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May 2011 | # 11 Indian edition

Supported by

“My dad used to travel to Asia for work and bring back presents for me and I guess the seed was sown.”

“Nation-building is about silently giving shape to tangible ideas and not drumming and flag-waving in front of the cameras.”

Nicky Jones 12

Pravin Mishra 16

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

0 Opinion Uday Dandavate 04

Design-guru David Berman 08

Karishma Shahani

Blogger Kanika Bahl 29

Photographed for POOL by Sudhir Sharma

Events

Cover Story

Campus

Unbox 06

Karishma Shahani 18

Srishti School of Design

Rising Stars

18

Indian Joint Family

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Advisors

Go get out!

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 Head, Visual Communications, NID, India

M P Ranjan Professor, NID, India

Anna Muoio Principal, Social Innovation, Continuum, US

Prasoon Pandey Corcoise Films, India

Anuj Sharma Designer, India

Rajesh Kejriwal Kyoorius Exchange, India

Aradhana Goel Designer / Strategist, Ideo, USA

Rodney Fitch CEO, 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 Dandawate 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 sudhir@indidesign.in Executive Editor Gina Krishnan gina@poolmagazine.in Copy Editor Ashvina Vakil Editorial Coordinator Sonalee Tomar sonalee@poolmagazine.in Research & Design Coordinator Preethi Bayya Layout & Production Pradeep Arora Subscription & Logistics Seema Sharma subscribe@poolmagazine.in Finance Kuldeep Harit

I met this young designer at the Istanbul Design Week last September; we had a chat about design in India and in Turkey and he accompanied me on a shopping trip the next day. We had the famous Turkish Coffee at Taksim and discussed various things including the state of design for young designers. Cagri Cankaya wrote to me some time back, after he had quit his job. He wanted to travel the world working as a designer in different places, and asked for my suggestions. I thought it was a brilliant idea - something that needed guts and a call from the heart. It had the potential to inspire many more young designers to step out. That resonates with the mission POOL was born with - to inspire more designers to step out of their box. Cagri’s idea needed a good shape and form to capture the imagination. We had an exchange of mails and I am very happy to be his first supporter. POOL will be with him wherever he goes and we will regularly bring his experiences to you. The next issue is our 12th! It amazes me that time passes so quickly. We have felt overwhelmed by the response, encouragement and kind words of our readers. So far we saved all that for ourselves, leaving space in POOL for articles; in the 12th issue we would like to reproduce some of what people have been saying about us… So if you haven’t written to us yet, do mail me your views. Sudhir Sharma Editor in Chief sudhir@indidesign.in

Art & Design Pradeep Goswami, Sayali Sancheti Illustrator Santosh Waragade Assistants Anil Burte, Yamanappa Dodamani Publisher INDI Design Pvt Ltd www.indidesign.in Address India Indi Design Pvt Ltd C-1, Unit No 503-504, Saudamini Commercial Complex, Bhusari ColonyRight, Paud Road, Pune 411038 Phones: +91 20 2528 1433 www.poolmagazine.in Vietnam Haki Advertising Ltd, 142 Le Duan Street, Hanoi, Vietnam www.haki.vn

Icograda International Design Media Network Participant http://www.icograda.org/media/IDMN.htm

May 2011 | # 11 Indian Edition 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. http://in.groups.yahoo.com/group/designindia POOL printed on

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India’s First International Design Magazine

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Headlines Eye on art Delhi’s CMYK is a first-of-its-kind concept bookstore, specializing in quality illustrated books dedicated to art and design, put together with diligence from international publishing giants like Phaidon, Thames and Hudson, Rebo, Taschen, Abrams, Skira, Braun, Laurence King, Black Dog, and Leventhal.

The collection includes books on art, design, photography, the performing arts, architecture, monographs, travel, lifestyle, erotica, specialty cookbooks, fashion, gardening, etc. CMYK’s parent concern, Roli Books, is a leading publisher of quality illustrated titles for over three decades.

The CMYK philosophy combines modern Indian esthetics with influential movements in art and design in the West. This juxtaposition results in events ranging from talks on the advances made in miniature painting in the sub-continent to film screenings on influential European artists through the ages. Other events at the bookstore include photography workshops, design forums, art exhibitions and talks, and book readings. The store is also used as a dynamic space to support and promote creative individuals who need a forum and platform to share their works. CMYK also offers innovative products and objects infused with an unconventional style unique to the designer. A branch of the CMYK Bookstore will soon be launching in Pune.

Index: Partner city network The Danish non-profit organization ‘INDEX: Design to Improve Life’ recently announced a pioneering partnership model with three of the world’s leading design capitals: Helsinki, Singapore and Copenhagen. INDEX: Partner City Network will raise awareness of design as a significant way to create promising solutions to the world’s – and the partner cities’ – most pressing challenges. INDEX:’s mission is to promote and apply design and design processes that have the capacity to improve people’s lives worldwide. It is the organization’s dream to expand a network of Partner Cities across continents, and it shares its large-scale public events, education programs, network and communication infrastructure with cities around the world.

Kigge Hvid, CEO of INDEX: says, “We are thrilled by the cooperation between Helsinki, Singapore, Copenhagen and INDEX: as we very much admire the design development in these cities. The collaboration will be of mutual benefit, and help secure the Design to Improve Life philosophy an even greater impact in the future of these great cities.”

Adds Frank Jensen, the Lord Mayor of Copenhagen, “The combination of modern solutions with quality of life is essential. In Copenhagen, we are looking forward to getting high quality inspiration and sharing experiences with other cities through the INDEX: Partnership.”

Robert Tomlin, Chairman of DesignSingapore Council Board, Singapore says, “A notable reflection of how design can improve life is illustrated by Singapore’s experience in designing public housing. It goes beyond building blocks of flats, and is about designing an integrated system that builds connectivity, fosters community spirit, and provides amenities and financial support. We look forward to exchanging knowledge and insights on these aspects with Helsinki and Copenhagen.” Jussi Pajunen, the Lord Mayor of Helsinki, says, “Through the World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 project the whole Finnish metropolitan region is committed to design-led development as the source of wellbeing and competitiveness. All cities globally share the need for better solutions. The INDEX: Partner City Network is an excellent platform for learning and sharing from other cities and individuals.”

living conditions in urban areas. Following the recent close of applications for the 2014 designation, an international selection committee will begin the detailed process of analyzing and evaluating all the entries. The announcement of the 2014 WDC city will be made at the 2011 IDA Congress in Taipei, Taiwan (Chinese Taipei) on 24-26 October. A biennial designation that is presented to a city for the period of one year, WDC was created by Icsid to showcase cities that are emphasizing design as a driving force for their economic, social and cultural development. The designation has been a channel for cities to substantially rejuvenate their urban areas and improve quality of life for their citizens by providing them with the support and international platform to integrate multidisciplinary design within the very fabric of their municipalities.

