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September 2010 | # 03 Indian edition

Supported by

An animation and character design studio Death by Chocolate 04

Design is my profession; politics my passion Pravin Mishra 15

Her blog states her style; unique and undoubtedly charming Prutha Raithatha 16

Thailand Creative and Design Center Sridhar Ryalie 26

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

Diya Ajit

photographed by Mansoor Bhatti

Young Talent Mira Malhotra 07

Work in Progress Addikt 18

Business of Design Shrikant Nivsarkar 20

Craft | Fashion | Textile: Paromita Banerjee 28

Maestros: Mickey 08

Rising Star: NG’s 25

Spaces: Anagram 22

Beyond Borders: YOO 30


Pool has successfully brought together some of the planet’s foremost thinkers and influencers, each of whom has played a transformational role in community and business. They are a part of our intellectual pool that acts as a sounding board and a conscience for the publication.

Abhijit Bansod Studio ABD, India

Adil Darukhanawala Editor, Economic Times, Zigwheels, India

Dr. Inyoung Albert Choi Professor, Hanyang University, Korea

Anaezi Modu Rebrand, USA

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

Anna Muoio Principal, Social Innovation, Continuum, US

Anuj Sharma Designer, India

Aradhana Goel Designer / Strategist, Ideo, USA

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

Christopher Charles Benninger Architect, Studio CCBA, India

David Berman David Berman Communications, Canada

Deepika Jindal Managing Director, Artdinox, India

Essam Abu Awad MIDAS, Jordan

Hrridaysh Deshpande Innoastra, India

Jos Oberdof NPK Design, Netherlands

Julia Chiu Executive Director, JIDPO, Japan

Kieu Pham Haki Brand, Vietnam

Kigge Hevid CEO, Index Awards, Denmark

Kishor Singh Business Editor, India

Madhukar Kamath Managing Director and CEO, Mudra Group, India

M P Ranjan Professor, NID, India

Prasoon Pandey Corcoise Films, India

Rajesh Kejriwal Kyoorius Exchange, India

Rodney Fitch CEO, Fitch, UK

Shilpa Das Head Publications, NID, India

Dr Soumitra R Pathare Psychiatrist, Pune, India

Shrikant Nivasarkar Founder, Nivasarkar Consultants, India

Subrata Bhowmik Subrata Bhowmik Design, India

Sudhir Sharma Designindia, India

Suresh Venkat CNBC, India

Uday Dandawate Sonicrim, USA

Umesh Shukla Auryn, LA, USA

William Drentell Winterhouse, USA

William Herald Wong WHW Design, Malaysia

September 2010 | # 03 Indian Edition

The new spirit... Creative thinking has always been free; backed with education in creative spheres, more and more young people are becoming entrepreneurs. I believe that the spirit of entrepreneurship is very important for organizations too. Companies and organizations looking to break new ground need creative thinkers with the spirit of entrepreneurs.

Editor in Chief Sudhir Sharma Executive Editor Gina Krishnan Copy Editor Ashvina Vakil

India is seeing more and more action on this front; there are many competitions, mentors and investment forums available for this new spirit. I believe all innovators are entrepreneurs. Let yourself loose, think of something and go do it... that’s the spirit. I am told Designindia POOL magazine is helping young designers to see the light. We are getting ready to bring some more excitement to you soon. Sudhir Sharma Editor in Chief

Editorial Coordinator Sonalee Tomar Research & Design Coordinator Preethi Bayya Layout & Production Pradeep Arora

Our mission at POOL is to find, introduce and showcase the work of designers: young and established, known and not so well known. All those who eat, sleep and breathe design.

Subscription & Logistics Seema Sharma

This time we feature Sridhar Ryalie of Thailand Creative and Design Centre (TCDC), who worked in India, and is involved actively in design promotion in Thailand. The work being done by TCDC is much appreciated within the design community. The infrastructure set up by TCDC is amongst the best in the world.

Finance Kuldeep Harit Art & Design Pradeep Goswami, Prashant Agashe, Shraddha Trivedi Illustrator Santosh Waragade Assistants Anil Burte, Yamanappa Dodamani Publisher INDI Design Pvt Ltd Address India C/o India House, 53, Sopan Baug, Balewadi, Pune - 411045, India Phone: +91 20 6510 6407 Vietnam C/o Haki Advertising Ltd, 142 Le Duan Street, Hanoi, Vietnam Icograda International Design Media Network Participant

Don’t miss our cover girl, the stunning Diya Ajit who designs advertisements, stage, murals and art with equal aplomb. Ajit has been nominated for the ‘Emirates Woman of the year 2010’ award. Another fun feature is about the spunky Prutha, an architect whose heart beats for fashions. So while she has a day job as an architect, inspired by Ayn Rand, she is out with her camera looking for street fashion, and blogs at ‘dontshoeme’. Architecture in India is a fairly renowned and developed field. POOL caught up with Madhav Raman and Vaibhav Dimri of Anagram, bright young architects who are having fun designing internationally acclaimed award winning buildings. We celebrate design, we celebrate action and we feature designers who are not only enjoying the challenges of life but also want to lead change. Pravin Mishra: designer, artist and a budding politician wants to revolutionize through his creativity. To us, all of them are change leaders, they are keeping the flames lit in whatever they do. As there are many more of you who are working on transformation. We hope to keep bringing these stories to you. Keep writing in. Gina Krishnan Editor

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 almost 6,000 professionals into an active, interactive and thought leading community.

