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January 2011 | # 07 Indian edition

Supported by

I expect design thinking to go mainstream in the next decade

This project embraces the danger and the aggression

Clear concepts conveyed with a minimum of means

Design Turkey Design Awards 2010

Aditya Dev Sood 05

Amitesh Grover 18

Thonik 20

Sudhir Sharma 24

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

Design for Sports Arun Khanna 02

Design Education Lena Shafir 12

Design Education Nick Lovegrove 14

Publication & Research Anil Sinha 30


Roopal Kewalya photographed for POOL by Pankaj Narang

Gorilla Tactics




Crafts | Fashion | Textiles

Design Politie 06

Little Design Book 09

Jaaga 10

Kartik Dhar 16

Anaka Narayanan 32

The Adobe Design Achievement Awards recognize innovative students and faculty members who AMAZE the world. Finalists will receive Adobe software and a trip to Taipei, Taiwan, where they will be honored in an awards ceremony during the 2011 IDA Congress set for October, 24-26, 2011. Category winners also will receive a cash award of US$3,000. 2011 ADAA Judging Schedule* 1.) November 30, 2010–January 28, 2011 (Semifinalists announced in February 2011), 2.) January 28, 2011–April 29, 2011 (Semifinalists announced in May 2011), 3.) April 29, 2011–June 24, 2011 (Semifinalists announced in July 2011) 2011 faculty-and-staff submissions close on June 24, 2011. Semifinalists will be announced in July 2011.

*Web Analytics and Mobile Analytics categories require advanced registration and development kit download in order to participate. The Web Analytics category registration deadline is February 27, 2011, and the Mobile Analytics category registration deadline is January 28, 2011.

Adobe and the Adobe logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. © 2010 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All rights reserved.

Advisors Some of the planet’s foremost thinkers and influencers act as a sounding board and conscience for the POOL magazine.

New Year Kigge Hevid CEO, Index Awards, Denmark

It’s been ten years since I started Designindia; in 2002, the term social network didn’t exist, it wasn’t even called a community, it was just a group on yahoo. I realize what this time has meant when I look at a tree I planted that very year. What you are holding is already the 7th issue of POOL.

Abhijit Bansod Studio ABD, India

Kishor Singh Business Editor, India

Adil Darukhanawala Editor, Economic Times, Zigwheels, India

Kohei Nishiyama Founder, Elephant Design, Japan

Dr. Inyoung Albert Choi Professor, Hanyang University, Korea

Madhukar Kamath Managing Director and CEO, Mudra Group, India

Anaezi Modu Rebrand, USA

M P Ranjan Professor, NID, India

Prof. Anil Sinha Head, Visual Communications, NID, India

Prasoon Pandey Corcoise Films, India

Anna Muoio Principal, Social Innovation, Continuum, US

Rajesh Kejriwal Kyoorius Exchange, India

Anuj Sharma Designer, India

Rodney Fitch CEO, Fitch, UK

Aradhana Goel Designer / Strategist, Ideo, USA

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

As a new initiative, POOL magazine will introduce a report for members to provide technology updates, people updates, summaries of activities, and an executive overview of the activities of the experts in Industry. POOL will essentially look at the horizon and deliver unique insights that will aid members as they prepare for the opportunities and challenges ahead.

Jos Oberdof NPK Design, Netherland

Umesh Shukla Auryn, LA, USA

It’s often said that ‘change is hard’. In this case, change is exciting. There will definitely be challenges but there will also be great opportunities.

Julia Chiu Executive Director, JIDPO, Japan

William Drentell Winterhouse, USA

Kieu Pham Haki Brand, Vietnam

William Herald Wong WHW Design, Malaysia

For most of us, time falls into different, and mostly private, patterns. It’s more natural to measure time by how long you’ve lived in the same apartment or worked at a job, how long a relationship has endured and how old the children have grown, or how large the trees you planted years ago have gotten. That’s one thing the new year always offers: a look back across the plains into the past before we move onward into the future. Time is, in fact, the strangest thing. No one ever sat you down when you were young and explained the workings of time the way riding a cycle was explained. You just grew into it, into the way we trail the past behind us while the future comes rushing forward. With every New Year come new challenges, new opportunities and new ideas. It’s critical to reassess one’s goals, objectives and strategies in order to keep pace with the changing nature of the world in order to remain relevant. Designindia is no exception. Throughout its 10 years of existence, the Group has focused the majority of its attention on discussing benefits of Design and innovation in the Indian context. This focus has helped Designindia create the vibrant and diverse community of professional designers and fostered the growth of the industry through the development of network and discussions.

I wish you all a very happy 2011, and may you be ready for where creativity takes you. Sudhir Sharma Editor in Chief

Editor in Chief Sudhir Sharma

Art & Design Pradeep Goswami, Prashant Agashe, Shraddha Trivedi

Executive Editor Gina Krishnan

Illustrator Santosh Waragade

Copy Editor Ashvina Vakil Editorial Coordinator Sonalee Tomar Research & Design Coordinator Preethi Bayya Layout & Production Pradeep Arora Subscription & Logistics Seema Sharma Finance Kuldeep Harit

Assistants Anil Burte, Yamanappa Dodamani Publisher INDI Design Pvt Ltd Address India India House, 53, Sopan Baug, Balewadi, Pune - 411045, India Phone: +91 20 6510 6407


January 2011 | # 07 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.

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Point of View

Design for SPORTS Based in Melbourne, Australia, the ‘sports capital of the world’, Arun Khanna is Managing Director of Cadability Pty Ltd, a premier sports knowledge and information provider serving major portals like Yahoo7, 9msn and the ABC. Cadability also provides content and applications in the mobile space to major mobile networks, and publishes at the Appstore. Here is his personal vision for 21st century India…

Arun Khanna Background India is the second most populous country in the world, with over 1.17 billion people (estimate for July, 2010), more than a sixth of the world’s population. Already containing 17.31% of the world’s population, India is projected to be the world’s most populous country by 2025, surpassing China, with its population expected to exceed 1.6 billion people by 2050. More than 50% of her population is below the age of 25 and more than 65% below the age of 35. It is expected that by 2020, the average age of an Indian will be 29 years, compared to 37 for China and 48 for Japan. Which means a low dependency ratio and large working age population. Now is the time to focus on the holistic development of the Indian youth.

focused, productive, and conversant with team-work. These attributes are essential to create a healthy, wealthy and happy nation.

Relevance Designing the future by expanding opportunities for youth development through sports is a crucial need. Youth development is enhanced through participation in sports, as it brings youth together and simultaneously improves its personality and leadership capabilities; sport makes youth more confident,

The Role of Design Design can play a key role in developing and shaping the complex and dynamic world of sporting objects, images, brands, messages and events that relate to each other in a fluid and dynamic environment. India, with her rich and diverse cultures, has a very fertile playground to evolve exciting sporting experiences for both the

In modern times, there has been increasing recognition of the role of Sports in Development. The International Charter of Physical Education and Sport, UNESCO, 1978 states that: ‘Every human being has a fundamental right of access to physical education and sport, which are essential for the full development of his personality. The freedom to develop physical, intellectual and moral powers through physical education and sport must be guaranteed both within the educational system and in other aspects of social life.’

knowledgeable spectator and the agile and wilful athlete. Sporting equipment, facilities, media, fashion, health, nutrition, medicine, safety, tourism and hospitality are many facets of the tangible and intangible aspects of the sporting world. New materials and technologies have constantly transformed the environment and the nature of sports physically in all dimensions including speed, power, height and distance. Simultaneously it has altered our identity, sense of pride, cultural and social values, and above all, our self esteem and psyche. Going Forward By the middle of the 21st century, sports will have occupied center stage in our global culture. By hosting major global events during the first decade India has enhanced its socioeconomic status as well as created the momentum to evolve into a truly sporting nation. Today sports is considered a global form of big business. The direct and indirect sports economy generated by the IPL and the Commonwealth Games is a sign of things to come. Design will play a critical role in shaping a unique sporting India.