Over 50 cities in running for World Design Capital 2014

POOL News POOL is a media partner for the Istanbul Design Week in September.

The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid) announced that a record 56 cities in 24 countries have expressed an interest in the 2014 designation for the World Design Capital® (WDC) initiative.

POOL is also one of the media partners for the Spring: Icograda Design Week in Vilnius 2011. To be held at the Vilnius Academy of Art in the beautiful capital city of Lithuania from 9 to 13 May, Spring 2011 will be a great opportunity for designers, business leaders and government stakeholders to meet, discuss and explore design as a basis for development.

WDC 2014 will be the fourth designation since the establishment of the project in 2004. Icsid bestowed the inaugural WDC designation to Torino (Italy) in 2008, which was followed by Seoul (South Korea) in 2010, and most recently Helsinki (Finland). The growing interest and demand among cities worldwide for the WDC designation indicates the success of the WDC initiative in stimulating an international recognition of design as an essential and sustainable component for the improvement of

The Design Week will promote dialogue on the issues shaping the nature and relevance of visual communication design practice today. Year 2011 is also the 50th anniversary of the Department of Design at Vilnius Academy of Arts. content@poolmagazine.in

@prolificd Oh wait. Yahoo sold Delicious to Chad Hurley & Co? How did this go under the radar? www.poolmagazine.in 3


Opinion

Making design education a part of the national agenda Uday Dandavate, one of the core team members of the ‘Vision First’ initiative to create a perspective on creating design competencies in India, cautions against the indiscriminate setting up of more National Institutes of Design without first focusing on a vision

The government of India has initiated steps for setting up four new National Institutes of Design in Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Haryana. The Department of Industrial Production and Policy (DIPP) of the Government of India has floated a request for a proposal that invites agencies to bid for a contract to help the government build the infrastructure for the institutes. This news has triggered an outcry amongst the design community on the Design India forum. The comments on Design India reflect a strong concern in the design community about the approach taken by the government which is bypassing a critical phase in building any institution of standing - that of building a vision that can drive its functioning for years to come. When Jawaharlal Nehru first initiated steps

to set up NID 50 years ago, he invited Charles and Ray Eames, a highly respected American designer couple, to articulate a vision for a design institute. Today, 50 years later that vision needs to be revisited against the background of changes occurring everywhere around us, especially after two generations of designers have worked in the trenches developing their own visions of what India needs and how best design can emerge as a strategic national competency. The discussions on Design India have led to the creation of an initiative called ‘Vision First’. A core group of designers has already approached the DIPP and Sam Pitroda, the Prime Minister’s Advisor on Information Infrastructure and Innovations, with a plea to first tap into the ideas, wisdom and vision of

the Indian design community and other stakeholders to co-create a robust vision that can challenge any preconceived notions, discard outdated models, and conceptualize a vision that is in sync with the realities and aspirations of India. “With a 19th century mindset and 20th century processes, we are trying to meet the needs of the 21st century. We need to redesign processes and tools and technologies if we are going to be really globally competitive and create the kind of jobs that we need to for 550 million young below the age of 25. We have no option but to innovate things differently,” said Pitroda to the Vision First delegation. Specifically, the Vision First team believes that serious thought and an exhaustive process of consultations need to be put into evaluating and articulating emerging

@neilhimself The only difference in the editions will be the cover, the interior design, and where you

find it in a Bookshop.

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Intro directions in design education; this will ensure a more robust and relevant framework for expanding the design education infrastructure in the country, prior to building infrastructure for the same. • Government funds could be more appropriately utilized by rightsizing the envisaged institutes and broad-basing design consciousness from primary school to professional education. • There is an urgent need to invest in human resources (especially teachers) trained to deal with new design paradigms. • The PPP process as outlined in the RFP may lead to teaming up with agencies that may leverage the valuable NID brand created over the last 50 years for shortterm ends. This will not be in the best interests of the profession or the nation. A serious evaluation of the NID brand needs to be undertaken prior to leveraging it to raise funds in the manner proposed. • The funding model needs to be formulated in a manner that does not compromise the integrity and long-term approach essential to good design, and must reinforce rather than erode the public role of such national institutions. • The stringent financial criteria applied on the potential bidders exclude most NID graduates and other practicing design professionals, who could potentially contribute a relevant vision and real world orientation to the process. • It will be a disservice to the nation if we do not create an appropriately scaled design-education infrastructure that is contemporary, globally connected and richly informed by the local context. There have been many instances of visionary leadership driving sustained growth of public institutions and building public infrastructure. V. Kurien of NDDB and E. Sridharan are examples of leaders who have proved that clear vision, conviction and commitment help establish a public institution that can provide quality services that can outperform private sector enterprises. The haste with which investment in NIDs is being pushed, ignoring the pleas of domain

experts, will lead to squandering of public funds for ill-defined projects. The spending will not stand the scrutiny of the Public Accounts Committee. This issue is not about creation of more NIDs; it is about establishing a new vision for developing a design education infrastructure for India. Many countries around the world have recognized the distinctive value of design thinking as a strategic resource. The design community needs to rally around the Vision First initiative and help make design thinking a part of national discourse and change the design education approach from a monolithic enterprise to a grass root level effort. The officers cannot be trusted to nurture a vibrant design education infrastructure for India without participation of the experts in a visioning process. In a letter written to Rashmi Korjan (a core team member of Vision First) in support of the Vision First initiative, Prof. Kumar Vyas, one of the founders of NID wrote, “One of the things that happened to me soon after I began at the NID in 1962 was my induction to a small group of persons who eventually were to pave the way for the first ever school of design in the country. The group, monitored by Gautam Sarabhai, met fairly regularly. It was in the course of these long protracted deliberations that the Institute’s value system and education philosophy emerged. The issues addressed at these sessions eventually turned into the ‘building blocks’ of NID’s educational ethos and learning methods. Lateral shifts in the collective thinking of the group will - and should happen when working on the Vision.” Speaking at the recent felicitation of Prof. Kumar Vyas, Vikas Satwalekar, former Executive Director, NID said, “It is significant that Kumar receives this medal in the very period when there is debate and action within the Indian design community about the processes by which new institutions of design are set up for tomorrow at the initiative of the State. Kumar has the unique distinction of straddling both scenarios – state as well as private sector. It must be a matter of immense pride and satisfaction to Kumar that the key movers in the Vision First Initiative are all his students.” uday@sonicrim.com

