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August 2010 | # 02 Indian edition

Supported by

Reinterpreting and redesigning the standards of living

Beyond the creation of a logo, World Cup Branding

Suzlon: One Earth Corporate headquarters

India Design Council 14

Jabulani 22

Spaces 11

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

Point of view Rodney Fitch 12

One of the world’s oldest currencies, now has its own symbol Rupee Symbol 26

Beyond Borders Dr. Henri Christiaans 18

Maestro Haribabu Natesan 06

Subrata Bhowmick

Young Talent

photographed for POOL by Sudhir Sharma

Shilo Shiv Suleman 20

Rising Stars

Blogger: Paavani 10

Business of Design


Coyote Silver 04

Diesel: Be Stupid 16

Quetzel 24

A Balasubramaniam 28


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 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

August 2010 | # 02 Indian Edition

Before you jump in... It was amazing to get so many messages and mails and tweets and status reports as response to first POOL. I feel happy that POOL is an idea whose time is here. We are all motivated and inspired. Do send us your feedback, your wish list, suggestions and keep us in the loop with whatever you are doing. Enjoy POOL. Sudhir Sharma Editor in Chief

Editor in Chief Sudhir Sharma Executive Editor Gina Krishnan Copy Editor Ashvina Vakil Editorial Coordinator Sonalee Tomar

It has been a month of jubilation for us at POOL. The idea, the dream, the belief found concrete shape when the first issue of the magazine came out. The industry lauded our effort and the team thanks you all for your support and encouragement.

Research & Design Coordinator Preethi Bayya Layout & Production Pradeep Arora Subscription & Logistics Seema Sharma Finance K Kuldeep Harit Art & Design Pradeep Goswami, Prashant Agashe, Shraddha Trivedi Illustrator Santosh Waragade Project Management Aakanksha Malpani, Anupam Khare Assistants Anil Burte, Yamanappa Dodamani Publisher INDI Design Pvt Ltd Address India C/o India House, 53, Sopan Baug, Balewadi, Pune - 411045, India Vietnam C/o Haki Advertising Ltd, 142 Le Duan Street, Hanoi, Vietnam Icograda International Design Media Network Participant

This month has also been one of celebration for each of us in the design community. The cause for celebration is the unveiling of Udaya Kumar’s ‘Rupee’ symbol. It is a remarkable symbol. At the same time, there is a bigger reason for us to celebrate. India and Indians now know that it is a ‘designer’ who came up with this unique symbol. The government has realized the contribution of design in creating a unique symbol for its identity. An important question that came to my mind when I saw the symbol is: Could this be the formal beginning of a unique Indian design vocabulary? Or is it still a journey, as described by A Bala Subramaniam in ‘Are we there, yet?’ (Pg 28) Read on and tell us. This issue brings together unique flavors. We celebrate Subrata Bhowmick, a veteran designer who has received national and international acclaim as a graphic and textile designer. We also celebrate a young student artist, Shilo Shiv Suleman, who is illustrating children’s books and city walls with ferocious fervor and vibrancy. Putting the two together is almost like saluting the legacy and the emerging talent of design in India. Our dream is to make POOL the platform that Designindia has been for all of you. Our team wants you to speak through and define our unique and eclectic identity through POOL. We want to define our Industry through POOL. Look forward to your views and feedback. Gina Krishnan Editor

Oops!! 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.

Hi Sonalee, Just received a copy of the pool magazine must say it was worth the wait, Just a slight goof up, The opening para says I was the chairman of NID’s design consulting office from 1981 to 1991. I really was not. I applied for the post but they said i was too young (I was 5 then). ha ha. Great job otherwise. best Rajat Tuli. Happily Unmarried. (July 1, 2010)

Subscribe to the POOL POOL is available on an yearly subscription basis only. 12 issues cost ` 2,400 INR or US D 55 + Postage.

Paper sponsored by Zanders Medley Pure

You can subscribe online at or send a cheque worth ` 2,400 with your postal address and phone number to POOL Magazine, C/o India House, 53, Sopan Baug, Balewadi, Pune - 411045, India 1

Reviewed Wacom Intuos 4 I switched from a mouse to my Wacom early last year. A graphic tablet certainly comes with a learning curve. It can be frustrating at first but 30 minutes of perseverance and you are hooked! A lot of designers and artists use it only as a drawing/ illustration tool, but I stopped using a mouse altogether once I got used to the tablet. I had used my Intuos 3 for almost a year when the Intuos 4 came out. Of course I switched as soon as I could. The 4’s stylish new looks were impossible to resist! And the widescreen format of the tablet works well with my dual screen setup. Apart from that though, I don’t find a huge difference in using the 4. Both the tablets are very high performance graphic tablets; amongst the best in the market right now. The pen that comes with 4 is slightly lighter than the one with 3, but I never found the weight of the pen to be a problem anyway. They say the 4 is a big improvement for left handed users, but I can’t comment on that.