Paper sponsored by Zanders Medley Pure

In-house Skill

Santhosh Waragade is a 26-year-old hearing and speech impaired fine art graduate from Abhinav Kala Mahavidyalaya, Pune. INDI Design has sponsored him as a resident artist to work on various projects and themes. Nirmalaya Trust were responsible for introducing him to INDI. The NGO works with the disabled for the disabled, with a focus on rehabilitation and integration. Their endeavor is to help children and adults with disabilities lead more productive, useful and enjoyable lives. See his work on page 3, 7, 15, 17, 26 1

Reviewed Flip through social I have been an active resident of social media. I am alive in three social networks, write two blogs and ardently follow a few. But lately I succumbed to information overload fatigue. I cannot machete my way through tweets and farmville updates anymore. Thought I should recede and reclaim my inner peace instead. Enter Flipboard on iPad. Created by Mike McCue, former CEO of a voice search services firm and Evan Doll, a senior iPhone engineer from Apple, Flipboard is an iPad application that effectively merges the beauty of print and the power of social media. And they had me at the first flip! On launch, the cover randomly picks up posts from my list and plays them out for me. I can personalize the content page by selecting from a list of trusted sources including my twitter and facebook accounts. Flip on to read stories, photos and comments

Headlines such niggling bits of peeves in this early version. I am sure the updates will solve them. But Flipboard is probably the most compelling new way to find, read and share social content - served as easily digestible nuggets of well designed magazine snippets. Happy flipping! –Shiva Kumar The Skullcandy headphones The headphones you can color match with your iPod, skate board, or even your bicycle graphics. The skullcandy offers a wide range. Looks - overwhelming; sounds like it should for the price, crisp and clear; foldable, literaly becomes half its size. Life is just awesome for those who live out of their backpacks. Comfortable, leather wrapped earcups and headcaps! The long cord gives enough room to move around. They are crazy loud, you can make out every word, clear, even when it is put off. Thumbs up for both indoors and outdoors.

Corporate Port Showcase

Saikat Paul mumbai-based director producer has just completed corporate port showcase film for the Essar Group. The film has a huge amount of photo realistic visual effects which is very rare in the corportae film world. Paul was approched by Essar due to his earlier experience of working with them. The whole production from concept, execution, production and editing was handled by Paul's company - post-script.

Say NO to plagiarism! Plagiarism in the design industry is not something new. We have often heard people referring to a design as a copy of someone’s idea and how a complete design drawing gets stolen. Now when we live a virtual life, it’s getting scarier than ever. We upload our portfolio by thinking we will get good feedback but often ideas / work gets stolen without any credit.

of social media - tweet / blog / facebook update about it with proper original links and snap shots. It will at least make the thief remove the work, even if you don’t push enough to get compensated.

Recently MTV India stole my ‘Independent India’ image for their National Anthem video. Another was a clone of GroupOn (bargain site) who did a snap steal. My fight continues. Giving up means you are making it even easier for the next thief to steal your data. –Paavani Bishnoi

delivered to me like an attractive magazine. Delectable! However, there are a few ‘nice to have’ features that can better this product. I will be happier if I can add my own sources to the list, like a friend’s blog. Or easily post to social networks, which I cannot. The visual design can get better at places. Pages of the magazine filled with photos can be on black or typography can be enhanced on white pages with a few status posts. The landscape version of the pages are not as resolved as the portrait. They fold mid page over the content, which is unlike any good magazine worth it’s salt. There are more

Lightweight and unobtrusive for how it looks. From the build it looks like the fragile top joint calls for extra care. You cant act random and head bang! They fall off every damn time. Well, head-turns assured from all your ‘iPod earbud’ buddies! –Preethi Bayya

@meanestindian @ratwoman keep up with the rupee symbol twitpics! seen any hand-painted ones??

All that someone needs to do is to right click the mouse button and it saves your information in someone else’s computer on doing “save as” or copy - paste! Awareness about Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and copyrights is important. And if you are a victim of plagiarism, do not hesitate to use the weapon Illustraion by Santhosh Waragade 3

The character design company, Death by Chocolate, was born in 2007, when Chewang and Asabari, two young character designers collaborated for the first time. Their work is a chocolatier’s fantasy.

Innovative and fun to them is delicious and addictive. Their client list includes Channel [v], Vh1, Bharati AXA, Tanishq, GQ magazine, Cambridge University Press and some international clients like Bigshot Toyworks and Kridana. Their initial work was 2D and first client, Vh1. They did packaging for a show called ‘Vh1 Cardio Video’ which is still on air. Both did a collaborative rebranding project for Channel [v] in 2009 and created a new character called ‘Bhai’. It included IDs and billboards using this character. Once the design was approved, they ended up modeling Bhai in clay but later animated him with 2D backgrounds. Asavari is most comfortable in 2D and digital media but Chewang prefers modeling and sketching and is more analog in his style of work. They usually sit together during the designing stage and thrash out all the ideas in the form of sketches, etc. When it comes to execution, they think of a couple of directions, sit with the client and see whichever one works. They also work on sculpts and toys on the side for fun. Chewang likes Sharabi Baba, based on some sadhus he met in Ahmedabad during his personality and caricature course. Asavari prefers ‘Death by Chocolate’, he is their main man/monster after all. People like the Sadhu figures, especially Sharabi Baba (on the opposite page). They have not yet figured out a manufacturing process so that people can take these characters and toys home. Inspired by each other’s work, they plan to open a store/studio where people can come and play with the toys, and hang out with their favorite characters. A gallery space - for them and for others to put up art shows as well. But most of all they want to do exciting work.

Various environments and characters by DBC 5

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Young Talent

Illustraion by Santhosh Waragade


Mira Malhotra, upcoming graphic designer who feels Indian market places are a celebration of color, life and activity, shares her views and work with POOL On market photography Haats, bazaars and traditional Indian marketplaces are just as functional and prevalent as their modern counterparts and both have a few things in common overall. Usually cramped

and it is rare not to discover something you have never seen before, or find that someone sees value in an object that you may have callously thrown away. Unlike disinterested super market attendants, the store owner knows each article he/she has on sale individually. The sensory overload includes congregations of garland sellers, chatting while stringing garlands and selling lotuses. Their fast paced day starts at five in the morning. Cluttered and kitschy, these markets are characterized by cheap knockoffs and carts piled high with bright toys or biscuits or multicolored lemonade and crowds that include some animals in addition to the people.

and disorganized, they still sustain themselves and function beautifully. Every little bit of space is used and yet nothing hinders the buyers who come to browse. Goods of any value, new or used, are on display for sale here

On the ‘Cut OK Paste’ objects This was a self initiated project, inspired by seeing a lot of paper toys online, (in pdf formats) designed to be printed, cut and pasted, especially those of Readymech. I decided to create my own set with Indian characters, as I din’t find anything similar online. The four characters, chosen after much deliberation, were a God, a holy man, a

Paper toy range, ‘Cut OK Paste’, by Mira Malhotra

demon and an apsara (nymph) in the form of a bharatanatyam dancer. ‘Cut OK Paste’ does not end at this set of four toys but is something Mira intends to expand upon. Creating a brand of DIY printable paper objects that reflect India’s culture is her aim. Working on these was refreshing when the daily routine of client work was getting her tired. They were meant to be printed and put up for sale at the Kalaghoda Art Fest ‘09, but when that didn’t work out, she decided to release them free online, given that they are so easy to disseminate, download and assemble. “I never expected them to get as much attention as they actually did,” says a pleasantly surprised Mira. 7


Aashima Katyal Apple will now offer a free iPhone case. It’s not going to help reception, but it protects the iPhone

after you throw it against the wall.