Turkish designer Cagri Cankaya embarks on a unique journey across the world, paying his way by working in design houses in different countries How do you undertake a world trip without any money? If you are an enterprising art director from Turkey, you give up your job and put into motion a remarkable plan that will not only allow you to work in design houses along the way, but earn enough money to survive. Cagri Cankaya is setting out to do just that. “I want to complete a world trip only with the power of design,” he says. “I want to show that a talented designer can earn his living by his great design skills.” He is open to working in companies ranging from design firms to advertising agencies. All this ‘traveling design expert’ needs is the monthly salary of a designer in the area so that he can survive without using a credit card or tapping other sources to cover the expenses of his adventure. Cagri plans to spend 3-5 weeks in each place, and his first stop is at INDI Design in Pune. He will record his adventures on his blog (www.designerontheroad. com), and on his return to Turkey, plans to compile his experiences into a book, proceeds of which will be donated to Unicef and Greenpeace organizations. As his media partner on this journey around the world, POOL will regularly keep readers posted on where Cagri has reached and what he is up to. Watch this space! www.designerontheroad.com

@ToddGilmore Success can be measured by how many followers you have - Can you define success though

by things you can’t measure? Coincidence perhaps?

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E slug vents here

A festival of action at the intersection... On 24th-27th February 2011, the UnBox Festival brought together artists, designers, entrepreneurs, and development practitioners for an interdisciplinary conversation around design thinking and interdisciplinary collaborations as the means of driving more sustainable and impactive social and cultural change in India. The festival weekend hosted at The British Council, Max Mueller Bhavan, Triveni and Hauz Khas Village in Delhi, was organized by a creative collective comprising of Quicksand, Codesign, B.L.O.T. and Blindboys. The festival experience was complemented by four parallel cultural festivals spanning music, art, food, literature, film & fashion, to inspire new conversations amongst the 300 odd participants. MP Ranjan kicked off the conference, urging participants to embed design in their lives by making their square foot of the world better, making design an everyday activity for all. Social communication designer Lakshmi Murthy and Chirag Executive Director VK Madhavan sparked off debates on how design-led change should relate to market-driven change. John Thackara, founder of Doors of Perception, and Harsh Purohit of Cognito debated approaches to sustainable organizations. Turning attention to spaces for public culture, founder of photo commune BlindBoys Kapil Das inspired audiences with Blow Up photo exhibitions. Apala Chavan (Human Factors International), Parmesh Shahani (Godrej Culture Lab), Rajesh Dahiya (Codesign), and Santosh Desai (Future Brands) shared stories of how documenting culture changes how people relate to and understand themselves and their work. www.unboxfestival.com


David Berman suggests that designers take the Do Good Pledge as the first step to bringing about positive change through their work “Now that we can do anything, what will we do?” - Bruce Mau. We live in a truly remarkable time. Although it is easy to dwell upon the world’s troubles, as a global community, we live in a time of unparalleled opportunity, and unprecedented creative potential for hope. As designers, we are the stewards of the communication of knowledge. And it has never been easier, never less expensive, never more immediate, to send messages over great distances to larger and larger populations. The Internet makes so much sharing possible. And yet Nicholas Negroponte reminds us that, for the majority of people alive today, the Internet is still just a rumor. However, over the next ten years, that will change forever. Before this decade ends, most human beings will have had their first interaction with the Internet. Will that first access to the Internet be about sharing the best we have to offer: medicine, conflict resolution, democracy, governance, free

thought … or will it be just one more way to convince ever-growing populations in the developing world that they need to consume stuff -- way more stuff -- in order to feel they belong in the global culture? I believe that the Internet provides us with our single most valuable opportunity in which to help build a better world. The digital divide The digital divide of our global society separates humanity into two groups: the technological haves and the have-nots. This dangerous divide increases the risk that the rich will get richer, while the poor get poorer. There are two potential outcomes over this next decade, and we designers have a crucial role in determining which of those outcomes will define the future of the one global civilization all humanity now shares. Will designers bring the best we have to offer, in support of goodness and truth, or will we prop up the greed disorder

of a minority, by using our cleverness to help convince more and more people that they are not tall enough, not thin enough, white enough, curly enough, cool enough… and the only way for them to fulfill these invented needs is by consuming more stuff? The fourth screen My friend, Dr. Peter Bruck of Salzburg, speaks of an evolution through four screens of visual communication: the movie screen, the television screen, the computer screen, and now the fourth screen: the mobile screen. These four screens represent a century-long transition from communal, one-way communication to interactive, personalized, portable immersion. It will be on that mobile, pocket-sized fourth screen -- and not the computer screen, that the majority of humans will encounter the Internet for the first time. Already, every month this year, in India alone, 15 million people will power up their first mobile phone!

@jasonsantamaria Spent the day on the couch sneezing, coughing up a rainbow of colors, and drinking orange juice. Spring has sprung. 8 POOL | 5.11 | #11


Design-guru Life and death in 160 characters Imagine for a minute that you live in Ghana. Your young daughter is ill. Not deathly ill, but mysteriously coughing all night. You’re not sure what’s wrong, and you rush to a pharmacy at 3 am to buy medicine. But you’re uncertain what to do: your dilemma is that you know that in Ghana over 20% of prescription drugs are fake. You buy the medicine, yet you don’t know if it will do more harm than good. You can’t be sure what’s in the bottle. She’s crying: what will you do? It may hurt her more than help her. Are you going to have your daughter swallow some mystery substance? That’s the reality for people in Ghana today, but that reality is changing for the better: a remarkable team at mpedigree. com designed a simple mobile phone app that can solve this indignity. They arranged with drug companies to put a unique numeric code on each bottle of medicine. At the pharmacy, all you need to do is pull out your phone, text that unique number printed on the medicine bottle to mpedigree’s phone number, and within a few seconds you get a reply telling you if the bottle in your hand is fraudulent or not. It’s a simple design: no Pantone colors, no fancy typography, slogans, intriguing interface, or clever branding … just 160 characters of life-and-death design that saves lives and helps build a sustainable economy. Don’t just do good design… do good! We have the opportunity to decide whether we will simply do good design, or whether we are going to do good with design. We have a choice to make: to help sell more caffeinated sugar water to children, or to use our skills and our opportunities to help create a better world! Imagine what would be possible if designers did not participate in the export of over-consumption and the unbridled fulfillment of greed. No one understands the powerful mechanism behind these manipulations better than design professionals, and we have the creativity and persuasiveness to make a positive change. We must act, be heard… and sometimes simply say ‘no’… by designing a better ‘yes’.