Apart from the fact that simple mouse functions like drag and drop, hover and click, etc. are much faster on a Wacom, these are the uses I have found for me as a designer: Adobe Illustrator is so much more user-friendly now; I can draw a curve straight on to the computer and 5 minutes of tweaking and it’s ready to go! As last year was my first foray into type design, the pen turned out to be a big help. I don’t use the pen pressure and tilt settings much but for anyone who is interested, well, you can use those settings to get different results in Photoshop, Illustrator and other programs too. I am a mac user and a right click addict. Did I miss that with my pen? Not at all! You can assign functions to the buttons on the

pen AND to the buttons on the tablet itself. The best part is that all these buttons can do different things in different software programs. For example, the same button can be ‘hide selection’ in Photoshop, ‘Convert to outlines’ in Illustrator, ‘Paste in place’ in InDesign, and act as a simple right click in all other applications. So, I am thinking of cons to give a balanced review, but I really cannot think of one. Try out a tablet if you have been thinking about it. I would highly recommend the Wacom Intuos 3 or 4. My wrist truly thanks me now that I have stopped using a mouse. Oh, and my favorite argument in favor of a tablet is, ‘Men learned to draw with a pen, not with a bar of soap’. –Aastha Gaur Typekit A new wave of hope for sore eyes across the globe is the freedom of using custom typefaces on the web. Various startups have re-launched fonts, as a service; a huge break from the eight odd choices available to any web-designer, including (shudder) Comic Sans. Names like Typekit (http://www., Typotheque (http://, and Fontdeck (http://fontdeck. com) are set to write the new history of typography for the web. Typekit is currently the leading service provider of fonts for the web. A designer can now access many typefaces by paying a nominal annual subscription fee for Typekit. The service allows a

website to ‘call’ the desired typeface whenever it is loaded on the user’s computer just by adding three lines of code to the page. While it does slow down the page a little, it is a small price to pay for a great

looking and SEO friendly website! Just like the pre-computing days of typesetting were governed by possession of a physical copy of a typeface, typography on the web so far was an inventory of the lowest common multiples of a few ‘default’ fonts. These services are set to change it all for good. An upcoming trend to look out for: by making typefaces available as a service, companies can track the usage of fonts more effectively. Small and big type foundries and designers can thus look forward to getting the fee they deserve for their fonts. This in turn means that we can expect to see more and more good font options available in these libraries. –Abhishek Ghaté To iPhone or not to iPhone? Deliberately or not I broke my last iPhone’s screen, so I had a new excuse added to the list of reasons for wanting to own the new iOS4. I was among the few fortunate ones who didn’t have to stand in long lines outside the iStore since I preordered mine through a friend who works for AT&T. Since this was an upgrade from a previous version of the iPhone, I was happy to see that the new one comes loaded with features like a front facing camera, built-in compass and such-like. Voice control now allows you to talk to your phone & it responds to your requests. (Something apple has done previously with shuffle & iPod and has now added to their phone). I like that all my inboxes can now be accessed from a common one. And the same goes for all the calendars & notes that I create over different email ids. My 2 year old absolutely loves face-time since he can now catch-up with his dad (who is always away on travel) and actually see him over the phone everyday. (Though Face-time only works on wifi.) With all the good things I have to say about this phone, I do have a lot to complain about as well. Yes, it drops calls! The antenna was integrated in the design to actually

adipawar self infographics_ . It could be hugely made more meaningful,

‘self-expression’ is a multi billion dollar industry!

2 Pool | 8.10 | #2

encompass the phone body but doing so may have caused it to drop calls when held at a certain angle. It is shameful to see apple R&D missed such a flaw in design and allowed it slip through to its

final production. This brings me to another point, apple is rather behind in launching many features that are available even in basic phones, for example - a more complex camera with zoom & built-in flash (which has finally been introduced in the iPhone). Apple says they believe in delivering the best and therefore take time to design something that’s top of the line. In support of this they have delivered Face-time and truly there is nothing like it in this world. So then why serve a halfbaked cookie? –Vaishali Katyarma. Bagel’s Café Photographer Priyanka Sachar recommends Bagel’s Café. Its not just a casual dining restaurant chain, and the only restaurant in Delhi NCR that serves authentic bagels, but also the venue for photography or art exhibition every alternate month. In an endeavor to promote arts, the walls at the main outlet are decked with stirring prints of local

photographers, the last being her own photography omnibus titled ‘Evanescence’. With chic, minimalistic interiors, Bagel’s Café keeps up with the NCR’s fastchanging beat. –Priyanka Sachar