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Through the eyes of the lensman – who uses the camera to find beauty in life.

@i_r_squared On Ayn Rand Twitter, when some1 plagiarises ur tweet u delete ur account & start own

microblogging site on a private server 9

“I like taking portraits of

people, in a way that I get to capture their essence; their character. To portray the person within is a challenge, I like to think that my portraits do that to some degree, while with each shot, I’m learning to get better.

What should we call him, a formally trained graphic designer or a photographer at heart? Mickey Bardava is both but on seeing his stunning photographs, anyone would be inclined to believe that his first love is photography. His passion was ignited, when, as a school kid, he and his friend ’borrowed’ a Pentax K1000 that belonged to his grandad. Fascinated by the device, they found out how it worked from the photographer at a local photo-studio. The instructions were simple. Load the roll of film. Keep the speed at 125. Aperture of 5.6. And shoot during the day (since the light meter wasn’t working)! That first roll came back with beautiful shots which got

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them some appreciation and so the love affair with the Pentax began. But it was while studying graphic design that Bardava’s passion for photography really grew. He discovered how photographs can tell stories of love, passion, beauty and life. Portraiture is his first love. “I like taking portraits of people, in a way that I get to capture their essence; their character. To portray the person within is a challenge, I like to think that my portraits do that to some degree, while with each shot, I’m learning to get better,” says Bardava. In his own portfolio, his favorites are

the pictures of people and children that remind him of well spent times, and the goodness he comes across in life. Inspired by beautiful places, he started traveling and discovered that the beauty he finds in his lens is all his own. Beauty, for him does not need to be esthetic in the traditional sense. It is defined by his own eye and he finds it everywhere. Bardava feels that the camera in an extension of a person’s eye and esthetic sense but would’nt mind owning the Hasselblad H System & Leica M System.

Cover Story Diya Ajit carries her creative light onto the billboards and to canvases, exploring and expressing herself in more ways then one. Normal life and normal things like spending time with friends and family, traveling or just having a day off don’t come easily to her. She crams as much creative activity into each day and since she does not consider it ‘work’, she does not segregate her work from life as she does not differentiate between commercial jobs and her own art.

Art Director by day, artist in spirit and in every minute of her free time, Diya Ajit is a part of the vibrant and alive, art driven scene of the Middle East. The 28year-old has a diploma in communication design and works with DDB. Her brief is to produce ideas and concepts for blue chip clients like Pepsi, M&Ms, Range Rover, Samsung, Virgin Atlantic, Harvey Nichols, and Sony. As an artist she shines in Dubai’s urban art scene. She creates large format murals and artworks in private and public spaces and has done live-art events, group shows at galleries, collaborated with other artists on books and pop-up art events, and also produced commissioned works. Her clients include Ralph Lauren, Red Bull, Nokia and Heineken for whom she has created artworks for music videos, documentaries and stage backdrops with equal elan. Diya Ajit wears so many hats. As an artist, she is committed to introducing public art to Dubai’s landscape and bringing urban art to the Emirates. As an Art Director,

she has to look for new and more creative ways to advertise and engage consumers in a genuine way. She feels criticism about creatives, who work in the commercial arts, and the brief that they have ‘sold out’ is unrealistic! She does not believe in setting boundaries between what artists do for the love of creation and what they do for money as she feels each feeds on the other. “After all, in order for art to be sustainable, the artists who create it need to be able to sustain themselves and make their work financially viable.” She loves all forms of creative outlets, whether it is large format mural painting, installations, television commercials or press advertisements for brands. It doesn’t really matter whether she is doing something for a brand or whether she is doing something for herself as long as she has fun and gets paid. She does not believe anyone should compromise on fun and creativity in order to make money and feels that one need not separate the making of money from having fun and being creative. “I like to think that I have the work-to-live / live-to-work balance down to an art form itself,” says Ajit. We agree, she has a uniquely fresh and pragmatic perspective.

As a senior Art Director she is often working on simultaneous projects for many brands. This involves writing scripts for television commercials, coming up with 360 degree campaigns, doing press adverts and other print media, attending brainstorming sessions with her copywriter, being on conference calls and in meetings discussing projects that are going into production, presenting ideas, overseeing retouching jobs with suppliers in Brazil and Lebanon, briefing suppliers, getting debriefed on jobs, revising concepts and generally trying to find fun and interesting ways to solve a creative problem. In short, a full corporate job! Evenings are devoted to art projects that she has going on simultaneously. It could be a live art event where she is physically on location painting live in front of an audience for a brand or event; at other times it could be meetings with potential clients who have an artwork that they’d like to commission, or a live art event planned. She often has long-term ongoing projects that run several months. Ajit finds inspiration everyday in the small details around her, be it people, animals or just an incident. She considers her style is to create bright, bold and unapologetically feminine themes, shapes and forms. Over the years she has developed signature characters called ‘Slime Girls’ and has grown with them, as an artist. She is inspired by Herakut, BLU, Jeff Koons, Dali, Bosch, Banksy, Nan Goldin, Tomoko Takahashi, On Kawara, Robert Gober, Wendy Cogan-Toyoda,

@arcnoid Wishing more than ever that the Crafts Council of Karnataka had a website! 11

Cover Story

@prabbz Brilliant bowls made from colored pencils. http:// 12 Pool | 9.10 | #3

Faile, Os Gêmeos, Barry McGee, Nunca, Fafi, Miss Van and Swoon amongst others. Current projects include some photography with art director Mansoor Bhatti, a music video with Noush Like Sploosh and heading up the Stage and Visual Design team for Gayathri Krishnan’s upcoming concert with the UAE Philharmonic Orchestra. If she does not have any projects going on she often takes to scrap-booking, working on a painting, or drawing straight onto her living room wall. She even decorates chairs, makes jewelry and creates collages. Her hands need to be as busy as her creative mind. She describes herself as a slightly eccentric, but spirited and genuine person who tries to make the most of her time on this planet. This beautiful young woman has recently been nominated for the Emirates Woman of the Year 2010 award. She lives each day at a time, crammed with the highest creativity that she can pour into any piece of work, even as she prepares her pieces for an exhibition in London in collaboration with other artists. “In all honesty though, I’m just trying to live one day at a time and see what life throws at me!” says a happy Ajit.