Some of us choose to pursue design purely as an exercise in the esthetic. I know that simply creating beautiful objects or surrounding yourself with beautifully designed things can help create a fulfilling and comfortable life. However, that is only the surface of the sense of accomplishment you can achieve with your creative skills. Go further: recognize the interdependence, power, and influence of your role as a professional, and let it resonate with the world around you and within you. The Do Good Pledge Designers ask me, “So what can I do?” My answer: Take this three-part Do Good Pledge, with its components of professionalism, personal responsibility, and time “I will be there to my profession.” For a couple of millennia now, doctors have been taking a pledge. Imagine if, instead of following the Hippocratic Oath, doctors only focused on the wealth they could gain from performing cosmetic surgery, or shaking down dying people for their entire inheritance in exchange for a remedy that would extend their life by a few weeks. Design professionals have built their own oaths. Join a national or regional association of design professionals that has a code of ethics. By joining, you’ll make a public professional commitment to abide to a minimum standard of ethical conduct. A commitment to professional ethics implies a minimum standard of conduct: a combination of your personal and public principles. This is the personal commitment you make to yourself, in the form of your mission, morals, and beliefs. The professional commitment is a promise to uphold a common set of published minimum standards of behavior, a promise you make when you join a professional body. Professionalism implies a 24/7 commitment, a recognition that your profession is part of who you are. “I will be true to myself.” Be guided by what you know is right.

People ask me what constitutes doing good. I can’t answer for you whether a hybrid SUV is part of the solution or part of the problem. However, I do know that if all designers simply looked in their hearts, chose to be their best selves, and only did work that was in alignment with their principles, we’d be 90% there. Be aware of your principles. Part of what designers do as professionals – just as is expected of doctors, judges or engineers – is to strive to maintain our principles at all times. So, when it comes to the question of what is right or wrong in the professional world, simply ask yourself, “How would I deal with this on a personal level? Would I recommend this product to my children? Could I look my child or best friend straight in the eye while speaking this message or pitching the product I’ve designed, or would I have to look away?” If each one of us forbids ourselves from doing anything or helping to say anything that is out of alignment with our personal principles, then that will be more than enough to change the world. Saying ‘no’ at times is a big part of it. But it is often more creatively powerful to propose an alternative solution that aligns with the principles of all parties. If we all do that, we will achieve the required shift: we’ll be contributing more than we’re taking away: doing more good than harm. “I will spend at least 10% of my professional time helping repair the world.” I am not asking you to sell your design agency. I am not asking you to quit your job. Since time is money, I’m asking that you commit at least 10% of your professional time to help create a world that is more just. That’s at least four hours of a 40-hour professional work week. Four hours of design for an organization, a company clearly acting for the social good. There are close to 2 million designers in the world. If each of us were to take just 10% of our professional time, imagine what would be possible: close to 8 million hours a week of designing a more just, more sustainable, more caring civilization. I doubt there’s a problem on Earth we couldn’t solve.

@zeldman Friday night. Looking up divorce related bank records while my daughter watches Cinderella. www.poolmagazine.in 9


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Design-guru We can choose what messages we are going to send. We can choose what products we will fashion. We can choose to make a difference in the world. We can choose to do good, NOW. What will you do? Make money doing it. Let me be clear: I am not asking you to work pro bono (well, maybe a little bit, but that’s another article). I am simply asking you to make sure that at least four hours of each professional week is spent on projects that are socially just. Now. Are we too late? Not at all. The time is perfect. Two decades ago, if you said you were a graphic designer, people asked, “What’s that?” Today, most know. Instead, they are now asking, “What are designers really about? Are they tradespeople? Are they craftspeople? Are they artists? Professionals? Are they ethical? Responsible?” What’s our answer going to be? It seems the perfect time to be able to declare, “We’re about this, and we’re definitely not about that.” Design is a very young profession, without a long history that’s impossible to uproot. We’ve barely begun. The role of design need not be defined by selling ideas and things through deceit. Over 95% of all designers who have ever lived are alive today. Together, it is up to us to decide what role our profession will play. Is it going to

be about selling sugar water, and smoke and mirrors to the vulnerable child within each one of us…or is it going to be about helping to repair the world? It should be about embracing a responsible and honored role in society. Society will then truly recognize the power of design, and the special role that designers will play in a brighter future. In fact, I believe it is time that we petition for a Nobel Prize for Design! I know that if we fulfill the gifts of our professional skills, by recognizing our power and the stewardship responsibility that accompanies that power, we can make a real difference. And since we can, we must. So please: choose well. • We can choose what messages we are going to send. • We can choose what products we will fashion. • We can choose to make a difference in the world. • We can choose to do good, NOW. What will you do? Take the Do Good Pledge online, www.davidberman.com/dogood

David Berman (www.davidberman.com) is a Canadian designer, thought leader, author, expert speaker, communications strategist, typographer and consultant with over 25 years of experience in graphic design and communications. He is a board member of Icograda, the world body for graphic design, a Fellow of the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada, and the Ethics Chair for graphic design in Canada. David has recently been named a special advisor to the United Nations on how to use design to fulfill the Millennium Development Goals. Portions of this article are adapted from Do Good Design: How Design Can Save The World by David Berman (Peachpit/Pearson, 2009)

@KallolDatta Dear Fellow Designer, to stay current/relevant, let your work do the talking...also you might

want to check the finish on your clothes

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Beyond Borders

SPACES THAT TELL STORIES...

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Beyond Borders Hand crafted items add a softness and ‘human’ touch to a space. Mixing contemporary materials and furnishing with something hand crafted and unique gives a space its own original identity and character. The jewel like colours and graphic qualities of Central Asian textiles work really well in a modern context. They can be little gem like accents in a more minimal interior or can layer up to create a more eclectic and bohemian style. I feel that they represent a celebration of traditional skills as an antidote to the mass market, disposable mentality. I have always migrated towards anything foreign and from a young age had a real fascination with travel and the east. My dad used to travel to Asia for work and bring back presents for me and I guess the seed was sown. I have read many books about this area and I suppose a magnifying glass has been held over this region for the past 20 years with the nonstop wars that have been fought here.