Headlines Shri Pradyumna Vyas, Director, NID, was awarded with an honorary Master of Arts degree by University of Creative Arts (UCA) in recognition of his contribution to design and education. He was awarded with the degree at UCA Farnham’s graduation ceremony on 29 June 2010 at Guildford Cathedral.

but screeching tyres of a Fiat 500 that arrived, raced, swivelled and spun on the huge cloth for six

spectrum for communications. And 25 years later, a world without WiFi and all it has enabled would be, frankly, unimaginable.

Messages to the world Designindia was a co organisor for the Poster exhibition at Shanghai Expo, inaugurated on 1st of July

which it hopes to bring into production by 2011. The tablet is/will be made to enable word processing, web browsing, video conferencing and there will even be a solar power option to enable using of the device in rural, offthe-grid areas. Human Resource Development minister Kapil Sibal said: “This is our answer to MIT’s $100 computer.”

Visa Launches New card Visa has come up with a nifty new card that features input buttons and a display screen. Using what appears to be Visa’s mutant hybrid of a credit card and a pocket calculator, users

UCA awards honorary degrees to distinguished individuals who have excelled in the creative arts or made a significant contribution to society or the local area.

Mix Media Pune-based artist Jayesh

uninterrupted minutes resulting in a canvas 40 feet by 40 feet. Accompanying this unusual show of creativity were music beats as belted out by Taufiq Qureshi even as Isha Sherwani had just the right steps to match the entire scene taking shape at Taj’s Lands End.

Wi-Fi Celebrates 25 Years

Sachdev, one of the few pop artists in India, created the biggest piece of Mix Media Art, last month, not through strokes of a brush

WiFi – the name synonymous with a kind of freedom we are not-so-gradually taking for granted just celebrated a quarter century of existence since the FCC okayed unlicensed access to radio

2010. 22 posters from various Indian designers were exhibited at the show. Posters were collected from Designindia community over a call on the Yahoo egroup.

$35 PC India has unveiled the prototype of a $35 basic touchscreen tablet computer aimed at students,

can enter their PIN into the card itself and have a security code generated on the fly. This method can stop thieves in two ways. Those who copy down your credit card information will find that your account number and expiry date is not enough to place an order. And those who actually steal your physical card will find that they still don’t know your pin. The card goes a long way from the “dumb” plastic cards of today. The card features a battery to power it and Visa expects a 3-year lifespan and is currently testing the card with several banks in Europe.

The Dimensions of the Plane An exhibition and lectures on contemporary German Communication Design will be held from 4th to 13th August 2010 (10 am-6 pm) at Siddhartha Hall, Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan, 3 Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi in collaboration with Nift. For details, Contact: 011-23329506 ext. 292, for press queries 132

vijay jaiswal Just a food for thought. when u start drawing the Rupee symbol freehand, you hand moves left to right or right to left? 3

Rising Stars

Jewelry designer Deepika Vijay adds pizzazz to her product line coyote – for the woman with confidence and a sense of courageous style In 2005, Dipika started a design firm called Pink Dot based in Delhi. When she moved to Mumbai in 2007, she felt that there were too many labels / brands starting with the word ‘pink’ and that her little dot would just disappear amongst them! She chose the name Coyote Silver instead. “Coyote is a species of wild wolves,” she says. “The name has certain wildness and character attached to it. It is also slang for sexy women!”

Featured on this page, jewelry by Deepika Vijay

4 Pool | 8.10 | #2

Dipika Vijay is the founder of Coyote Silver, a jewelry design outfit based out of Mumbai. An accessory designer from National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, she works under the label ‘Coyote’ and predominantly designs au courant silver jewelry and small personal and dining accessories.

Dipika’s journey started when she wore a self designed gold neckpiece to a party; the attention it got made her think of the first few ideas for her jewelry line. She feels that the starting point for her products is all Indian. Her styling however makes the forms feel virginal in context to the modern woman. “It caters to the tantrums of au courant women,” she says. Her products have a high dosage of style, be it jewelry or home accessories. She chooses different segments targeting different lifestyles.