@khojstudios Electric Sweet Water Girl: a reading in delhi Thursday, February 25, 2010 7:00pm - 10:00pm

@ Khoj Studios 13


Illustraion by Santhosh Waragade

Believe in the movement of ‘youth for change’ is artist, painter and social activist Pravin Mishra who floated a party and stood for elections against none other then Narendra Modi, the chief minister of Gujarat himself in 2007. Mishra was unlikely to win but he had a point–if the educated youth do not stand up for what they believe in, there will be no change. In a brief interview with POOL, Mishra shares how he connects with both creativity and social action. Excerpts: How does your background in creativity help to connect with people? Pravin Mishra: Creativity is about looking for new answers and about asking new questions. Those who are full of ideas can connect with people by touching upon their issues and concerns. With more and more awareness spreading in every field of life, the good old rhetorical speakers and speeches are losing their foothold. People want to listen to those who have new things to say. Approach is the key, which I derive from my design training. Communication design skills can be put to use in articulating complex issues in a manner understandable to the people. A good sense of humor helps to connect with your audience in both design and politics. I have often felt that it is creativity that distinguishes a leader from a follower. Isn’t art considered rather elitist in India? I mean we are not a nation known to make art grassroots. So then, how are you attempting this if at all? Pravin Mishra: There’s no doubt that art is still elitist in India. You can’t expect people to appreciate art with empty stomachs. India is a vast country dealing with more complex, survival related issues all the time. A massive 75% of India is living below `100 a day. Only a miniscule percent of the Indian population can buy art. But still the Indian art market is estimated to be about USD 400 million. A good chunk of it comes from overseas sales. And in the international

art market, India sells. Till now, I have done just a few solo shows. It has been a beautiful journey so far. When I paint on canvas, I try to sell it. And when I paint on the city walls, it is for every section of the population to enjoy. How do you bring politics and design together? Pravin Mishra: I don’t see much difference in the undercurrents of design and politics. Both are about solving problems. Both have similar criteria for success. You have to be sensitive to the surroundings. Both demand creativity and a strong desire to make a difference. Design is my profession; politics my passion. Both design and politics have to have a context, need to follow a process and have an end result. But there is one little issue: There should be design in politics but there shouldn’t be politics in design.

“I have trained myself to accept bouquets and brickbats with almost the same disposition.”

Do you need to wear both hats at the same time? Pravin Mishra: All of us play different roles in different time and space. Like you playing a role of a daughter or sister or mother at home and a professional one in the office. This is no different. Be it design or politics, it’s about responding to a given situation. Ideology remains at the core and hence constant. Society respects creative people but it hates politicians. I have trained myself to accept bouquets and brickbats with almost the same disposition.

@MOD_ORG Ali Saad / Uberbau: Why make top-down plans, which fail as people come in, and then the people re-plan the city through their living. 15 Inspired by Ayn Rand and Howard Roark, NY based fashion lover, Prutha Raithatha, chose Architecture as a combination of art, math and science that qualified as “real” profession to her, call it a reaction to bored housewives setting up tailoring shops as boutiques. Today she recalls she stretched her creativity to its limits in college designing impossible structures and telling her professors to take it or leave it. Even though it satisfied her creative cravings. But fashion shows were a part of her life and she took to designing clothes for herself, her sister and whoever wanted to be part of her fashion wave. It struck her that she would find it supremely hard to express this creativity through architecture ‘under 20 layers of bosses, clients, immigration laws and low pay’. Fashion was fun, fashion was affordable and fashion was her natural expression. It’s her creative rescue. “It is saving my creative cells from dying due to inactivity,” she says. An intermediate architect at Daibes Enterprises in USA, by day, every minute of her spare time is spent on her website and blog

She does loves both fashion and architecture but blogging gives her the freedom of expression between drafting architectural buildings. We can safely say that one sustains the other. Prutha with the help of her photographer friend Shraddha Borawake started the blog in January 2010. A stroll down the street searching for street fashion started them off. “Don’t ‘SHOO’ me turned to “Don’t ‘SHOE’ me” a natural progression for a footwear obsessed Prutha. She observes the street fashion and shoots what inspires her. She loves the urbanchic-individualistic looks that she finds. Blogging was an outlet and since she has always been a closet fashion junkie, her blog became the natural mouthpiece for what she longed to express. The blog has garnered a loyal following mostly through word of mouth.

“I cant stand the thought of owning the same pair of shoes as 50 other people, so I’ll always pick pieces that I know are awesome to me and may not be everyone else’s type.” What excites her is that NYC street fashion is different! And that’s what she follows. People there are not afraid of expressing themselves and the

Illustraion by Santhosh Waragade

culture is quite positive where people are not ridiculed for being different in fact quite the contrary. So to her street fashion is finding regular people who think differently in their element. Uniqueness sweeps her off her feet. Prutha is fun, fun loving and quirky. Her unique and honest point of view makes her a good blogger. As she says with her customary jauntiness, “I guess the fact that I come from Bombay and lived in NYC for five years has added to my extreme urbanity which I feel is totally me. I cant stand the thought of owning the same pair of shoes as 50 other people, so I’ll always pick pieces that I know are awesome to me and may not be everyone else’s type.” Her blog states her style; unique and undoubtedly charming.

Prutha Raithatha

Inspiration and Ideas, Order & Chaos, is the theme of the Kyoorius Design Yatra 2010 which is in the 4th year of its running. The theme is based on what Barry Schwarz & Keon Van Ovoorde from Addikt, a design consultancy based in Netherlands, experienced in India when they were here last. They consider India a land of contradictions, and have also focused on the communication designer of today who brings order to chaos. The designs for the festival are vibrant and all about the speakers, who are iconic and masters in creating order from chaos. In the animation that Addikt has produced, a chaos of colored elements come together and form low polygon based 3D models of the speakers. The idea was to make a semi-abstract film, where the story is told subtly. The film is made to first confuse, and then comfort... from chaos comes order. Creating order and being creative is hard work, so when you get a design job, first you have to dissect and explore what it is about. In that process the chaos may become even bigger, but a lot of energy is released! That leads the designer to the final solution, they say. Work started on the Kyoorius Design Yatra identity in March 2010. Some print work was also done to announce the festival. The work was done by a team of seven from Addikt, two people were involved in the concept, four in the design and animation and one with the interactive part. Figtree Malaysia did the website and all the audio was done by the “De Geluiderij” sound studio in Amsterdam. The Addikt team did it as a downtime project. The logic they followed for selection was simple. “If the design team likes it, it’s sure to be appreciated.”