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Central Asia was once the epicenter of ancient trade routes between the East and West, trading in silks, gems and spices. I find the history of this region fascinating and tragic. I love that I am a modern day trader working with skilled crafts people and trading my products across the globe. Afghanistan’s colourful Ikat and Suzani textiles remind us of the beauty that this region once had and the promise of what it may be again. www.niki-jones.co.uk


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Social Design

Design & Popcorn Patriotism

Pravin Mishra suggests designers play a more active role in effecting tangible change in society The last few weeks in India have been quite eventful. People took to the streets for cricket and an anti-corruption carnival expressing patriotic passion comparable only to India’s freedom struggle days. The 100-hour Anna carnival at Jantar Mantar caught the imagination of the nation. It happened when the nation was dealing with a spectrum of corruption featuring parties ranging from ultra-left to infraright. Astronomical amounts were looted left, right and center and people were angry. The scamsters made merry in case ranging from the 2G Spectrum, and the Commonwealth Games, to IPL and Adarsh Housing Society to name a few. The Niira Radia tapes created havoc and exposed the illegitimate nexus between the ministry and industry. Former Telecom minister A Raja went to jail. Former CWG organizing committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi followed him there. A rightful cause like an anti-corruption bill taken by the Gandhian crusader Anna Hazare led to an instant flow of adrenaline in people’s blood; they took out flags, held placards and shouted slogans. Fueled by live television, Facebook and Twitter, it turned into instant and explosive nation-wide euphoria. The mela around the televised Jantar Mantar fastunto-death had everything to keep the urban ‘revolutionaries’ occupied - foodstalls, music and fashion. Several political boundaries were hit in this drama which featured several Godmen. Gandhi’s peaceful satyagrah as well as Godse’s aggressive nationalism were on display. As the protest gained momentum at Jantar Mantar, our own ‘Tahrir Square’ became a tourist spot with children holding little plastic tricolors and accompanied by their teachers brought to the venue in school buses to witness this window patriotism. There were

hundreds of people and an equal number of camerapersons taking the Anna Chitra Katha to people’s drawing rooms.

it was to be a nation of 1.2 billion. With so many patriots on top of the world, the earth’s equilibrium must have got shifted!

In four days, the government agreed to a Jan Lokpal Bill. Headlines termed it a ‘People’s Victory’. It had a much celebrated drafting committee. But the Chitra Katha got really interesting after some phone call CDs surfaced in newspaper offices. A forensic war of authenticity began. Suddenly ‘apolitical’ Anna threw a bombshell by praising the tainted Gujarat CM Narendra Modi. Whether this was by design or not, activists took to the streets again, this time against their own crusader.

In a parallel development, 19-year-old model Poonam Pandey found her own way to express her love for cricket and nation. She promised to go nude if India won the World Cup. Poonam stated that she was a diehard supporter of her nation. India needs a lot of support and this was her way of supporting the men in blue. All this attention helped Poonam grab half a crore for a reality TV show. Quite a design!

Just days before all this, on April 2, 2011 India won the cricket World Cup defeating Australia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the last three games. For many Indians, it was time to prove their loyalty to the country by forwarding racist jokes and terming Sri Lankans ‘Ravanas’ and the Pakistani team, terrorists. The media, in order to grab eyeballs and increase viewership, went to incredible extremes to add fuel to the fire. Multinational brands made their way into people’s drawing rooms with an ease. Seconds after the captain’s winning six, all of India erupted into wild celebrations with people pouring out on the streets, firing crackers, waving the tricolor, screaming on top of their voice from the top of their cars and buildings, whistling, and dancing to drums and trumpets. There was virtually no place left on the streets. Suddenly in the middle of the night you got to feel how

Cricket has a God in the name of Sachin Tendulkar. This was his sixth World Cup run and probably his last. This God appeared non-stop on TV and occupied newspaper pages for weeks with heroic stories. The brands too came along. But then this God had a God too. Godman Sathya Sai Baba was not keeping well. TV and newspapers told stories of his magical powers but a more democratic Youtube exposed his tricks. Baba passed away the day Sachin turned 38. The news channels got another story to keep the viewers busy for a few days. The suspense remains on the possible successor to look after the activities of the Sathya Sai Central Trust. The Trust has estimated assets of Rs 1.4 lakh crore spread in several states and countries. The all-powerful Sathya Sai Central Trust is exempted by a special legislation by the Center from filing any annual reports. The trust has not been answerable to the government since 1980 and enjoys 100% IT exemption.

@rameshsrivats: I hope Queen Elizabeth II has remembered to tell the milkman - Kal se ek litre extra dena. 16 POOL | 5.11 | #11


Over the years Sathya Sai Baba was embroiled in several controversies including sexual abuse, though in o instance did the mud stick. In 1993, four young men were shot dead in Sai Baba’s bedroom. Such massive designs of faith which allow such institutions to become playgrounds of vested interests continue to flourish even in 21st century with full support of the policy makers. The latest fashion in India is to hold a designer placard in one hand, and a Maharaja burger in the other. The fashion of candle-light protest marches traveled from India Gate to TV to Bollywood to Facebook and now back to India Gate. People wear designer clothes and pose in front of the TV cameras with moist eyes. Hundreds of candles to seek justice for Aarushi and Jessica; not a single candle lit or tear shed for over 15,000 farmers who commit suicide every year. Every hour, two farmers commit suicide in India leaving behind a family to fend for itself. Thrity-year-old NID alumnus Utsav Sharma found an offbeat way to protest against the failure of our judiciary to nail culprits. He attacked Rajesh Talwar with a cleaver at a Ghaziabad court on January 25, 2011. Talwar is the father of murdered teen Aarushi, and one of the accused in the case. A year ago, Utsav inflicted knife injuries on former Haryana DGP SPS Rathore in Chandigarh. He may or may not suffer from a psychological disorder, but his acts incited national debate and outrage. It is true that there is a fine line

between creativity and madness. Creative people are sensitive to their surroundings, and those that are highly sensitive are prone to expressing themselves in ways that are unacceptable to society. Utsav claimed that he was disturbed by the court system’s inability to mete out justice. His parents claimed that his depression was the trigger that made him act out violently. Society blames everyone at different times — Utsav, his parents, the system, mental illness. In the blame game, nothing gets resolved. But one thing is clear - our country pushes the boundaries on how much it can frustrate its citizens. Design and politics are much closer to each other than you think. Both challenge the status quo and make things better for ordinary people and can contribute immensely towards nation building. Designers are responsible for the consequences of their designs as much as political leaders are for their politics. Whether you design a policy or a product, ideology plays the most important role. Politics with the conventional topdown policies no longer works. Public services need to be redesigned around the user. Conventional policy makers are not equipped to do this. But designers are. Design elevates the probability of certain kinds of choices and shapes certain kinds of behaviors. Design is practiced by specialists for users. But with the rapidly changing world, design is gradually being done with users and by users. The role of a designer is changing from creator to facilitator, rather than a dictator of behavior.