@ScepticGeek Meow! (experimental tweet to check # of RTs, after seeing some of Twitter’s most popular tweets :) 2 POOL | 1.11 | #7

Headlines There are limited scenarios to illustrate successful models like the highly popular IPL by the BCCI. Its popularity snowballed, which in turn raked in massive revenues from media rights and sponsorship deals. It created opportunities for young cricketers to play in the national arena. Its cross regional and reduced overs format along with participating international players created compelling competition. This in turn has led to states forming successful local leagues. During the IPL season cinema theaters withdrew regular movies and instead projected live coverage of matches. Google was recently licensed to stream the matches live globally. Design opportunities in the IPL are many: clothing, accessories, safety gear, stadiums, seating, merchandise, information kiosks, mobile apps, multimedia, signage, logos, brands, graphics, posters, websites, equipment, and the list goes on. Sports offers a challenge to designers to create products that empower the performance of the athlete through innovative use of materials, form, and ergonomics to increase the potential for human physical ability. Simultaneously these objects become the contemporary icons and symbols of culture which define how people see themselves and expect to be seen by others. The ubiquitous mobile device has already changed the way we do business, communicate, and share information. Mobile communications will play an important role in shaping the way we view, experience and share sports in the next couple of decades. The mutation between entertainment and sports is now almost complete and coupled with innovative and meaningful design will continue to drive popularity and participation at a scale and size not perceived in the present times. The National Design Policy should identify sports as a major sector to harness the exceptional professional design talent India has produced in the last three decades. It should, in fact, introduce design for sport into the major design education centers as a unique stream.

Freedom Tree Opens in Mumbai

From the people who gave Mumbai the design store ‘Takete Maluma’ comes ‘Freedom Tree’, a colorful and quirky homestore at Raghuvanshi Mills Compound. The store offers a curated product mix of individualistic furniture, lighting, textiles, fragrances, ceramics, durries, etc.

The idea is to provide real and likable design for everyday living. Each product is designed and made in India to appeal to the urban well traveled Indian. The ‘loveable and fun products’ aim to celebrate modern India and act as a thumbprint against standardization. For more information, visit and enter homestore. Solo Exhibition by Abhishek Sinha The Nirula Family Company recently presented ‘Dhyana Roopa’, a solo exhibition by NID alumnus Abhishek Sinha at Arpana Caur’s Gallery in New Delhi. The featured work was a result of the artist’s research and meditation into Vishnu and Shiva, exploring not only their form as described

in Vedic and Aryan texts and shlokas, but also making a modern presentation of their moods, past-times and avatars. Abhishek uses pen, photo-ink, gauche, oils and acrylics to stunning effect on canvas and paper in an attempt to create his interpretations of Divinity. 3


The National Institute of Design (NID) was established in Ahmedabad fifty years ago, but for most of this period the role of design in India’s economy has been quite modest. This was because India was then a subsistence agricultural economy with only limited industrialization and a weak manufacturing base. As all of us know, the discipline and practice of design was then understood principally in relationship to industrial manufacturing, and emerged from the split between the making of an artifact and the process of visualizing or conceptualizing it. The large conceptual challenge for the students and faculty of NID was to reconcile the pedagogy and practice of design with the vast existing resources of India’s artisanal and crafts sector. In the last two decades, however, India has emerged as a global informational and services powerhouse. The growth of mobile networks have ensured that most if not all of India’s people are now participating in that revolution. The country is now on its way to becoming a knowledge economy powered by innovation. During this same period, the dominant design challenge has also undergone a major shift, with the object of design becoming more and more ethereal, experiential, distributed, and interactive, including the design of services. This has required new approaches to design, which are more socially-oriented, collaborative, and research-based. I would call this large trend user-centered design, and it is an orientation that global design practices share with Indian firms, including my own consultancy, the Center for Knowledge Societies (CKS). As we collectively move out of a paradigm of subsistence into a world of plenty, we realize that value is less and less resident in the thingness of things, but in signs, symbols and significations between people. It is here that design will play an increasingly important role, for


design is the means through which mere commodities are given social significance and meaning. While India was struggling on with the limited imagination of a development paradigm, many believed that it could not afford design, and many still see it as a luxury. Now, however, the country’s national imagination believes and understands that anything is possible and all can participate in the country’s future prosperity—if only that future can be imagined precisely and distinctly. The discipline and practice of the imagination is really another definition and name for Design. Over the past decade, our approach at CKS has been to disaggregate the design or innovation process into three distinct vectors: to understand, to develop, to enhance. The formal techniques involved in each of these phases may be different, but the overall approach or orientation to problem solving is consistent, for each phase requires design thinking. I was once asked for a definition of design thinking, and this caught me a bit off-guard. After some reflection I can offer the following: design thinking approaches multiple dimensions of a problem simultaneously. It involves entertaining mutually contradictory propositions, and requires one to defer their final resolution as long as possible. In all of these ways, design thinking is often at odds with managerial or engineering thinking, which can require bold, swift and certain decision-making. I would use the example of how an architect thinks of the design of a building, simultaneously considering for example the structure, the locations of windows, the uses for the rooms with the best views, the location of bathrooms adjacent to them, and plumbing and electrical installations on the roof. At any given moment of design thinking she might be considering and manipulating each of these factors

simultaneously continuously refining, realigning, tweaking, improving the design. It seems to me that we are at an inflection point, in terms of the relationship between Design and the rest of India’s economy. India’s innovation and knowledge industries are poised for almost unimaginable future growth, not only in terms of capital accumulation or wealth-generation, but also in terms of the complexity of conceptual tasks which we will soon become capable of as a society or as a large cluster of organizations. These more sophisticated ways of creating new insight, knowledge, and intellectual property will require us to work in more and more subtle and mutually-dependent ways. A second and equally important aspect of design thinking relates not to what one is doing within one’s own mind, but in relation to others in an organization or a set of organizations. The ability to visualize ideas on a white board, to collaborate using paper, pencil, and mouse, to acknowledge and build on other people’s ideas are all critical social manifestations of design thinking. We might also call these ‘workshopping skills.’ These skills cannot easily be taught or learned, but often they can come to be recognized through formal design training, whether in Architecture, Art, Media or any other sub-discipline of Design. I expect design thinking to go mainstream in the next decade, and to find new intersections with the disciplines of Anthropology, Sociology, Management, and Communications, among several others. The larger benefits of this kind of braiding or synthesis of Design with these other established ways of making sense and meaning of the world will unleash tremendous opportunity, value, and benefits to Indian society, which will then unfold throughout the coming century.

@AnandBhushan Fuck!!! Someone agrees with me!!! RT @gkhamba: Zara’s XL is like a bikini to me. Who are these midgets cornering the damn menswear market? 5

Dutch design firm Designpolitie has a host of interesting projects in the bag but it is ‘The Daily Gorilla’ that truly defines it. Richard van der Laken, one of the partners, tells Pool about the much acclaimed visual commentary on current events that brought them firmly into the public eye. When did you take the leap and start a design studio of your own? I started with my partner Pepijn Zurburg in 1995, immediately after graduating from art school. Was design a mainstream occupation in Holland compared to other established professions? Of course as a designer you are always a little bit ‘the odd one’, but in Holland design is quite common. Dutch design has already existed for some years. In fact our founding fathers started around the beginning of the 20th century, so we have quite a tradition of design in Holland.

Richard van der Laken (Right)

How did you land your first major design project? What was it? From the first moment we started we bumped into a beautiful project - a traveling exhibition with 11 caravans,

redesigned by artists. There was serious communication, a catalogue, et cetera. That was a great challenge that we loved to take on. What challenges did you face in your earliest days? All the clichés of starting up a design business! In Holland you do not get educated as an entrepreneur at art school, and the reality is that you must transform yourself into an entrepreneur, otherwise you will not survive. So you have to build a business, as small as it might be. And there is huge competition in Holland. There are a lot of designers with high qualities, so you have to stand out in the crowd. We did that of course with our work, but also with a lot of attempts to get the attention of the media, doing new

@ashoklalla Spotted innovative restaurant promo. Guys in open jeep, clanking ‘music’ driving slowly handing out

flyers 2 motorists. Social mktg at play!