@baladesigner quoting from HBR : How many designers does it take to change a light bulb?

Answer: Does it have to be a light bulb? :-)

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“If the design team likes it, it’s sure to be appreciated.” 19

Shrikant Nivsarkar Shrikant Nivsarkar, renowned and respected designer and member of India Design Council, has had a long and rewarding journey. He was trained as an architect, designer, worked as a professional and then turned entrepreneur. At the same time he also worked with the community, and set up IIID in India, took it to the international level, became the head of IFI, and now recently become governing council member of the National Institute of Design. He brings wide and varied experience to the business of design. POOL’s Sudhir Sharma caught up with him recently. Excerpts from an exclusive interview:

Since you graduated how have you seen the whole business of design change? What do you think has happened? SN: At one time, architecture covered everything including interiors. You must remember that at that time spaces and technology were vastly different. Communication affects design in an office space now. Earlier there was a hierarchy in an office space starting from the managing director, management, to staff. Now spaces have changed due to transparency. Organisations are flat,

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information is shared and this is reflected in spaces in which people work. Another thing which has changed is from custom made solutions earlier, now everything is modular. Speed is important, you can’t have an office space being done up in six months. It has to be out and rolling in weeks. What is gaining significance are the issues of rebranding and identity. I feel identity creation and branding works on the need of the design which was understood but done in a very localized way.

How is linking of branding and identity with the space and architecture and interiors done? How is this topic addressed today? SN: I don’t know, whether it is addressed to an extent from the interiors space point of view but it is not coming out on the architecture side and needs to be addressed. Today architecture has become a commodity, it is an industrialized process and is a conceptual technology. Cost of land is another factor which is influencing the speed, it has become necessary to build the buildings faster.

So the process of finalizing the brief, designing and getting the sanctions and erecting has a commercial angle to it, if it goes beyond that particular time-period then commercially it tends to become unviable. That is influencing the technology including selection of materials, the structural modules, etc. In the process however, spaces are becoming monotonous. Despite that they need an identity based on the user. How do you see the role of design management? SN: In an individual capacity we are all doing designing and also design management. Design needs to have some systems of implementing, otherwise it is just a hypothetical design, and could remain at the conceptual level. As design is widening, there is going to be a great need for support of the implementation process of design at various levels. There are various modules of design management offered in schools. But people who are not connecting themselves to design cannot do design management. As society progresses there are bound to be new professions and new avenues, there will be certain things that have never been explored or experimented but will be a future need. We already have some kind of a system in architecture, but how it would be effective in collaboration with product designers or designers in other areas, I am not sure.

You have had experience of dealing with foreign designers. What is the difference between Indian designers and those from other countries? SN: System of documentation and collaborative effort. These are the two things and there is interdependency because design is coming closer and there is a need now to think about collaborative effort in design disciplines. I felt that international designers at the conceptual level are not as strong as we are in certain areas but they are very good at implementation. We don’t have a system, administration process or monitoring the cost of projects, when we work so that value is lost. Lets come to furniture. What is it about wood that excites you? SN: I really don’t know. The first time I went to NID, there were different types of prototypes of furniture done by different designers made in plastic, steel, plywood and wood. I just got attracted to wood. At the same time I felt that wood requires lesser technological help. You can just start working with your hands and give it shape so my first internal response was based on my ability to explore working on the material and as I got more involved I started liking wooden furniture more. Wood

is the most suitable option, looking at sustainability and the ecological options. We are using only organic lacquers and natural materials which meets with all environmental standards. Wood meets1 green design norms. And as a designer it is necessary to promote the right kind of materials in society; our role is not only to design to satisfy ourselves but also to give some value addition to society and in that context this is very important. Of the contemporary designers from India and outside, whose work do you like in furniture design? Who is inspiring? SN: I have great respect for Nakashima, who worked in NID for almost one year and did the rosewood furniture range–he is no more now. I still feel that Gajanand Upadhya is probably one of the best designers we have. And the younger crop? Any young designer you are aware of? SN: I’m not that familiar but when I went to NID this time, I was amazed that there was some fantastic stuff to see there. What do you think of the commercial furniture available in the market? SN: It’s very sad. I don’t think furniture in that sense is a priority in a common man’s agenda.


Award winning architects Madhav Raman and Vaibhav Dimri started Anagram in 2001. While the buildings designed by them win national recognition and international acclaim, this duo is just beginning their journey in the world of architecture. They share with POOL their work philosophy and ability to have fun with each building that they design. What is Anagram’s design philosophy? Madhav: Through our work, we attempt to enrich elemental modernity with intensive research into traditional as well as non-conventional practices, evolving culturally relevant, contextually responsive and resource efficient solutions. Our practice is based on a philosophy of holistic sustainability that responds to the economic, socio-cultural and environmental contours of the project simultaneously. Culturally rooted societal urbanism can potentially address resource management and territoriality issues within emerging cities by reinvesting city life with a sense of community, belonging and participation, helping citizens reconnect with their cities. What is the design methodology that you follow? Madhav: Our formal articulations explore a wide range, from the purist simplicity of rectangular form as well as more complex and dynamic geometries. We feel this non-restrictive approach helps generate more contextually appropriate spatial expressions. Materiality and tectonics of architecture are not treated as ends in themselves but as means of achieving responsive spaces, both requiring persistent innovation with improving technologies and engineering. We are passionate about detailing assemblies and finishes as these are the immediately tangible interfaces between user and Architecture.