It’s very important for a designer to look at a problem from the point of view of the user, as well as the priorities of the system. Designers observe people to understand the experiences, needs and wishes, and attempt to represent these through the design process. A participatory and democratic design process gives ordinary people a voice and an opportunity to influence outcomes. With the people, the ‘users’ of democracy, getting increasingly aware of their rights and powers, democratic institutes need to be redesigned to become more efficient and less corrupt. With the country facing new challenges, designers have a larger role to play today. Design education in the early stages should nourish the attitude of problem solving and make responsible citizens who will be able to differentiate between real and fake patriotism. The need of the hour is that policymakers and the designers work in sync to bring about a desirable transformation of society Popcorn T20 patriotism is in abundance. Nation-building is about silently giving shape to tangible ideas and not drumming and flag-waving in front of the cameras. Designers must take center stage now. —Pravin Mishra

mishra_pravin@yahoo.com

@brandexpression Bacon comes from heaven! RT @sethsimonds I fear many of you don’t actually know where bacon comes from. www.poolmagazine.in 17


Creating Heirlooms

“Textured, flamboyant, and refreshing,” is how Karishma Shahani describes her work. The young designer with the eponymous fashion label is also in the process of creating an organization that will foster the longevity and revival of arts and crafts globally, creating a vertically integrated system based on traditional techniques and social welfare. Her own work is influenced and inspired by the multiple layers of India’s vibrant culture. She reflects on the journey so far, especially for POOL…

Tell us a little about your background. KS: I completed a diploma at the School of Fashion Technology, Pune alongside pursuing an Economics degree. After that, for three years I studied at the London College of Fashion, University of the Arts, London for a BA (Fashion Design Technology Womenswear) degree. I worked extensively within the University of the Arts offices. I also worked with Asos.com as a buyer, Selfridges, Jaeger and Uniqlo. I would usually travel back to India and work during my holidays

in places I always wanted to visit, like with a Kutch-based NGO, followed by a production house in Kolkata that worked with one of my favorite designers. I always preferred the hands-on experience that organizations here offered. Commencing the ‘Graduate Runway Show 2010’, I received the London College of Fashion’s ‘Best Surface Textiles’ award; the ‘Nina De York Fashion Illustration’ award; and the British Graduate 100’s ‘Fashion Graduate of the Year’ award.

When did you decide to start your label? KS: I was studying before I started my label. I worked in a number of places doing different roles that revolve around the process of making and selling garments. This was really helpful as it gave me an insight from different angles of the industry. I just always wanted to do something I loved and enjoyed doing and that is simply why I decided to start in the first place.

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What is the philosophy behind your label? KS: The Karishma Shahani label focuses on being multi-cultural and using varying techniques and materials, not limited to a particular style, to cater to a large audience of new age consumers. The core comprises an integration of design as a celebration - an eclectic mix of simple textiles and materials with detailed surface treatments or vice versa which fit in harmony despite their contrasting natures. In its essence it is a re-interpretation of materials and their function at every step

depending on the need, always re-using and recycling, creating heirlooms that are passed down through generations. The brand aims to help increase fair trade and benefit artisans at the grass root level for their revival and longevity. It stands as a means of promotion of an entire body of craft, from a bead maker to a leather worker, a dyer and a weaver. The designs combine a fusion of two extremes, making the products experimental and unconventional, while

being hinged on modern functionality, beneficial to all the stake holders – the customer, the producers and all in between. What influences your work? KS: My surroundings…influences are immense, from the homeless person on the road, to cultural images across borders. My inspirations come from everyday things; anything that catches my eye captures my imagination. It is just about falling in love with what I see. I do have set images of the look and feel I want to achieve through my

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work, and that takes me through sampling and making. I also keep collecting interesting pieces, found during travel, which forms a large inspirational database alongside a lot of photography of all things beautiful. Which designers do you admire? KS: Dries Van Noten is my favorite. I also admire Manish Arora, Prada, Kenzo, Jean Paul Gaultier, Christian Lacroix, Issey Miyake and off late, Aneeth Arora and Little Shilpa. Are you trying to revive a dying art, technique or craft? KS: What I am doing is making the artisan work on techniques that are not completely alien to him/her. To contemporize already existing skills so as to preserve what already exists by presenting it in a new light, not just for the consumer but also to add interest and innovation for the maker. I recently worked with artisans in Maheshwar for a collaboration with American artist Amy Sol and Jhoole, a not-forprofit fashion brand aimed

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at women empowerment, interpreting weaving techniques of the traditional Maheshwari saris alongside imparting and honing skills of local women embroiderers. I am about to begin a collaboration with another NGO based in Gujarat to work with a village whose current products have been so saturated commercially that they aren’t receiving much work in spite of their beautiful technique. Natural dyeing is another area I am working with through collections under my label. I also have a uniform and accessory story underway for a school whose core lies in building an eco-system that not only benefits the students but also the environment through thatched mud class rooms and recycled plastic walls. For this I’ve used khadi fabrics in different weights and weaves, and block printed textile waste to create utilitarian products that would reduce not just their paper wastage but also introduce the children to the concept of re-usability, recyclability and the importance of our small cottage industries. Another project involves education through craft techniques around India to create co-operatives and contextualize craft with its actual surroundings through its


Cover Story interpretation in home textile collections dedicated to each cluster undertaken. What techniques do you favor and what are your favorite designs? KS: Surface techniques and color are predominant features of my work. I love to experiment with them to create ensembles. Knots, fringing and dip-dyeing were predominant features of my SS11 graduate collection. The Jhoole collaboration will showcase a lot of embroidery and local screen printing techniques of organic velvets, Maheshwari saris and silks. My favorite pieces are the Sada Jacket and the traveler bags from my Yatra Collection that comprise of hand dyeing with extensive textures like knots, flowers, and recycled glass globules from old chandeliers. Another favorite is a piece called the ‘Pilot dress’ that is a part of the Jhoole collection inspired by Amy Sol’s paintings with six different embroidery techniques and threads made up completely in off white. My preferred ratio for hand to machine work is 80:20. I do like the idea of slight human error in matching things, and smaller quantities of production. Hand work ensures authenticity and an enhanced personal charm that even I as a customer would love.