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business, sending our work to every relation we had, et cetera, et cetera. And of course you always want to be further than you are at the moment. Now we work for the clients that we wanted to work for five years ago. Probably that will be a situation that you are always in. And I guess that is quite normal, at least when you are ambitious. How did you tackle the twin challenges of expansion and scalability? We are not a large design firm; in fact we are quite small – just eight of us including my partner and myself. One always has to face ups and downs regarding the economic situation of the company. What has been your most enjoyable project? My goodness! My most enjoyable project? I don’t really know, but it is probably Gorilla. A few years ago we got the unique opportunity to design a daily visual column on the front page of one of the biggest newspapers in Holland, called Volkskrant. Every day we reacted to the news with images and words… small posters about national and international news. It was exhausting but also extremely inspiring, because you have to formulate an opinion in a few hours, design it and send it to the newspaper by email. Now we do it for two weekly magazines. There is less pressure, but sometimes I miss that hassle! What kind of work are you looking forward to - something new that you have not done before? I am working on a conference called IDEA

(International Design Event Amsterdam), with the motto ‘What Design Can Do’. It will be about the impact, the power of design in relation to relevant social, economic and political questions, here in Holland and the rest of the world. Is managing a platform for design exchange something you aspire to create? How did you come up with the idea? I love working on it, although it is complex. A lot of parties are involved and I want to focus on the content, the quality. I came up with the idea because once in a while I lecture in other countries and these meetings with the audience and other speakers can be very inspiring, especially when they are from other disciplines and countries. What are product or web designers from India and Norway doing? What is the opinion of an American fashion designer? Holland is a great place for a designer, but we are also just a small place on earth. There is so much happening. How do you safeguard your IP Rights? For Gorilla, everybody can go to Gorilla and click on the button ‘download this Gorilla’. That was done on purpose to invite people to spread the gorillas that we made, and it works. A lot of Dutch politicians for example use our gorillas to illustrate their blogs et cetera. We also like the idea that you can download the pdf and print it on paper and hang it on the wall! For other projects we always work according to the rules set by the BNO - the Dutch Designers Association. These rules

say that the intellectual property is always on the designer’s side. It is also something the Dutch law says. But on the other hand, a client pays for it, so it also becomes his/ her property. Once in a while we have some arguments with a client, but most of the time it works out well. In the end it is almost impossible to protect your work. We also ‘borrow’ from other designers. You get inspired by other creatives, so you also use the stuff that they use. Do you work only on domestic projects or also internationally? Most of our time is spent on domestic work. International work is really not very common. We would love to, of course! Does the business of outsourced design and design management look promising to you? I don’t know, to be honest. I would never outsource my design work, because that is my work. Without that, there is no right for my company ‘Designpolitie’ to exist. Where do you see the design industry going in the next five years? I think there will be a new sense of responsibility, an awareness, a new dawn. We will experience new influences from China and India. I love India, so I am very curious. There is a lot of design for design sake. So that really has to change. It is already happening, and the next five years will show that, I think.

@Sudhir_indi Poolside pizza party for 6th POOL at India House 7


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When designers get together to swap stories about what inspires or concerns them, what results is an extremely readable blog

Ruchita Modhak

Shreyas R Krishnan

It’s much more than an excuse to bandy about ideas when the whim strikes a designer. Set up in June 2010 and already making its presence felt, ‘Little Design Book’ is a blog with a definite aim. “We started Little Design Book (LDB) with the deliberate purpose of creating an open and honest platform for the discussion of design,” say the editors, Avinash Rajagopal, Ruchita Madhok, Shreyas R. Krishnan, Rohit Iyer, and Aditya Palsule. “We felt that a lot of design writing from India was either too general, or too promotional. There was a real need for critical discussion of specific design projects from India, so we decided to use the democracy of the Internet to our advantage.” The editors are all Indian, but write in from Bangalore, London and New York. “Our guest contributors are scattered around the world. The experience of living and working in such geographically diverse locations has broadened our

Avinash Rajagopal

perspective on design issues. We find that we’re able to consider design in India from local as well as global standpoints,” they admit. How LDB came about is interesting. “We realized that each of us always has a notebook at hand to capture a moment or a thought, jot down an idea or write down something to look up later. The pages of our books are like snapshots of our thinking process: our way of looking at the world around us, and opinions about our everyday encounters with design,” says the team. “LDB is our way of opening our books up, so people can see what’s on our mind -- what inspires us, and what concerns us. It is a space in which we hope to start a more thoughtful conversation about design, by talking about current practice and offering informed, critical analysis.” It’s easy to be overlooked in cyberspace and the team does a good job of making

Aditya Palsule

their presence felt through the Facebook and Twitter routes. “Our critical voice distinguishes us,” say the editors. “We have a firm policy of honesty – every writer provides a personal opinion based on a considered analysis. We are very conscious about our contribution to design discourse.” The editorial team admit to being as crazy about blog-surfing as they are about blogging. “Design Observer has always been a big influence on us, even when we were wee students. And for a thoughtful Indian perspective, there is really nothing comparable to Prof. M. P. Ranjan’s Design For India,” they add. That they are passionate about what they do is a given. “We’re hoping to raise the bar for design criticism and writing in India,” they aver. Consult their Little Design Book to see how!

@GuyKawasaki Ten best and worst communicators of 2010 by @bertdecker 9

Archana Prasad Blagsvedt, Freeman Murray


Ria Rajan discovers a unique creative space in Bangalore which evolves according to users’ needs ‘Jaaga’, meaning ‘space’ in Kannada, and ‘awakening’ in Hindi, was born out of the need for an open creative community space in the urban landscape of Bangalore. Jaaga was conceived in the midst of a serendipitous meeting between Archana Prasad Blagsvedt - a Bangalore based video artist - and Freeman Murray, a technologist from California. A little more than a year later, it stands tall in the heart of the city - challenging the notions of permanence, space and architecture; and the idea that real estate cannot be moved, folded and floating. It serves as a platform for artists, hackers, technologists, performers and curious city slickers to come together in a free open venue for networking, partnerships and collaborative work. Jaaga is a massive structure made up of red and blue pallet racks. Pallet racking is a metal storage system designed to store materials on pallets. Although there are many varieties of pallet racks, all types allow for the storage of palletized materials in horizontal rows with multiple

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levels. With the assistance of volunteers, the 3-storied structure was built up in all of 15 hours. The flooring is made up of plywood and metal bars and mesh and the walls are made of recycled billboards. It is a space that is alive, and given its modular nature, it can be re-designed to suit varying needs. The entire structure is a dichotomy between a natural earthy airy area and cyber industrial space. Jaaga’s USP is that it brings together art, design, technology and social change activists - to share their practices with the world and with the neighborhood; in a space that can be assembled, disassembled and then reassembled on any empty plot in the city.

for creative people, Jaaga has instated fellowship programs that invite creative practitioners to send in proposals stating how they would like to use the space for their creative pursuits. Along with this, residencies are offered to experts in the fields of art and technology. Currently Jaaga provides core infrastructure and mentorship to a few tech start-ups, hosts an electronics lab, and has three artists-in-residence along with its very first design fellow. There is a constant flow of interesting people from its ever growing and extending community. Some of its collaborators include Microsoft Research and the GoetheInstitute / Max Mueller Bhavan.

The vision of Jaaga is to become a future institution that harnesses the power of modern technology to herald a new breed of creative thinkers and doers; also to be a virtual repository of avant-garde thinking stemming from India and rooted in the world.

Jaaga is a social experiment aimed at creating an affordable, accessible, non-commercial and free community cultural space. It is a constant work-in-progress.

While it still is in a nascent stage of its existence as an alternative space 11

Lena Shafir


Design Education Lena Shafir from Amsterdam-based ‘Shafir etcetera design’ has been professionally involved in Visual Design Communication and Design Education for more than 20 years. Her teaching and work experience in countries like Israel, USA, China, Lithuania, and Germany give her a unique perspective on design education across the world. On a recent visit to India she was able to compare the Dutch and Indian systems of design education. Some impressions… days a week. That makes it more profit than pleasure. The pleasure of looking sideways is inevitable in creativity.