The application of the anagram design methodology is elementary. 1. Keep it simple: Don’t clutter the design with overt stylistic statements. 2. Have FUN!! Innovate!! Learn!! 3. Be honest with yourself about how good or bad the design or concept is and what the real parameters of the project are. 4. Realize the difference between a critique and a criticism. 5. Collaborate with as many talented people as you possibly can and work outside of your comfort zone. In a project how much of the idea is dictated by client? Madhav: The project is unequivocally the client’s but the ideas are completely the designer’s. So all preliminary parameters are defined by the client. But these should never be etched in stone. At the risk of sounding pompous, we believe that educating the client or broadening their horizons on what all can be achieved in the project is an important part of our professional obligation. It is crucial to have a very inclusive design process as far as the client is concerned. Regardless of how earth-shatteringly innovative your concepts might be, never sacrifice your client’s aspirations at its altar.

How much of your work do you consider commercial and how many of the projects actually go the way you imagine them to ? Madhav: It is very important to get suitable returns for your efforts, for your own sense of self worth amongst other things. How much of the income need to be monetary is specific to each project and cannot be generalized. As architects do you also provide furniture/interiors, etc? Madhav: I don’t think we have sated our appetite for any one type of spatial design as yet, so we are equally enthusiastic about interior design, furniture design, scenography and installations. Are we equally skilled in all of them - that is a matter for others to judge! Often our own studio capacities, time schedules and costs prevent us from participating in all these aspects within the same project, so we are happy to collaborate with specialists in these fields. What do most architects you come across lack? Madhav: A sense of humor!! :) Jokes apart, we find many architects (not specifically Indian) tend to be a little cynical and perhaps don’t allow themselves to have fun while doing what they do. While doing one’s ‘job’ is an important professional ethic, often architects tend to make it a highly structured, onerous one and not a joyful opportunity to learn or innovate.

@designcomedy Heading over to New Designers to see the show. Dott have worked with UCF to co-design their

stand. We are next to One Year On. Come see us.

22 Pool | 9.10 | #3

It is important to explain and share the design process with the client and not cloak it with the secrecy of a masonic ritual. There is definitely a qualitative difference in the designs of an architect seeking joy in his/her work and those of in a hurry to merely fulfill his obligations. The side and front Facade of the SAHRDC building can you tell us about the thought behind the brickwork? Madhav: For a building as modest in size as SAHRDC, every element needed to be gauged for appropriateness. The contrast between the two facades springs from the fact that the longer western facade was exposed to huge solar thermal gain while the shorter northern side was a source of ambient light for the office space. On this basic understanding was layered the immediacy of a vibrant pedestrian street corner and a park abuzz with play beyond. While the side

facade is playful in element and texture, it is created out of a repetitive masonry pattern to become a large knitted monolith, deliberately surprising and yet devoid of any extraneous or ornamental articulation. The front facade has less of a flourish but is a lot more accessible and familiar in its articulation of element, i.e., fenestration, entrance, grill, pergola, material, etc. How was your experience in this case? Madhav: Well, if one is genuinely convinced about the first proposal then it should be as passionately endorsed to the client as the 100th ideation. First design is easy to fall in love with but not necessarily pitch perfect. While the design of SAHRDC went through a lot of iterations (for visual vibrancy, cost efficiency and achieveability) within the studio, the client was convinced by the only option proposed by us. This is because we shared the minutiae of the process of arriving at the

“We aspire to create spaces that make the users connect to their larger ‘ecology’ but we wouldn’t presume to achieve this unilaterally in our projects.” final design and made apparent how all their concerns, desires and requirements were appropriately addressed by the final design. How hard was it to conceptualize and then actually execute this project? Madhav: The construction of the brick screen wall was a collaborative process between the masons and the architects. Through computer modeling, we realized that a simple rotating

module of bricks would create the kind of visual and textural complexity needed to achieve the design objective of engaging the street corner. Did you know about the award and its categories? Madhav: Not at all!! We are very fortunate for some of our work (including the SAHRDC) to have received the kind of international attention they have over the past three years. So although now we have started keeping an eye out for award cycles to which we can submit our work, honestly they don’t really come up for discussion until their deadlines loom!! Are you inclined towards a style of your own - materials, esthetics and design?. Madhav: A visible signature style is not something we aim for through our work. We are certainly not skilled enough yet to be able to be as versatile as we wish to be while restricting ourselves to a pre-defined set of materials or forms. We also haven’t done enough to have the kind of deep insight on architecture that this would demand. We try and stick to some basic principles: sensitivity to context, appropriateness of gesture, simple and uncomplicated articulation of concept.

24 Pool | 9.10 | #3

Rising Star

Nitin Gupta Architect by profession, and furniture designer by choice, NG talks about the joy and freedom of being your own master, and his self named furniture brand

The joy and freedom of being your own master is perhaps the biggest reason that young designers set up their own studio. Creativity after all cannot be bound. Nitin Gupta, our rising star, trained and worked as an architect initially but then decided to follow his heart to become a furniture designer. His lucky break came in October of 1998, which led him to form a team of craftsmen and to set up a small manufacturing unit. The start for Gupta was when as a child he was given a toolkit by his father. It led the young boy to hone his technical skills. Nothing was more exciting than tinkering in his workshop. This eventually led to beautifully crafted furniture under the banner of NGs design. It is not as easy as it sounds. The beginning was rough. Everyday was a challenge to stick to his resolve of being an independent studio. Clients would not give creative freedom and money-flow

would be erratic. Just keeping employees and workers motivated and to make business sense of the ideas was tough in the early days. Gupta started in a small shop in a remote corner of Delhi. He says that he was lucky that a foreigner, who loved wood and the craftsmanship, that went into his work, was his first client. He began to offer clients a combination of self designed and turnkey projects – clients were lured by the appealing designs and the added value of them being built by an educated professional contractor. Getting new clients however was not easy and to survive, he depended on hardcore commercial projects. Slowly recommendations by satisfied clients and word of mouth got him the kind of work he really wanted. Now of course the company does direct marketing for its products. Gupta believes that sustainability is a concept which comes into place once the basics are taken care of. Though they

respect timber as a natural resource and do not waste it at all, the concept of sustainability in the truest sense will take time to come into place. Very few clients would be open to giving a designer complete creative freedom. India is behind in this. Commercial work is still the mainstay for his business, but it allows him to give wings to his creativity and design what he believes in. The effort to create pieces that are original and well-crafted has paid off and clients are naturally drawn to his products. He credits his restless mind as the biggest inspiration. Gupta suggest that new designers should develop their own unique identity and then let that lead them to opportunities. For design the opportunities are just emerging. For the adventure sports enthusiast, the sky and everything in between is a exiting journey.