Who are your clients? What kind of people would you ideally like to work with? KS: The main idea is to reach out to all those who value the process as much as they value the outcome. I would like to reach anyone who connects with my work… anyone who wants to know the story behind it. The people I work with are those who share a similar vision and passion and like to experiment. I really do think that there are no set rules in fashion, and if there are, there is too much uniformity there. There are so many people in the world who are individualistic so there should be something for everyone. My client could be any one of them. I would love to work with students and share my work and experiences with them, and at the same time share their experiences and thoughts... it is always a two way process.

as well as at a show in Kolkata. My recent collaboration with Jhoole will result in trunk shows in the U.S. in April, exhibiting the garments and Amy Sol’s paintings inspired by the garments. My label retails online on an e-tail website and will be available in stores in Mumbai and Kolkata from next month with the SS11 Collection. My AW11 collection will be showcased at FashionClash Maastrict in Netherlands in June.

Where do you usually show your work? KS: I have in the past shown my work at the London Design Festival, The Textile Institute’s Design Means Business exhibition at Her Majesty’s Treasury, Westminster, and at pop-up show Ethical ust got Fabulous. I showed in London at the London College of Fashion’s Graduate show

How do you see your work evolving in the next three years? KS: I would like to see the Karishma Shahani label stand as a premium fashion label, taking India and its immense potential to satisfy the global customer. I see it evolving to encompass all the genres I would like to apply my skills to.

What challenges have you faced? KS: To start with, the biggest challenge was the decision to leave the opportunities and work culture of London to come back to India to start up something I really wanted to do. It was intimidating and raised a lot of eyebrows. Since I’ve been away from the country for the last few years, the working culture in India is something that I’m still trying to adapt to and it’s not easy.

info@karishmashahani.com

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Rising Stars

FAMILY TIES

When an accessory designer teams up with a management graduate, what results is a remarkable leather design firm called ‘Indian Joint Family’


India’s unique system of joint families, where members of an extended family co-exist in a symbiotic relationship under one roof, is the inspiration for the name ‘Indian Joint Family’, a leather design firm based in Kolkata, the leather capital of the country. Started in 2009 by Arnav Taode, an accessory designer from NIFT Hyderabad, and Prasanjeet Roy, an MBA from Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies in Pune, Indian Joint Family houses varied elements under the umbrella of the IJF brand.

a family of multifaceted people with a common goal,” say the duo.

The design firm specializes in creating bespoke accessories from the finest leather. Its range of bags, purses, wallets, briefcases, laptop bags, sling bags, pouches, clutches, belts, gloves is a blend of modern design and traditional craftsmanship. IJF works with tanneries and NGOs, handicraft clusters and innovation consultants, trim fashion houses and systems analysts. “We are

IJF prides itself in being edgy and subtle, creating pioneering never-seen-before designs to suit a variety of tastes. “Each beautifully handcrafted product gives back to the craftsmen who have toiled to create it,” inform the committed twosome. “We believe God is in the details. From picking the best quality leather to working on it with the finest craftsmanship, each IJF product is truly a labor of love.”

“The name IJF reflects our acknowledgment of India’s rich heritage of craft and the value it adds to our signature collection of bespoke leather accessories. Attention to detail and workmanship are IJF’s lifeblood - and India’s rich heritage of craft is the source of new ideas and trends. Our trademark aptly consists of the initials (which include an Indian shivling) enclosed within a mandala,” they add.

Arnav and Prasanjeet like to see themselves as active catalysts for social design. They recently organized ‘Scrapsense’ at NIFT Kolkata. “This was an exercise with the students to innovate out of waste. Leather waste and trims sponsored by IJF were turned into useful and stylish accessories and products by the students, eliminating the need for even recycling these ‘waste’ materials, and resulting in a win-win experience! They won prizes for their creativity and skill. And we won because we care about the earth, society and our own carbon footprint!” IJF seeks to broaden its appeal, pushing beyond couture accessories into other niches of the luxury market. Already their products are being displayed by fashion stores across the country, the latest being QuOise in Pune. With exposure to the right clientele, there’s no doubt the IJF family will continue to expand! www.indianjointfamily.com


Campus

Srishti School of Art, Design & Technology Brief overview The Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore, is a private autonomous design college set up in 1996 as a not-for-profit organization by the Ujwal Trust. Founded by educator Geetha Narayanan, the Srishti School is a visionary, experimental and curatorial institute of media arts and sciences, that offers art and design education at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Srishti seeks to pull together the latest art, craft and design ideas and practices from around the world and contextualize them in the emerging Indian context, thus producing small and large innovations that can help understand, communicate and resolve some of the contemporary questions, issues and concerns facing society and culture through an artistic lens. Number of full-time students 420 (from across India, The Netherlands, Italy) Number of Graduates 320 (2000-2010)

Faculty 45 teaching faculty; from India, Argentina, USA, UK, Germany, Finland, Spain Academic Programs Foundation studies program - 2yrs; Professional diploma programe - 2.5yrs; Advanced diploma program - 1 / 2yrs. At Srishti we also run an artists-in-residence program that allows a unique space for students, faculty and artists to interact. 10 artists; from India, USA, Finland, UK, Colombia. Size of the campus

52,000 sft, in 4 buildings in Yelahanka Centers Srishti has established two dedicated research and training centers focusing on production of new knowledge and creative initiatives in their respective areas. We have also set up a lab that is a platform for early phase innovation. CERTAD & CEMA.

Admission process The admission process is a transparent 3-step process at Srishti School: Entrance Test - At 6 centers across India at present - Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Guwahati, Kochi and Bangalore. Short-listed candidates are called for portfolio review and interview. Portfolio Review - Candidates present a portfolio consisting of art and design works they have created across the years to prove their aptitude, interest and eligibility for admission, and quality of work. The Interview - The interview helps Srishti evaluate the creative, intellectual and psychological fit of a candidate for admission; held at the campus.