My second visit to India was a private initiative to explore India’s design education approach, a follow-up to Design Yatra 2009, the occasion of my first visit to India. At the time I had been fascinated by the surrounding visual culture. The conference provided the opportunity to encounter and interact with Indian students and listen to them expressing their awareness of the quality of design education and their responsibility in all of this. Coming from the Netherlands, my contribution during the matchmaking session consisted of a presentation in which I was sharing my thoughts on design education – addressing the value of design, the necessity to renew by exploring new roles and engaging in new forms of collaboration. What have I learnt so far? 1. The Dutch and Indian approaches to design education are almost opposite; therefore there is a great potential to develop collaborative new approaches. We are globally connected to each other but make little use of the differences in a constructive way. 2. The Dutch educational system is based on the fact that tutors are independent designers and artists, only partially involved in teaching. For them, teaching is more pleasure than profit. In India, however, I met mostly teachers that were involved in school activities for five

3. In the Dutch perspective the student is responsible for time management and study results. He or she will receive the support needed based on individual progress and investment. The time spent at school is approximately 25 hours a week. Results show that productivity, efficiency and creativity drop dramatically when the workload increases. In India, from what I have experienced, students follow classes the whole week. They have an overload of assignments and exercises, many of which seemed to me to be meaningless. 4. In Dutch design education the applicable design solution comes from the process of research and analysis. Consistency in following this method leads to quality of solutions, products and ideas. In India, while interacting with students, I noticed that consistency of process is more a term than a fact. While doing research, students produce a great deal of text, on many sheets of paper, and then draw conclusions. But when they apply design it has very little to do with the findings of the process. Observing this I found something unusual: most of the students I interacted with use very few images to support their research. I was puzzled. Later I asked this question in a different class and the answer was: ‘Words are the truth and you can rely on them.’ A fascinating detail in a visual culture such as India! During the trip of almost four weeks, taking in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Ahmadabad and Delhi, I learned many things about Indian design and tradition.

I enjoyed wonderful Indian food and I met very warm and enthusiastic people. I have a strong feeling that the challenge and opportunities are there. The chain of progressive approach in design education needs to be started today rather than tomorrow.

In Dutch design education the applicable design solution comes from the process of research and analysis. Consistency in following this method leads to quality of solutions, products and ideas. In India, while interacting with students, I noticed that consistency of process is more a term than a fact. While doing research, students produce a great deal of text, on many sheets of paper, and then draw conclusions. But when they apply design it has very little to do with the findings of the process. The challenge is to find the adaptor to connect the Dutch pragmatic approach to the Indian visual culture in exploring new ways of design education.

@AnantCampaign I wont say more. If this isn’t a riot, block me on your timeline! 13


Design Education

Nick Lovegrove, a lecturer, explains why creative subjects should be taught in all Indian schools If you ask most people what they enjoyed doing when they were kids, most would give similar answers: perhaps playing with toys, hanging out with friends or avoiding getting into trouble. I was quite content in front of a drawing board, armed with set squares and a set of coloring pencils. I could spend hours lost in my own world drawing maps, graphs and bits of typography. This wasn’t a hobby, it was homework set my my school teachers. They encouraged me to do what I enjoyed, suggesting ways to improve and rarely being negative. I stuck with the idea of studying what i enjoyed doing and ended up, unsurprisingly, becoming a graphic designer. However, I wasn’t unique. I grew up in the UK in the 1980s, when taking creative subjects were compulsory. In my secondary school, all pupils had to study Design & Communication (a mixture of technical drawing and graphic design), Design & Technology (three-dimensional design) as well as Art until the age of 13.

I realize how lucky my schoolmates and I were. It is no coincidence that the UK is one of the world’s creative hubs. The country’s creative businesses are a key component in the so-called ‘knowledge economy’. Government figures show that the UK’s creative industries accounted for over nearly two million jobs and brought in an estimated £112.5 billion per year to the country’s economy. Sir Ken Robinson, the leading academic has been campaigning for many years that teaching creativity in schools is as important as teaching literacy. His brilliant talks at high profile conferences are well worth watching ( Although his ideas have yet to be implemented on a large scale, he remains an influential voice. He argues in his book, The Element, that current education systems are “stifling some of the most important capacities that young people now need to make their way in the increasingly demanding world of the 21st century - the powers of creative thinking”.

My school has nurtured successful artists, animators, textile designers, as well as more than a few talented graphic designers. It wasn’t a particularly unusual school either, just an ordinary government run institution following the national curriculum.

Of course, he is referring to Western education policies, his realm of professional experience has been in the UK and US. What then, would he make of India’s education policy which, from an outsider’s perspective, is a curious throwback to almost Victorian-era teaching practices?

Having been involved with the Indian education system over the last 18 months,

I now teach Graphic Design at degree level in Bangalore and even though a reasonable

number of my students have attended International schools, very few of them have had the opportunity to study any sort of creative subject as part of their official education. A few have pursued drawing and photography in their own time but the focus in schools almost always appears to be about grinding out exam results in the traditional core subjects. Although they show plenty of promise, my students have a tendency to look for the correct answer, where quite often there isn’t one. There is a reluctance to be experimental or to stand out from the crowd, both of which are vital traits of a successful designer. Teresa Cremin, a professor of education in the UK and an expert on creativity in primary schools agrees with Robinson. “If you have a school system which rewards conformity and avoids risk-taking, then youngsters will be unable to cope with the world unfolding before them.” A sign of a changing world is Indian business people coming to the west in search of creative solutions. In 2006 one of London’s largest post-production facilities was bought by Prime Focus, India’s largest film and TV effects firm. It now produces large numbers of TV adverts for the Indian market. Why can’t these adverts be made in India? It’s not because there is a lack of technical knowledge here, it’s because there is a perceived lack of creative, imaginative individuals who can work at the highest

@Behance Part of Nike (RED), here’s an African design inspired toy for a cause :: 14 POOL | 1.11 | #7

level. Again, why does a company like Tata feel that they have to use a UK based consultancy, Wolff Olins, to launch the DoCoMo brand in India? It’s ludicrous to think that India has less naturally-creative people than in the West. However, there is an unarguable shortage of people who have been educated to think creatively; to maximize the potential that so many people have. This potential is either hounded out of them by an out-ofdate education system, parental pressure or is simply left undeveloped because of a lack of access or opportunity to good design education. Lots has been written in recent years about the particular skills that Indians naturally possess. The boom in the IT industry has, for many people, confirmed the idea that Indians have a natural bias towards mathematics; to logical, organizational ways of thinking. Supposedly, this results in huge numbers of highly skilled programmers, engineers and managers. In my experience, it’s a flawed theory. Indian’s predisposition to these sorts of jobs is purely down to the nature of the education that the vast majority of the population receive. India’s rich cultural history, stretching back thousands of years, helps to disprove this view. This history is also an encouraging sign of what’s possible in the future if there is a move away from such rigid, conventional teaching methods. Indeed, there is a growing school of thought that people from a design background, rather than those trained in traditional business schools, are often more suitable for management roles. A designer’s ability to think laterally, free from conventions, as well as a tendency to work well in collaborative situations are extremely desirable traits for a forward thinking business. In his 2008 article for the Harvard Business Review Tim Brown, CEO of international design firm IDEO, wrote:

“I believe that design thinking has much to offer a business world in which most management ideas and best practices are freely available to be copied and exploited. Leaders now look to innovation as a principal source of differentiation and competitive advantage; they would do

well to incorporate design thinking into all phases of the process.” He goes on to explain the importance of this to countries like India:

“As economies in the developed world shift from industrial manufacturing to knowledge work and service delivery, innovation’s terrain is expanding. Its objectives are no longer just physical products; they are new sorts of processes, services, IT powered interactions, entertainments and ways of collaborating – exactly the kinds of humancentered activities in which design thinking can make a difference.” As India’s economy diversifies, away from its current core industries, there will be a ever-growing need for those who can innovate; to stop being what Pavan K Varma, in his book ‘Being Indian’ calls “the hard-working cogs in someone else’s creative wheel”.