@ravipoovaiah Design Magazine: Second issue of Indian Design magazine ‘Pool’ is ready to read online - do have a

look and... 25

Beyond Borders

Sridhar Ryalie A time comes when we feel the need to do more than we are doing. For Sridhar Ryalie it happened when he had already gathered enough experience working with various design houses across India. In fact he worked as an entrepreneur and made enough money to sit back and take stock of what he wanted to pursue. He quotes David Walker, an architect, innovation consultant in New Zealand, and professor at the Open University UK: “A designer is like a village Idiot in a boardroom meeting.� A comment on the lack of business acumen of the creative community. Designers do not understand business, yet they need businessmen to give them money. They know that businessmen need their creative support to grow, but are unable to articulate this simply because a businessman does not understand the language that designers speak. They understand ROI, shareholder value, market growth. Creative input, design intervention and other such intangibles are not their cup of tea. Designers have to learn to speak if they want to grow. After almost ten years in the business, this is what Ryalie decided to get into. He packed his bags and went to study design management in the United Kingdom. While studying, he also worked with designers from various countries to learn and absorb from their varied design sensibilities. On coming back to India, he assisted the National Institute of Design (NID) in planning and formulating the diploma in Design Management as well as drafted the first version of the Indian Design Policy in 2004, which was approved by the Indian Cabinet in 2007. Meanwhile, disillusioned with the pace at which things were moving, he joined Hewlett Packard Lab in Bangalore. While working there, he was invited by the then newly formed Thailand Creative and Design Center (TCDC) to join them. After some dialogue, Ryalie moved to Bangkok as advisor to the TCDC in 2005. In an in-depth conversation with POOL, Ryalie shares his experiences. Excerpts: @ravipoovaiah Last Reminder: 2 Fully funded Scholarship Awards for Indian Students to study at Domus

Academy – last date 15th...

26 Pool | 9.10 | #3

Illustraion by Santhosh Waragade

What was the primary reason to set up TCDC? Sridhar: The Thai government realized that to add value to their products and services they had to move from a primarily agriculture and manufacturing based economy to a Creative Economy. TCDC was started to create awareness, and set up the support infrastructure for the design and creative industry in Thailand. And towards that objective we have set up one of the finest resource libraries in Bangkok, and probably in the world, with thirteen satellite centers across the country. We have a material library licensed from Material’s Connextion New York, which houses the latest materials available, from all over the world. The members get information like the material specs, how to use them, process limitations, etc. along with the names of manufactures and suppliers. Ideas are triggered when you play around with materials. Besides we also have a matchmaking service on the web available to businesses as well as designers. TCDC was set up under a mother body called the Office of Knowledge Management & Development (OKMD) to generate and disseminate knowledge of strategic importance to the country’s economy. ‘Every year’s delay puts costs to the country 10 years in the future’ was the belief. In the first year of my work at TCDC, 30% of my time was spent with the library to help create content and strategy for the web. I have probably read quite a few of the books in the library! I searched and ordered books and periodicals, monitored reading statistics of members, wrote essays for the website and tracked what was read by most members. This helped us order what is in demand by the designers. Now I work with the senior management

and the managing director advising them on policy issues, conducting research and producing strategic policy documents. Why did you want to be involved in the field of policy making and strategy? Sridhar: I wanted to do something that had a wider impact and it is gratifying to see it happening at TCDC. The magnitude is much greater, when thinking and applying design and innovation, at a national level, than just a design project. It is still in its early days and there is a lot more to do. Value addition through design is a relative game; one must keep an eye on what the other nations in the world are doing, while we develop our own strategies. We can’t just play catch-up! Don’t you think design is elitist? Sridhar: It is elitist mostly and let me tell you, there is nothing wrong with that. For the last forty years we have been attempting to design for the social sector, and what is the impact so far? We mostly see designers who work in the craft sector and sell their products through elite outlets. Is that design for the social sector? No, it is design for a consumer/ user who has the taste and money. Let’s not define design as social or elitist. Let it simply be good or bad design and let’s see what difference that makes. Again, design also depends on the level of sophistication of the market. Supply is driven by demand and demand comes from the nature of the market. It evolves as markets evolve. Export is a measurement for the success and sophistication of our industries. It shows that we are able to compete with the best quality products in the world markets. It could be any product: crafts, white goods, automobiles or even services. We see that in Thailand. The Thai have

a strong identity, and a unique approach to design and thinking. Somebody once said, if you see good design, you see a happy designer at work. It is true. When I see design in Thailand, it’s not done for a higher altruistic purpose, it’s just done to please. Good design Pleases everyone irrespective of their social class. Where do you think TCDC stands after five years? Sridhar: In Thailand, design is not considered an intervention. It is an approach, a service / support provided to help the industry in adding value to their processes, services and products. The work is evolving as we go. We analyze the market requirements and decide what we need to do based on that. We develop projects, build frameworks to measure and assess them and sometimes even initiate the execution. For example, through exhibitions and events, we want to expose the Thai to good design and also what is called Hi-design. It is aspirational. It is only then that they will think big and beyond what they are doing now. Another project we are about to roll out is the SME (small and medium enterprises) mentor program. I was available for consultation to the members at TCDC as a mentor for one day a week at the library. Out of that experience came a project of mentoring enterprises to think of design and help them innovate better products and services. We conduct the necessary research and once we understand what the SMEs want, we encourage collaboration with a designer and support it initially. The work here is continuous, evolving and growing. There is no saying, it’s done.

@designcomedy Heading over to New Designers to see the show. Dott have worked with UCF to co-design their

stand. We are next to One Year On. Come see us. 27

Paromita Banerjee Simple and effective is reflected in every piece that Paromita Banerjee designs. Watch out for her! Paromita Banerjee believes a garment need not be garishly complicated in order to make a statement. Her creations can be worn anywhere, everyday dressing or for a wedding. ‘Simple yet effective’ is the underlying philosophy of her label. These uncomplicated words also define her own sensibility. She feels ‘Designer’ clothes need not always be over-the-top or bizarrely bling in order for them to have a high price tag. Apart from the obvious esthetics, design is essentially about practicality, effectiveness and fulfilling a purpose. Through her clothes, she tries to sell a concept that she calls her own kind of design.