Vision Srishti School of Art, Design & Technology is a leading arts and design school in Asia, offering a unique interdisciplinary platform for teaching and learning; a model institution for innovation, cutting-edge design, sustainability and commitment to social, economic and environmental issues of tomorrow. Our mission is to foster a ‘community of learners’ among all our faculty, artists, students and staff. The institute is a center for providing demonstrable value in learning, enabling practical and sustainable design implementation.

Contact Phone: 91.80.40447000 / 40446964 / 65 / 66
 TeleFax: 91.80.28560950 E-mail: admissions@srishti.ac.in Address P.O. Box No. 6430,
 Yelahanka New Town,
 Off Doddabalapur Road (Opp. Wheel & Axle Plant)
 Bangalore - 560 106


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Blogger

And another blog! Textile designer Kanika Bahl finds blogging works really well for people who are a little shy of networking offline, or don’t really know how and where to begin! A little background, first. KB: After graduating in Textile Design from NID, I started work in the soft furnishing industry. I have worked with a couple of reputed design houses catering to the world market. I launched my own brand called Anek Designs along with my husband last year. At Anek, I design home decor accessories and linen such as cushions, throws, dining linen, etc. We are now starting to venture into garments and bags and retail our products via eclectic retail stores all across the country. I also run a small online store on etsy.com and undertake custom textile interior projects. Why did you start blogging and what were your original plans for the blog? KB: I actually started writing my blog in February 2008 while I was still working full time in Delhi. It was a healthy distraction from the sameness that jobs tend to develop after a while. With unlimited access to the Internet at work and long gaps between really good ideas, I found myself surfing the web a lot. Overwhelmed

with the number of international design blogs that provided so much information on global trends, I started documenting what inspired me online. The name ‘And Another’ chose itself. It really started as just another design blog without any predetermined path. Where I could write about my inspirations and online finds and find a voice even if some days at work were dull. I did also want to document the crafts and vast culture of India but now that is a very small aspect of the blog. Which topics do you tackle on your blog? KB: ‘And Another’ is all about design Indian and international - that inspires me. Since I am a textile designer, my inspirations come from the world of textiles, largely home textiles and then some fashion. I have become very interested in interior spaces recently so a lot of my posts are about that. I also like to cover some cultural aspects of India and upcoming Indian designers and works in

my area of specialization. I blog about my travels and market finds, my home…I blog about all things beautiful to me! It is like my online scrap book! I am very seriously blogging about my work now, new products I develop, etc. This is helping me document all that I do and also motivates me to do more. What about this gives you satisfaction? KB: To have a readership to my blog is very satisfying. It is a great feeling every time I have a new follower on the blog side bar! To know that there are some people out there, who share your interests, likes and thoughts and then come visiting your blog and take the time to leave lovely comments is extremely gratifying. Recognition, admiration and networking are the most rewarding aspects of blogging. Does your blog act as an effective marketing tool for your work? KB: So far it has been really effective. I held an exhibition in Pune a couple of

@aparanjape Welcome follower #2500 -- not surprised..another bot :-). I think I have about 10 real

followers..that’s it. Rest are all bots!

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months back and the only promotion I did was on my blog! When I shifted to Pune last year, I did not have a job. Since the city didn’t really have any job opportunities for me, I became regular with blogging. This was also the time when I was setting up my house and started posting pictures of small DIY projects that I did to keep busy. This attracted a lot of traffic and I made some new friends in the city as well! I also got a chance to work on a couple of interior projects with a friend and colleague from NID, and developed some home decor products of my own without any idea of what to do with them in terms of marketing. I simply started uploading my work (since I could not do it while I was working full time with a company) on my blog. This got me a lot of attention and has been the best marketing tool for me so far! A couple of stores from Mumbai and Chennai approached me and wanted to retail my products and voila, I was able to

launch my brand ‘Anek Designs’. I don’t think it would have been possible if I weren’t blogging! I now retail through five stores across the country and I networked with all of them through my blog. The blog has also helped me connect with other designers across various fields and keeps me updated with news on design showcases and exhibitions. I have been able to network with a lot of people in the press and online media. I am also talking about retailing online with some Indian and international websites...and the future looks really promising! How does your blog affect your work? KB: My blog is like my idea book, showcase, and personal diary all rolled into one. My posts are largely related to interiors, textile products and updates about my brand and my projects. So yes, the two derive from each other. I have a brand because I started blogging and found so much design inspiration as well as motivation from young

entrepreneurs who blog! The blog world gives instant feedback. A lot of colleagues and friends advised me to not share all my work with everyone, but I just could not do that. I grew up attention hungry, a trait which got a little lost in NID and a full time job thereafter.....but my blog helped me get it back! How much time do you spend on your blog? Do you actively drive traffic to it? KB: I spend about two hours each day, going through latest posts on the blogs that I follow and also to write on my own, though I do not write everyday. I have about 220 committed followers on my blog and get anywhere between 150-250 unique visitors everyday. I do actively comment on the blogs that I read regularly. I also make sure that I take time out to get to know the new followers on my blog by visiting

@maxvoltar Finished Portal 2. The ending was beautiful. Now, back to that sideproject I’ve been meaning to launch ;) 30 POOL | 5.11 | #11


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theirs and leaving comments. I sometimes participate in the contests that I find interesting in blog land and have won a couple of beautiful pieces too! I have hosted two giveaways on my blog as well; this attracts a lot of followers and increases traffic on the blog. Linking my posts to others’ with a similar theme also helps, but I do this only when I am truly inspired and have something worth sharing. One needs

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to remain true to oneself and be selective while doing this, else you lose your identity! Which are your favorite blogs ? KB: Decor8 by Holly Becker; Artnlight by Vineeta Nair; An Indian Summer by Bhavna Bhatnagar (my first Indian blog crush); Oh Joy by Joy; Masala Chai by Pavitra Mohan; Design Sponge by Grace Bonney, and many others.

What tips would you give budding young bloggers? KB: Share, share, share...anything, everything! Let the world know you... and be sure that your 15 minutes of fame await you in this wonderful blog world! Let the blog evolve...don’t try too hard. And get a life, for if you aren’t doing anything, then you really have nothing to blog about! blog.anekdesigns.com


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May POOL 2011  

Pool Magazine for May 2011