If you have a school system which rewards conformity and avoids risk-taking, then youngsters will be unable to cope with the world unfolding before them.” All these points ignore the wider value that creative education adds to society. Attempting to justify why art and design in schools is important in purely economic terms arguably propagates the myth that schools are simply there to churn out fresh workers. Why shouldn’t developing someone’s ability to express themselves be enough of a goal in its own right? Creating something new, using an idea that is entirely your own, is arguably just as satisfying as receiving good exam results or a gaining a promotion at work.

So what do I propose? A simple solution would be to make Art a compulsory subject up to 8th standard. However these would have to be based on a new curriculum, devised to stretch pupils’ imagination as well as their esthetic sense. Too often art classes, both here and abroad, are based on simply producing work in the style of whatever art movement they have just studied. This isn’t creative, it’s the visual equivalent of the rote-learning methods traditionally used to teach mathematics. It just encourages the lazy, imitation culture that results in Bollywood’s uncredited remakes of Hollywood titles or industrial firms meekly copying Western designs, rather than developing their own. Of course, thinking creatively can be taught at a later stage. However, it’s much harder getting people to ‘unlearn’ all those years of conformism than it is to simply build on what thought processes are already there. Teaching adults ‘how to think’ is a multi-million dollar industry. ‘Self-help’ books seem to be even more popular in India than they are in the rest of the world, judging by the amount of space they take up in bookstores here. Thinking experts like Edward De Bono have earned fortunes by serving the public’s desire to be more creative. If the right side of young people’s minds were stretched more, perhaps we wouldn’t need all this guidance in later life. For those that can think creatively, India is a great place to be at the moment. In Bangalore, I can count the number of design studios doing genuinely decent, creative graphic design with the fingers on one hand. For a city of six million people and with as many businesses based here as it does, this represents a huge opportunity for young, talented designers who are brave enough to set up their own studio. The future is bright.

Who knows what wider benefits universal creative education would bring to society? Rabindranath Tagore suggested in 1920 that “engaging in processes of creation ... is critical to the meaningful development of both personality and human relationships.” More people having the opportunity to explore their potential could never be a bad thing.

Nick Lovegrove is a Lecturer on the Visual Communication course at Raffles Millennium International, Bangalore.

@AnandBhushan No matter who u are...our shadows are all the same color....#FuckImAwesome 15


Kartik Dhar is a travel and people photographer, activist and occasional writer. He started clicking with a Nikon FTN, a metal manual camera with black and white film, when he was 14 and has never looked back. After a stint in marketing communications and branding, he now heads a Not-for-Profit Company which promotes artists in the upcoming rural sector. He doesn’t really believe in a dream camera; it’s the photographer who makes the images, the camera just captures light. Currently he uses a Canon 5d mark 2 with a varied set of lenses.

Kartik Dhar

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India never ceases to amaze or surprise me. This country has fascinated me from the day I was three and travelled in a truck while moving from a small town to Delhi… it continues to do so whenever I get into a train and see obscure villages and towns go by. This fascination led to my wanderlust and eventually made me do what I do. I’ve been photographing India for close to seven years now; apart from soaking in the diversity in these seven short years, I have also documented a lot of change. India has changed so much in the past decade, probably unnoticeably. I had visited a few villages in the Almora District in Uttarakhand back when it was Uttaranchal, and they don’t exist anymore! I recently stopped my Royal Enfield where I thought one of the villages should be, hoping to find the same old bunch of people seated at the little highway tea stall. They weren’t there. I asked a couple of guys what had happened but they didn’t have much to say. Where the villages went will probably remain a mystery. On my first visit to the Gorakhnathakhara at Rohtak, I had seen sadhus lying around in the grass; when I returned after six years, that place had changed completely! There was a refurbished 40-foot statue and a very decent and comfortable dhramshala . The new lot of sadhus unsurprisingly is much younger now, some only in their late teens. The entire landscape of Delhi has changed, with huge glass buildings sprouting everywhere. Though I had earlier been to Rajasthan I had never travelled through it extensively; what I saw was the glamor of the big towns where most of the action is. October had just started and I intended to cover the Durga Pooja in Kolkata but then I remembered my previous experience back in 2008; it was loud and noisy, there were traffic jams everywhere and I couldn’t get a hotel room. Just a day before I was supposed to leave for Kolkata, I changed my mind all of a sudden, without any reason. It’s been the best decision I made this year.

I booked a ticked to Jodhpur and set out with just a single plan in my head - to experience what goes on behind the scenes. The photographs would just happen. I wanted to know the Rajasthan beyond the tourist centres of Jaisalmer and Jaipur.

My next stop was Khuri, a very small hamlet of camels about 45 kilometres off Jaisalmer. Apart from a few thatched huts under a clear desert sky and a mini sand dune lake, the city slicker would not find anything. However I found tranquillity and great images!

Photographing people and places gives me the insights to look at things with intricacy, which in turn gives me the power to understand and question things and has made me what I am right now

I began village hopping yet again. Bikaner was on my proposed itinerary and somewhere I got to hear about this place called Kolayat. Considered to be a very sacred pilgrimage site, it is mentioned in the Vedas and was visited by Guru Nanak; however it has lost its sheen over the years, and is now just a few dusty streets all pointing towards a lake. I was on the train to Bikaner from Jaisalmer when I got to know that the next station was Kolayat. I just had to get off. It was 3 am and I was in the middle of nowhere. Kolayat is one of those stations you just pass by on a long haul train, one of those stations with a very sleepy atmosphere. Apart from me there was only one other man and a few dogs on the single platform railway station. The air was fresh and chilly, and I decided to spend the next few hours at the station. Kolayat was a dream, a real sleepy village of the size of a smallish town. There were barely any cars. I walked straight to the Kund and hung out, making friends with sadhus who made me tea.

I did experience a lot. There is a very small town, Ramdevra, a few kilometres away from Pokaran, where an occasional festival is held in honor of Ramdev Baba (no, not the yoga guru). This Ramdev Baba is supposed to be an avatar of Krishna and is extremely revered in rural and semi urban Rajasthan. I heard about the festival from quite a few locals in colourful turbans, and I just had to see it for myself. There was no way to reach Ramdevra in comfort. The trains were full; people were travelling on top of the buses. And with my camera and fedora I looked like the odd one out. I barely managed to get a seat on an extremely crowded bus. Ramdevra was odd, a very small village-town with at least a million people there for this festival. Surprisingly a festival this size has largely been ignored by the national media. There were no camels, no Rajasthani dancers… it was exactly the opposite of Pushkar. There weren’t people desperately trying to sell me the usual knick knacks. It was a poor man’s festival and yet by the feel of it much more Indian than your usual Pushkar or Jaisalmer desert festivals.

Eventually I moved on to Shekhawati via Bikaner. Shekhawati is a hidden gem, with absolutely no tourists in most of the towns and villages of the region. Apart from gazing at the beautiful frescoed havelis, you can actually have a deep meaningful conversation with an absolute stranger. The region is filled with these small towns where everyone knows each other and leisure is a part of life. Photographing people and places gives me the insights to look at things with intricacy, which in turn gives me the power to understand and question things and has made me what I am right now. The very simple action of a boatman helping an old lady into his boat or a father taking his son to the temple on his shoulders…these very basic and simple human interactions and relations form the essence of my inspiration.