Banerjee always aspired to set up her own studio. Once she had the muchneeded experience under her belt, she set out on a journey to establish her own label. She believes her experience made for maximum learning and despite the glitz and glamour that surrounds the fashion industry, it is actually a labor of love because of the sweat, tremendous hard work and stress involved. When she started her company in Kolkata, she decided to follow a core ideology; that she would use raw materials and resources available around her rather than going miles to fetch it. “Design is also about working within a set of constraints, even if they are self imposed.” Kolkata is

“I am not one to follow color-views or pantones for the season; I left them behind at my college stage.”

or designers like Dries van Noten, and at times even queer things like a battered cycle against an old window or maybe the bylanes of Benaras!! Fashion trends are predicted primarily by considering the mood, behavior and buying habits of a customer at a given time and season. It is mainly dependent on what he/she will buy depending on their age, location, income, etc. A mix of factors helps in determining this: from trend and color forecasting companies who predict the colors of the season, to consumer research in the form of questionnaires, etc. Once these are surveyed, fashion trends can be predicted. But nowadays a lot of it is also from certain external factors like film and media and in turn designers create a certain look and then a whole spectrum of people follow, creating a thread.

She is inspired by visuals and images rather than a muse. Her own passion for photography inspires her and gives her food for thought. She believes design is an art form and a means of expression. Inspiration to her can strike while viewing works of artists like T.Vaikuntham, Arpana Caur, or film cinematographers,

Her collections have both madness and method in equal measure. She does not intend to create bizarre ensembles and silhouettes which her client may not wear, simply because she cannot relate to them. She does not understand avant-garde or couture because she does not see people wearing that on a day to day basis. A clever mix of western and Indian is what she aspires to create in each of her collections. It is her version of what works in today’s context and this version has a healthy mix of her individual esthetics. Though she has her sights set on distant international shores, her first priority is to be well known in India. It is indeed as simple and effective as her collections.

Paromita’s latest creations

famous for its fine woven cottons, khadis and tangails, with which she has had a childhood association. The rich craft sector provided her with a learning of how a fabric can be innovated at a stage where one is able to improvise on its texture, etc. She believes that was a catalyst for her, when something started at thread stage was finally shaped into garments.

Banerjee however does not follow trends, her collections sit alongside trends. She feels that once the collection materializes it usually falls in with the trend. She tries to keep herself versed with fashion weeks and designer collections - domestic and international, and the awareness is reflected in her work. “I am not one to follow color-views or pantones for the season; I have left them behind at college stage,” says Banerjee. 29

Philippe Starck has inspired thousands of designers across all five continents. The man is a legend in his own lifetime. Each product that he designs is a work of art. Grandly the Frenchman claims, “I like to open the doors to people’s brain.” He does. Does the mischievously smiling face belong to a designer? Well, no long hair, or eccentric clothes and eclectic demeanor, but definitely a person who is having fun in life. A lot of fun. Could that be the secret to his creativity? He fills objects with his imagination, surprises and fantasies. The lemon squeezer is one of the most iconic products that he could have designed. He has been creating unconventional, challenging products and spaces for the last three decades. He gets his creative drive from his father, an inventor and aeronautic engineer, who gave the Philippe Starck the desire to create and the capacity to dream. Several years and several prototypes later, he was commissioned to work for President François Mitterrand. This was also when he began designing furniture for leading Italian and international firms. Starck develops scenarios that will lift people out of the everyday lives into an imaginative and creative mental world. |His hotels have become timeless icons and have added a new dimension to the global cityscape.

30 Pool | 9.10 | #3

When Starck imagined “democratic design” – quality products at lower prices so that more people can enjoy the best – he was a lone voice at a time when design was turned exclusively towards elite consumers and audiences. There are few areas of design he hasn’t explored, from furniture to mail-order homes, motorbikes, mega-yachts, even artistic direction for space-travel projects, to name but a few. Philippe Starck believed in the power of green long before ecology became fashionable, out of respect for the planet’s future. Early on, he imagined the Good Goods catalogue of non products for non-consumers in tomorrow’s moral market, and set up his own organic food company. Recently he developed the revolutionary concept of “democratic ecology” by creating affordable wind turbines for the home, soon to be followed by solar-powered boats and hydrogen cars. “Philippe Starck is a tireless and rebellious citizen of the world who considers it his duty to share his ethical and subversive vision of a fairer world.” Yoo is an international branding, design and investment property company adding value to residential, hotel, office and mixed use development projects in major towns and cities across the world. The brand is represented by five core design teams – Yoo inspired by Starck, Jade Jagger for Yoo, Wanders&Yoo, Kelly Hoppen for Yoo and the Yoo Design Studio; all of

which add values through design and branded marketing and maximizing media exposure. Currently Yoo is involved in the development of more than 10,000 apartments valued at over $7 billion in 27 different countries. The history of Yoo is simple – the man credited with transforming loft living, John Hitchcox, joined forces with internationally celebrated designer Philippe Starck in 1999 – creating a platform for branded, design led development. John Hitchcox founded the Manhattan Loft Corporation in 1992.

Yoo enters the Indian market with Yoopune, an innovative new residential project with developer Panchshil.

“Launching later this year, Yoopune provides a first for Indian buyers, combining world-class Yoo inspired by Starck design with a prestigious range of amenities, all surrounded by 17 acres of historic rainforest. We are also pleased to announce that Jade Jagger for Yoo has recently been appointed to design the interiors and landscaping for three residential towers in the Goregaon region of Mumbai,” says Yoo Founder John Hitchcox.

32 Pool | 9.10 | #3

Panchshil Realty - Pune’s premium construction and real estate development company has created world-class concepts in the city since 1996. With over 8 million sq. feet already developed and 23 million sq. feet being developed; the company is known for creating unique spaces that are intuitive, prestigious and in a league of their own. Panchshil strives to create landmarks and lifestyles that are right for you. From helping your company shine in today’s demanding global marketplace to adding that sparkling of convenience and luxury to your life – we aim to raise the bar. Panchshil Realty is committed to building and nurturing world-class properties across multiple asset classes such as residential, commercial and hospitality. Over the last 10 years, the company has come to be known not only for the quality of the product offered, but also for its after-sales management service. Every property developed by Panchshil is iconic. In sync with the latest international trends and standards in design and construction, the company is well on its way to building for tomorrow’s Pune.

POOL | September 2010 | # 03 Indian Edition |

POOL Three  

Third issue of POOL magazine for September 2010

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