and enjoy pencil and ink sketches on paper. I also dabble with charcoal once in a while. Self tutoring in my case meant reading up, studying works of masters and, most importantly, practice. If you have a flair for a certain medium, the study part will come easy and you’ll enjoy the craft that much more – which clearly reflects in the quality of work. You are also a printmaker… DC: Printmaking is a huge new area that I have started exploring alongside painting and I will work on developing both as of now. I love both mediums – they are different in terms of approach and skills but are closely interrelated forms of visual art. At present I am taking baby steps with printmaking. For the last four months I have been training and working as a printmaker in Kolkata, focusing on relief prints (woodcuts and linocuts). Each print that I make is hand-drawn, hand-carved

Tushar A. Gandhi @TusharG Now my to be lawyer son quotes the SC judgment about sleep being a fundamental right when I wake him up in the Morning. 29

and hand-printed. I am about to explore one new medium of graphic printmaking before I go back to Geneva this March. Working on prints has helped me develop my painting skills in terms of style and technique; also, the change of medium is refreshing. I am grateful to my mentor in printmaking who has helped me immensely in evolving as an artist and as a person. Do you have plans for the future? DC: Plans are too restrictive! My dream project is to see my art sustain me, to live an artful life, to learn and improve my craft, and most importantly - do better, more meaningful work that makes a difference. Sculpting and ceramics are other mediums that I’d love to learn somewhere down the line. I love to take photographs and may find a meeting point between the artwork and the photography as well‌who knows! The Golden Deer (Shonar Horeen)

Kamdhenu Goddess

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t to Visual artist and designer Ishan Khosla’s blog ‘Mixed Fruit Jam’ is an attemp explore, comprehend and create visual culture Why do you blog? IK: We live in an environment where social networking and collaboration is essential to the way we work. Blogging is one way to share one’s views with the community but it is also a way to create a voice for oneself in an increasingly noisy world. I started blogging just over a year ago to help myself understand and to share my views on Indian visual culture. There is no serious discussion about design and culture, its origins and where design is headed in India. Blogging is a means to understand the visual world around me and how my work responds to this situation.

What has been the feedback to writings on your blog? IK: The feedback has been very positive and it’s interesting to see how some articles and projects create more dialogue than others. I am fascinated by, and interested to understand, what topics and issues make people more likely to engage with. Some blogs can be very controversial but all good blogs are opinionated; otherwise, no one would read them. Controversy and free speech are the hallmarks of the Internet; they help strengthen world democracy and bring people together by enabling us to express our honest opinions.

Why the name ‘Mixed Fruit Jam’? IK: A few years ago, a friend of mine from the US was traveling with me on a train and he loved the way we would always get a packet of mixed fruit jam every morning for breakfast. I liked the name and thought I’d use it for the blog. It also makes sense since the blog is a mix of all kinds of topics that I find interesting to write about. Topics range from vernacular graphics, craft, visual and non-visual culture, to design, design education and India.

What are the rewards of blogging? IK: It enables me to deconstruct projects I might have worked on, and look at design society and culture from a more over-arching level. This is great since projects tend to be very specific and detail oriented and blogging enables me to take stock of what I have done as well as what its meaning is in the overall context of society and contemporary culture.

Which are your favorite blogs? IK: I don’t usually spend a lot of time looking at other blogs, but when I do, I tend to go to these blogs for information: Design Observer (; Creative Review (www.creativereview.; Craft Unbound (www.; and Renny Ramakers Blog ( I like them because the content is variable, current and often thought-provoking; sometimes relevant and at other times, irrelevant information. How much time do you spend on your blog, and how do you drive traffic to it? IK: I don’t blog a lot, because I want to blog about serious topics and projects that I have worked on. I usually only blog when I think I have something meaningful to share with the community. On an average 15 people visit the blog every day, but I have had a maximum of 200 people visit on a day. I use social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to post new stories from my blog, as well as my company website - Ishan Khosla Design.

Do you believe blogging can become a serious career option in India? IK: I believe blogging can become a career option, but one has to understand what people are interested in reading about, and how can one deliver that to them and bring in new perspectives not being done by other bloggers. For instance, as a journalist, the blogger can bring in interesting insights and great photography to cover an event that mainstream media doesn’t provide since bloggers tend to be more nimble. This means they can collaborate with various sources and provide the most up-todate information in real time, as things happen on the ground. Eventually this could attract advertising and one could also have specialized ‘pay-per-read’ blog articles. One shouldn’t see blogging as an end in itself, but as a process, since many bloggers end up writing books or become editors of magazines. Do you believe blogging is merely a platform for those who can’t publish their writing elsewhere? IK: I disagree. Blogging is an alternate way to express one’s views to a wider audience in a very quick and efficient

manner. It creates a space where people can share their views, thoughts and insights for ‘free’ and the blogger benefits from the feedback of the captive audience one creates while blogging. This is something you don’t really get if you publish your writings in print. The down side about blogging - unless you blog on major publication sites - is that it doesn’t hold as much weight as a published article, whether online or offline. Where do you see your blog heading? IK: Like with everything, I don’t like to predict the future of my blog. I blog not as a means to solely get readership, but to express opinions based on my experiences through projects, travels and contemplation. In the future, I may continue to do the same thing, or I might even find a better tool than a blog to express my thoughts. What tips would you give budding bloggers? IK: There’s a lot of ‘noise’ or chatter already out there in cyberspace. If you’d like to add to it, make sure you blog about things that are thought-provoking, meaningful and create dialogue instead of something like what you had for breakfast. 31

RNI-No. MAHENG12606/13/1/2010-TC

POOL March 2012  

Pool Magazine for March 2012

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