@sahilk phones should come with a breathalyser lock. no drunk calls then 17

He calls himself a Performance Maker, New Media Artist and pedagogue. In simpler words, Amitesh Grover conceptualizes performances in public places, art galleries, auditoria and on the Internet. He directs performers, video and sound artists, graphic novelists, gamers and designers to make Performance Art. An alumnus of the National School of Drama (India), Amitesh has created 15 Performances and Mixed-Media Installations, which have taken a total of 85 shows across six countries till July 2010. Recipient of numerous awards, he also contributes to contemporary theater discourse through workshops, talks and articles. In an interview with Pool he throws light on what makes a Performance Maker. What defines a Performance Maker? AG: A Performance Maker is a very recent term that has come to define contemporary Performance Art Practice. Most modern performance genres found themselves increasingly isolated in terms like Theatre, Dance, Puppetry, Street Theatre, etc. and struggled to explain work done by cross-over artists, who not only began to mix these seemingly disparate fields - Public, Digital, Text, Body - but also sought to invent new ones. Today, a Performance Maker is an artist who is deeply concerned with the context of ‘Live’ and ‘Liveness’ and seeks to innovate and experiment with the interaction between the Performer, the Performed and the Viewer/Audience. Sometimes these boundaries are blurred in shows to the extent that the audience becomes the primary performer just by the way it interacts with the setup or performance material. What are you currently working on? AG: I am currently working on two projects. The first is ‘Social Gaming’, where we devise games. People separated by thousands of kilometers play these real (not online) games, which help them understand each other’s culture, language, city surroundings better with loads of fun, creativity and excitement thrown in. We have a pool of four to five social games that embrace questions of mapping and territory, devise unlikely ways for

players to communicate, and invite consideration of the physical, digital and social environment of each space – the differences and similarities between them. Our two shows this year revealed how people in Delhi and London respond in surprising ways to discovering each other and their cities through the games. This project was in collaboration with Alex Fleetwood, Hide&Seek.

Today, a Performance Maker is an artist who is deeply concerned with the context of ‘Live’ and ‘Liveness’ and seeks to innovate and experiment with the interaction between the Performer, the Performed and the Viewer/Audience. The second project is In/Visible. This is a 31-day long continuous public performance of a Post-City Man, a person trying to survive in the city without any money, food or shelter. Each moment is recorded, blogged and each area is pinned on a digital territory

@anexasajoop How do you tell between a ‘collector’ and a ‘hoarder’? 18 POOL | 1.11 | #7

map as a trail of a-man-on-the-loose, as he crawls through the city in a bid to stay alive. Audiences can follow him through the city, as he leaves clues. They can record him or send smses, emails of where he was spotted last and in what state. He is allowed to become ‘visible’ only once during the day, at which point he may do a one-minute performance based on a fictional character. This project embraces the danger, the aggression and the disconnect a city characterizes and opens it up for us to evaluate. This project is still in process. Arts in India are considered a part of the ambiguous elitist space. Do you agree? AG: More and more examples of contemporary art are seeking participation from a broad spectrum. From public site art like KHOJ Public Art’08 to festivals like the National Theatre Festival, the viewership has multiplied as has the conglomerate of artists and the backgrounds they come. The context-setting of many art practices is keenly driven by the idea of what is a community today. In addition, immense cross-over work is taking place between the ‘pop’ and ‘high’ art genres which again makes once clearly drawn borders porous. So, no, I wouldn’t say arts in India are considered a part of the ambiguous elitist space. In fact, it’s quite the contrary.

I would really like to do a 24hour performance involving 24 cities around the globe, where a performance begins in the first city at noon and links every hour to the next city as the play travels around the globe.

Why did you choose this stream? AG: Because I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else. Thank heavens some things in life are still simple! What do you teach? AG: I teach Dramatic Literature and New Media at National School of Drama. The former involves teaching canonical European and Russian play-texts from an Indian sensibility, and the latter encompasses an approach to study the role of New Media Technology (Video, Projections, Internet, etc.) in Post-Dramatic Theatre.

What kind of project do you aspire to work on? AG: I would really like to do a 24-hour performance involving 24 cities around the globe, where a performance begins in the first city at noon and links every hour to the next city as the play (and the sun) travels around the globe. As actors in one city complete their hour of performance, they hand the next part of the show to the actors in another city (where it strikes noon) and so on and so forth‌

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Beyond Borders

Typically Thomas Widdershoven


Thonik specializes in visual communication with an emphasis on graphic design. This Dutch design agency’s work is attractive, effective and often anarchistic, combining an integrated strategic approach with high quality design and an adventurous exploration of a broad array of media. Put simply, typically Dutch! ‘Clear concepts conveyed with a minimum of means’ could well be their tagline. It manifests in all their work, whether it be communication concepts and publicity campaigns, commissions in the cultural sector for major museums and manifestations, or work in the public domain for clients like the Dutch Socialist Party (SP) and the City of Amsterdam. The two projects in the public domain, the campaign for the SP and the City of Amsterdam’s new corporate design, stem from personal involvement: Amsterdam because it is Thonik’s city, and the SP because the Netherlands have sailed into turbulent

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political waters since the murders of politician Pim Fortuyn and the film maker Theo van Gogh. By simplifying the City of Amsterdam’s visual communication and making it clearer, more transparent and more powerful, Thonik clarifies the authorities’ role and position of power in the public domain. What concerns Thonik with the SP is to boost the visibility of one of the contributors to the political debate so as to strengthen the accessibility and vitality of the political debate as a whole. That is how Thonik contributes to democracy. Thonik’s style is clean, bright and bold, with vivid colors and a strong conceptual impact. Together with other kindred spirits

as Droog Design and MVRDV, Thonik is seen as one of the representatives of Dutch Design. Attractive and effective, the work is often regarded as typically Dutch, and Thonik regards each project as a chance to experiment. Apart from doing work for the Van Gogh Museum, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, MARTa Herford and the Architecture Biennial in Venice, Thonik has been responsible for the communication and catalogue of the Architecture Biennial in Venice 2008 - and together with artistic director Aaron Betsky for the exhibition design of the Corderia. Thonik’s work > 21

was exhibited in Shanghai Art Museum in 2008. The 2008 Venice Architecture Biennial featured the installation Graphic Tapestries; the carpets are now part of the Droog Design collection and can be seen in its gallery in New York. Thonik’s

work was also exhibited by the Spiral Art Center in Tokyo at the end of 2009. The name ‘Thonik’ comes from Thomas Widdershoven and Nikki Gonnissen, who have lived and worked together since

1993, first as Studio Gonnissen and Widdershoven, and since 2000 as Thonik. Currently Thonik has fifteen employees and together they continue to make a statement with every identity they help to create. 23

The production infrastructure is getting ever stronger in Turkey, and the potential for offering new products to both local and foreign markets is increasing. Nowadays many products in the competitive global markets reflect high quality manufacturing features of Turkey. As a result of the investments made in companies’ research and development departments, technological innovation and improvements realized on the end products can be observed. On the other hand qualified manufacturing and technological innovation can only be reflected on the end-product with the added value that industrial design can provide. Every other day it is getting

clear that to use industrial design as an effective tool grants the companies one of the biggest powers in competition.

manufacturing. Before evaluating a design as good or not, all these aspects need to be considered.

Besides the opportunities of technology and production, design requires to analyze the needs of the society, human beings and the environment. While developing a new product idea, the industrial designer aims at a product that is functional, usable and honest, and does not harm human health and safety and the environment even while it appeals to the user and responds to his/her needs, balances its cost with its benefits. He also tries to develop appropriate design details for qualified

Design Turkey Industrial Design Awards is a design evaluation system organized with the collaboration of Undersecretariate for Foreign Trade (DTM), Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM) and Industrial Designers Society of Turkey (ETMK), within the framework of TURQUALITYÂŽ program in order to make visible the benefits that good design brings to the society and industry in Turkey, by rewarding good design which respects user needs, and provides added value and competitive advantage to the product.

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Design Turkey Industrial Design Awards has two main categories: Product Design Awards Conceptual Design Awards Design Turkey Product Design Awards evaluates products on a sectoral basis, which are manufactured by industrial methods and launched in the market targeting end users, and having certain functions, of which the designer, manufacturer or trade mark owner should be of Turkish citizenship. Products fulfilling “good design” criteria receive the Good Design Award; “superior design” criteria receive the Superior Design Award. Award

winning designs get permission to use the award mark on the product and in its advertisements. Award winning designs are presented and promoted through exhibitions and publications. In order to encourage innovative ideas that will guide the industry for future, within the framework of a specific theme determined biannually, Design Turkey Conceptual Design Awards evaluate design projects which have not been scheduled for manufacture. An international Jury assembled in Istanbul from 4th till 8th of December

2010 to deliberate and judge the entries. Subsequently there was an award event and then the exhibition of the shortlisted products was open to the public. Just in their second term, The Design Turkey Awards have started showing results in terms of awareness and impact on local industry. I was on the jury in the Lighting, Building components and Conceptual design categories and I looked at the whole process with a lot of interest since as a member of the India Design Council, I am also involved in the I Mark organization.

