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Santosh Bhaskar Kshirsagar pg 10  |  Photographed by Aditya Raut Ketaki Chavan 03  Shailan Parker 24  Vinay (Vin) Ganapathy 38  Digvijay Singh 50

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December 2016 | # 76

A Case for Creative Currency

Sudhir at Bengaluru


Santosh Bhaskar Kshirsagar pg 10 |

Editor in Chief |

Photographed by Aditya Raut

Ketaki Chavan 03 Shailan Parker 24 Vinay (Vin) Ganapathy 38 Digvijay Singh 50

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.

Soon after the Government of India released the new currency notes of 2000-rupee denomination, designers in India went into collective depression. Social media was flooded with comments on how badly designed the notes were, and how the GOI never asks competent designers to design anything. Many designers blogged in detail, pointing out the exact design problems with the new notes. I don’t think the Indian Government has any SOP on how to create briefs for such public value projects, or on who exactly is supposed to do this. As designers we can only react after something comes out in the market, and by then it is too late for anyone to listen and make corrections. The Government is all focused on solving the cash crunch issues. For them, what matters is that the currency was designed and released in the market; whether pink or yellow is perhaps not even an issue. Till the Government decides to appoint a designer in every department, the design community must proactively work and create certain visions that can be shared with relevant departments; these can perhaps serve as starting points when the departments face situations requiring design. POOL is conducting a small contest called ‘Design Our Currency’. We will publish and publicly share the entries that come in. This will hopefully work as a reminder when the Government next plans to redesign our currency notes. Sudhir

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Raring to go

Founder and Creative Director of Pune-based Cub Design, Ketaki Chavan is no novice when it comes to translating her ideas into design projects that work

Bicycle carrier

What inspired you to become a designer? KC: It’s always been my path. As a child my hobbies were drawing and creating artworks. During my high school years, I worked on a project called ‘Ekakshara’, which got very popular, and I was drawn towards a career in art and design. I went on to graduate from Kalaniketan Mahavidyalaya of Applied Arts, Kolhapur. I call myself a visual artist specializing in illustration and design. When did you decide to branch out on your own? KC: Upon graduation, I worked as a graphic designer in various corporate environments and design agencies in Pune. I got a fair amount of experience  3

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A longtime design academician, Santosh Bhaskar Kshirsagar is currently the Dean of Mumbai’s Sir J. J. Institute of Applied Art. He is also a designer, type designer, graphic designer and calligrapher devoted to promoting the art of calligraphy in Indian scripts. In a freewheeling interaction with POOL, he traces a journey that began with painstakingly copying letters from a chart.

DIFFERENT STROKES How did you get drawn to design? SB: In school, I was more of an audiovisual kid, who was not a fan of reading and writing. The only good aspect of school was that my classmates and teachers always encouraged my

focused drawing ability as well as my spontaneous story telling. My handwriting at the time was really bad. During those hyperactive years, my mother was worried about my  11

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Shailan Parker Photographed by: Vibhor Taneja

Well-known photographer, artist and educator, Shailan Parker has spent over three decades perfecting his craft  25

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A slice of life Vinay (Vin) Ganapathy draws inspiration from his friends and the dynamic city he lives in for his distinctive illustrations  39

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Dipping into the creative cauldron The multi-faceted Digvijay Singh refuses to be pigeonholed as a fashion designer, preferring instead to ‘live on the edge of uncertainty’! What led you to a career in fashion? DS: Actually I never chose fashion. I opted for creativity and found it in different subjects around me. I pursued a BFA (specializing in painting) from Maharaja SayajiRao University of Baroda, after which I opted for a PGDPD in Textiles from National Institute of Design. It’s not a particular discipline or the genre of creativity that interests me, it’s the freedom of expression that all creative genres offer, albeit differently. I use my hands and brains as tools to create, and not just to sketch, draw, paint or sculpt. I call myself a fashion designer, textile designer, entrepreneur, artist, performing artist, writer, poet, and cook! While at NID I got the chance to showcase at Lakme Fashion Week in

the Gen Next category. By the time I finished NID, I had showcased at several fashion weeks, and that’s how it began, I guess. How would you describe your creative process? DS: I believe in expressing my thoughts through the appropriate medium. For me the process holds as much importance as the end product. The same is true for art. For me, nothing is pre-planned. Even when I’m designing for fashion weeks or while doing a collection, I change the concept and looks even though it’s near completion or the deadline is precariously close. Earlier I used to feel that achieving perfection is processdriven but later I realized that it’s the way I have been taught. I am truly fortunate.

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A game of Checkers

Imagine a wandering caravan roaming the rich grasslands and wetlands of Kutch, the nomads bravely facing inclement weather and stopping where they find rich pastures and water for their cattle. Leading such itinerant lives, the pastoral communities of Kutch had few choices for entertainment, and had to make their own music and songs. They also developed games that reflected their life and culture. Designed to test strategic and planning skills, most of these games were played on impromptu boards traced out in the sand. Interesting games like nav kakri, vagh aur bakri, ashta chamma and chopad, among a host of others, were played to pass the time and sharpen their skills as herders and hunters. In a rapidly modernizing India of cell phones, malls

and the urban sprawl, these indigenous games are in danger of being lost forever, and with them one more element of a rich culture could be wiped out. Kala Raksha Trust, a grassroots social enterprise based in Bhuj, Gujarat, aims to give these games a new lease of life by adapting them to a more permanent format. Transferring these traditional games to fabric boards, embellished with Kutchi embroidery, the artisans associated with Kala Raksha are making these interesting past-times available to a larger audience. Here are some of the most popular board games‌ Nav Kakri A game of alignment with a long history, Nav Kakri is the ultimate game of the nomadic communities.

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64 POOL #59

POOL 76  
POOL 76  

POOL Magazine. In this issue: Santosh Bhaskar Kshirsagar, Ketaki Chavan, Shailan Parker, Vinay (Vin) Ganapathy, Digvijay Singh