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Cover Story

Toronto-based independent writer and filmmaker Roopal Kewalya wears many hats. A Film and Video Communication graduate from National Institute of Design, she treads the fine line between literature and filmmaking with ease, and her dreams feature both in equal measure.



words, the What did you study before you joined NID? RK: Prior to NID, I studied English Literature from Gargi College, Delhi University. It became a turning point for the way I thought and perceived things around me. It was not just about what I read but how I reflected it in my day-today being. Till date, I am torn between choosing a good book and a good film. What drew you to filmmaking? RK: In college I was actively involved in photography, theater, writing and radio.

After writing for a children’s magazine, compering shows on All India Radio and winning numerous awards in inter-college theatre festivals, filmmaking seemed like a natural calling. At that time, my brother Hitesh Kewalya was already studying at NID in the Film and Video Communication Department and he was the one to introduce me to NID. After several discussions with him, I realized that filmmaking was a gradual progression from English Literature. To put it simply, it seemed

like the very next step of taking the word to the screen.

Was filmmaking just an interest or a practical career choice? RK: If I look back at my childhood, films were an essential part of growing up. My earliest memories are of renting the VCR on Sundays and watching three back-toback super hits of Amitabh Bachchan with the entire family. If not home, then the neighborhood cinema hall was always a favorite hangout. Even before I knew or understood films technically, I remember

@mekkanikal MY OLD CLOTHES FIT ME SO WELL NOW... Thank you typhoid. *sob sob* 26 POOL | 1.11 | #7

Film: Corporate music video for Akshayapatra Foundation, Iskon, Bengaluru Director: Roopal Kewalya Storyboard Artist: Ayush Rajvanshi Duration: 6.5 Minutes

@karlgomes is on a roadtrip to wonderland. thanks @LeanMeanAmin for the tip 27

Cover Story critiquing these films with a keen eye. A film a week was a given and Friday is still the most awaited day of the week. So yes, filmmaking definitely started as an interest. And I can safely say that I am still interested enough in the field to continue this as a practical career choice. What has been your career path so far? RK: Right after graduating from NID, I started working in an ad-film production house in Mumbai called @infiniti films as an Assistant Director and gained handson experience in the advertising industry. But writing had always been my first love. I realized that writing could well be my ticket to the television and film industry and I moved on to become an independent writer.

I am trying to take small steps towards these bigger dreams and am currently working on a humorous, anecdotal book on short films, based on my experiences. Last but definitely not the least, I dream of making films. Starting with a copywriting stint at Breakthrough Communications, a BTL ad-agency in New Delhi, I moved on to writing scripts for several non-fiction shows on leading channels like Sahara Filmy and Star Gold. These small efforts led to a slightly bigger break when I worked as an Associate Dialogue Writer on a prime time show called ‘Miley Jab Hum Tum’ on Star One. Apart from that, I have written script and screenplay for start-up episodes of an animation series for kids for OGS Animation, Kolkata which aimed at releasing worldwide at MIPCOM Junior in Cannes, France. I also wrote a short-film script for National Aids Control Organization. I write songs and jingles for Communiqué India Pvt. Ltd, an event management firm

in New Delhi, and have written songs for leading brands like ESPN, Samsung, Microsoft and HP. My articles on design, travel and other genres have been featured on websites like, and I recently completed copywriting for calendar design for Designmembrane, a Mumbai-based firm. In Toronto, I last worked as a Production Manager on a short film and am actively involved in various film festivals, the last being the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival. What is your dream project? RK: I wish there was one dream so I could put all energies into it! As of now there are multiple dreams, small and big that I see with open and closed eyes. I wish to write scripts, screenplays, dialogues and songs for films. I dream of writing a book that becomes a best-seller the moment it touches the stands. Writing for The New Yorker magazine, one of my favorites, also remains a dream close to my heart. I am trying to take small steps towards these bigger dreams and am currently working on a humorous, anecdotal book on short films, based on my experiences. Last but definitely not the least, I dream of making films. What makes a good designer? RK: Personally, I have always been inspired by design that keeps the end consumer in mind. As such, great designers are those who can place themselves in the position of the target consumer and then think. Signage on the roads should be designed with a focused eye on the commuters; lifestyle products should be designed from the point of view of the final consumer; a film should be made for the audience. According to me, designers who become the consumers themselves while designing and apply that along with a keen sense of esthetics are good designers. What are the challenges in your field? RK: The biggest challenge of course is the fact that the film industry is not an organized one. As such, there are no

‘placements’ and hence promises of jobs right after you get your degree. Therefore, it is very important to meet people in your network regularly so that you are out there and your work is visible to as many people as possible. Also the fact that when you study film, you are taught to become the Director of a film; but the moment you step out, you have to start, in most cases, from the lowest rung of the ladder. Not just is the work the least creative at that level, it is also very low-paying. It can amount to testing one’s patience but the trick is to hang out there and learn at every possible stage. Apart from that, I believe most hurdles are self-imposed and are simply mind blocks and have to be overcome at an individual level. How has the journey been so far? RK: I feel my journey has only just begun. After graduation, there were lots of meanderings along the road, some twisted turns and some bright red STOP signals. I am glad I still manage to walk on the path because I think filmmaking is a field where all design elements come together right from the idea to the final product. As such, an awareness and expertise at every stage is a gradual process which I am currently undergoing. I am surer of what I want to do now and how I want to do it as opposed to the burst of optimism that comes right after you are armed with a film degree and fizzles out soon after. But of course, like every dreamer I believe that I am now ready to go. Whose work do you admire? RK: When it comes to writing, I am a huge fan of Saadat Hassan Manto, Ismat Chugtai, Margaret Atwood, Orhan Pamuk, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Yann Martel…the list is endless. In films, I admire the work of Kieslowski, Bergman, Gulzar, Woody Allen, Stanley Kubrick, Charlie Chaplin and Wong Kar Wai among many more. I also enjoy the work of Dibakar Banerjee, Farhan Akhtar and Martin Scorsese, to name a few. Apart from that, I enjoy the work of fellow designers and I am waiting for films and filmmakers from NID to make a mark on the global scene.

@joshuakarthik As much as I “liked” The Social Network, it’s not a patch on that other tech story movie: the Jobs/Gates saga, ‘Pirates of Silicon Valley’. 40 minutes ago via TweetDeck 29


Research & Publications

The National Institute of Design’s Research and Publication Department, in association with Maitreya Publishers, Varodara, published ‘Ideating Identity’ a compilation of selected identities designed by principal designer, Shri Anil Sinha over the last 25 years. This visually rich book encapsulates beautifully and crisply the brief given for each identity and the concept underlying it. It attempts to capture the process of generating and representing the ideas for creating the visual identity. It would immensely benefit design professionals, educators, students and anyone with an abiding interest in understanding identity and its process of creation. To avail this book, Please write to the Coordinator, Research & Publications Department, National Institute do Design, Paldi, Ahmedabad 380007, or send an email of your request at To place your order, you may send your cheque (Payable at par)/DD in favor of “National Institute of Design” Payable at Ahmedabad. The book is priced at Rs. 2500/-

Client: DRDL Defence Research and Development Laboratory, Hyderabad

Brief The Defence Research and Development Laboratory in Hyderabad, formerly directed by Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, is the main research centre for the Integr ated Mis sile Development Programme. DRDL is working on system designs and analysis, guidance and control designs, and warhead damage assessments. Through the identity, DRDL wanted to express the endeavour of suppor ting ar med services, missile development and the organization’s self-reliance. The strength of the organization’s R&D and its amalgamation with other institutes was also to be communicated.

Concept The name itself suggests the activity of the organization. The minute we think of Defence and Research, the concept of several layers, one after another, comes to mind. In the symbol, I have tried to depict this using double ‘D’ for Defence and Development and R in the counter and core which is supported by L of Laboratory to represent the research activity related to defence and development. By placing the identity in such a way on a diagonal

ANIL SINHA There’s no alternative to hard work, keep working hard and have faith. This is the adage that Prof Anil Sinha firmly believes in and lives his life by, day after day. As Principal Designer and Head of Faculty of Communication Design at National Institute of Design Ahmedabad, this philosophy has stood him in good stead, as evidenced by his wide-ranging professional experience and substantial creative output of more than two decades. Prof Sinha has a diverse portfolio including clients from the government, the corporate sector, NGOs and the rural sector. A passionate academician, he believes that the best way to learn is by sharing one’s knowledge. His areas of interest include Corporate Identity Design, Symbol Design, Graphic Design and Branding, Retail and Packaging Design, among others. His view on design is that, it is all about ‘connecting and relating’ and stresses on understanding the user. Some of his more visible projects include coin design for the Government of India Mint, Reserve Bank of India and the Ministry of Finance, Visualiser for ‘Discovery of India’, a permanent Exposition at Nehru Centre in Mumbai, and identity of the India Design Council.

“Anil Sinha’s book familiarize unfamiliar world of the creat identities of IIMs, the BrahMo

2010, National Human Rights

Bihar Tourism, among others identity designing would be m Avadhesh Kumar Singh

Professor of English & Comparativ

Knowledge Consortium of Gujarat,

“The effort put in this valued compilation by

some of the identities he has created is a ma the Graphic design field toward creating Cor

intense sensitivity. ….I am sure this book wi to students of Design as well as young practi Sudarshan Dheer Graphic Communication Concept

He has conducted sessions / workshops at IIM-A (Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad), IIM Bangalore, Mudra Institute of Communication and Advertising (MICA) and Petroleum University, Gandhinagar, Gujarat. Prof Sinha has headed various responsible positions at NID. He was a Member of the Governing Council and Member of the Policy and Planning Committee. Apart from these, he was also a member of the NCERT Syllabus Committee on Heritage Crafts and Graphic Design.

“It is the quality of profession

Prof Anil Sinha’s book. It com available for students and pr to this dimension of Indian de Ashoke Chatterjee

Prof Sinha has undertaken extensive research in Bihar collating the region’s rich folk traditions and cultural symbols for a forthcoming book.

base, it gives a view of the continuous activity of the organization. The colours used are blue and grey to depict solidity and depth. The form of the identity has been achieved through an interesting integration of the initial s of the organization’s name. The letter D (for Defence and Development) can be perceived as two D’s because of the interaction of the colours and the form. The counter form makes the letter

“R” whereas the letter “L” in grey can be distinguished clearly from the overall form. The diagonal placement of the form provides dynamism and emphasizes the continuous progress and development of DRDL. Other alternatives were developed on the same lines but the colour scheme and the placement of the letter form was kept in such a way that it gave a ver y different look though an equally powerful message.

After a lot of discussion and looking at the possibility of using the same visual form to make a trophy for the organization, the client finally selected one identity. Once the symbol was selected, I converted the same visual into a trophy for two categories. In the first category, a cutout of the symbol was used, and in the second the relief of the symbol in a different metal was used.

30 POOL | 1.11 | #7 24




es the unfamiliar, as it takes us through the tion of the identity that are familiar to us like the os , Host broadcaster for Commonwealth Games

s Commission (NHRC), Gujarat High Court and

s…... All scholars and students of graphic and much benefitted by learning from his experiences.”

Anil Sinha

ve Literature, Convener, Academic Initiatives.

, Government of Gujarat

Prof. Anil Sinha of

ill be of great help titioners in the field.”

An identity is a visual to be perceived and interpreted. It is an abstraction of the philosophy and values it represents. The object of a symbol is a suggestion or an insight rather than a literal or direct representation


ajor step forward in rporate Brands with

The creation of the visual imagery and the iconology constitute a visual identity. The idea is the most crucial part in communicating or creating the identity, and the challenge for the designer lies in presenting multiple options for the same brief. Ultimately the choice is the idea that most people can relate to.

nalism that gives particular importance to

mes as a welcome addition to the resources ractitioners, as well as to NID’s contribution esign”.


‘Ideating Identity’ is a compilation of selected identities designed by Anil Sinha as a part of institutional consultancy projects over the past few years. The visual identity is often referred to as the face of an individual, society, organization, service or corporation. Different user groups name it differently but the purpose remains the same, identification. Symbol, logo, insignia or monogram are some of the commonly used terms for identity

The book in hand is an attempt to present the process of generating and representing the ideas for creating a visual identity, Ideating Identity.


Validation  of  Identity.  Excerpts from ONGC’s booklet OVal stands for ONGC values. Ethics  in business, Excellence in technology,  sincerity in service. OVal  Relax  Top  is  not  just  another  petrol  pump.  At  a  Relax  Top,  you  can  enjoy  the  experience:  tension  no  mention.  Best  quality,  accurate  quantity,  lowest  prices.  Facilities  unmatched in India, even globally. OVal  Shopp’njoy  brings  together  trusted providers of non-fuel products  and  services  for  convenience.  OVal 

is  not  just  a  stop  on  the  road,  It’s  a  destination for satisfaction. The Oval Brand, The  word  Oval  is  derived  from  the  Latin  word  ‘ovum’  for  egg.  It  has  a  unique  geometry—smooth,  secure,  strong. ONGC selected the name OVal,  short  for  ONGC  Values,  because  of  the  unique  representation  of  total  satisfaction. In Oval, yellow represents energy,  warmth,  brightness;  green  signifies  c o n c e r n   f o r   m o t h e r   e a r t h ,   t h e 

environment  we  live  in,  the  colour  of  relaxation. The top half of oval is morphed into  the wings of a butterfly, a creature of  unmatched  beauty  and  exhilarating  movement. The bottom half is a wheel  on the road, signifying movement. Relax  Top  is  the  name  of  the  OVal  outlet. A Relax Top where the customer  is invited to relax while buying the bestquality  auto  fuels  in  India  measured  with  electronic  accuracy  and  sold  at  unmatched prices.

At  Relax  Top  you  are  at  the  top  of  the  world!  You  can  actually  see  the  fuel  flowing  into  the  tank,  a  globally  unique  assurance.  You  can  see  the  measurement  without  moving  from  your seat, a facility available at Relax  Top only. You get Euro III quality petrol  and diesel which no one else offers in  India today. “ Te n s io n  n o  m e nti o n”  i s  th e  catchphrase for Oval Relax Top.


34 Identity 31


Rising Star

Getting back to

BASICS Anaka Narayanan of Brass Tacks transforms handloom with her chic cuts and silhouettes

Anaka Narayanan grew up with hand woven fabric in Chennai, and like most Indians, took it for granted. It was only when she was living away from home, in New York City, that she realized that she wanted to work with the fabric she was familiar with. “The cuts and silhouettes in New York were great but I wanted the fabric that I grew up with. And yet, it was not like I would be able to go home and find perfect clothes,” she recalls. In 2006, she moved back to Chennai and though she found the fabric, she discovered the cuts were

32 POOL | 1.11 | #7

not so impressive. So, she started Brass Tacks, a label with affordable, fashionable silhouettes in natural and handloom textiles. The name Brass Tacks comes from the expression ‘getting down to brass tacks’, which means getting down to basics. Working on her first collection, she realized that her line was very different from a lot of embellished garments that were in the market. “I wanted to embrace that esthetic of simplicity with substance,” she says, and while the lines are clean and simple the cuts of her garments are not.

“Brass Tacks means no embellishments. It was going straight to the heart of the garment or the foundation.” Anaka comes out with four collections a year, to match the seasons. “Even though Chennai does not see great variation in weather, it does see different festivals, the school calendar, the holiday season, and the music season and all this influences each collection,” she says. From one store to many, Anaka’s designs definitely should spread across the country.


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

POOL 7  

POOL magazine 7 for January 2011