Featured on this page, home accessories by Deepika Vijay

In most part Dipika uses pure silver, 92.5. If she uses gold on various pieces it is either 18 or 22 carat gold/nickel plating. Her products range in price from `1,100 to `9,000. She feels that a successful designer is one who knows his/her product and market well. In her mind, creating and selling are interlinked. “Creation in isolation is not enough; selling brings you close to your client, your market,” she admits. “A designer has to be armed with fresh ideas, great visualization, good set of skills and technical know-how, as well as complete understanding of the consumer.” Dipika also believes in fair trade. According to her, qualities like listening, observing, accepting and working on criticism help a designer in the long run. “At the same time, one should be able to sell,” she adds. “A designer should be a marketer, advertiser and a business person as well. That makes a complete package!” The lady believes that she has grown both as a designer and an entrepreneur. She learns with each design that she makes and sells. Transparent business policies and finance rotation are important. So is being humble. Currently a one person

show, Coyote is growing slowly and steadily. While Dipika’s designs are inspired by the esthetics around her, her husband is also a source of inspiration. “My work has also taught me how to market, advertise and plan my business ahead. Speaking as a designer, it is a great feeling to see one’s designs move from ‘on paper’ to ‘on person’. The gleam in the eye of the client while trying on my designs for the first time is the best unspoken compliment and satisfaction I get,” says the young firebrand. Dipika follows the two models of ‘Direct Selling’ and ‘Exclusive Distribution’, using multi-designer boutiques in the country and distributors abroad. She retails through five stores in India and exports to Australia. She also sells directly through various charity exhibitions and luxury fairs. Currently she is planning two exhibitions: a luxury fair in June, and a high end art accessories exhibition around October. To beginners she advises patience and belief in one’s self. “And of course, never underestimate the reach of good marketing!”

Rajeev Manikoth 5


MUKTI Art and responsibility to earth is rarely seen as effectively as it is visible in these beautiful iconic creations by this artist who makes mechanical fossils out of electronic waste: Haribabu Natesan

‘Recycled Art’ is what Haribabu calls his work. He uses scrap and junk to sculpt and put together exquisite pieces of art. “I am stopping recycling itself by putting these objects in my art. By doing so, I save electric energy, heat energy, fossil fuels and other energies involved in recycling waste in big or small factories, which leads to global warming. That’s why I call it Mukti (no rebirth),” says the passionate designer who currently calls Mumbai his home. Haribabu experiments with a variety of material, including discarded electronics. Recently he dismantled an HP laser printer toner and was surprised to see loads of very fine black powder emerging from it. He tried to mix it with water but it would not dissolve, floating on the top of the water instead. He then mixed it with an oil medium and used the result to color his works of art. The artist collects junk from friends, relatives, and hardware engineers, he even buys the stuff sometimes! His latest acquisitions are a VCR and a Walkman donated by a friend. Once he has enough, he spends a few days dismantling the products; many of them offer challenges some deliver surprises. He sorts the interesting forms by shape, size and material (plastic, iron, steel, electronic chips, boards, etc.) and stores them in different boxes. That is when he begins visualizing his next art-work. When an idea flashes on his mind he looks at the segregated objects and finds appropriate forms to create a basic skeleton of the art-work.

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Haribabu with his latest creation

Pieces from recent creations

An art-work with Natural and Electronic wastes

“Sometimes I wait for a particular shape to finish the work. These objects are destined to take their positions in my work,” he says. Haribabu rarely sketches - only when it is necessary, or when he is working on a difficult composition in terms of scale. The second step is to bridge these individual forms with smaller junk material to get the overall defined shape of the art-work. Then he adds very small objects like diodes, IC chips, and washers to give a detailed and intricate look. The final stage is coloring. At times he does up to six revisions with color. As an artist, he is constantly absorbing things: objects (man made or naturally evolved), their forms and material, their biology and physics (mechanics of joints and their pivots, movements, their force, fulcrum, transformation of energies, source of energy), their functionality, psychology, etc. If something interests him, an object or an abstract composition, he creates it according to his thought process and the availability of materials. His latest composition was an auto rickshaw (featured above). While he never intended to be a full time artist or an animator, Haribabu has always been interested in design. Maestro Illayaraja is his inspiration. He is currently working on a new series inspired by the great master Salvador Dali, which involves bending and deforming plastic waste and allowing it to flow like a liquid. In future he wants to do more experimental work by mixing natural and artificial waste. He has already started putting eagle feathers on electronic waste. This is just the beginning and there is a long way to go. As an artist who uses science in his work, he too believes that ‘matter and energy is neither created nor destroyed; it can only change in form’. And he chooses to change it into ART!

Cover Story asks us to chase our Indian roots The resemblance to Rabindranath Tagore is startling. The attire and his belief in India, its crafts and its own cultural language emphasize the spiritual resemblance. Illustrious designer Subrata Bhowmick, alumni of the National School of Design (NID), lives in Gujarat. For over four decades he has been working in the various fields of design in Ahmedabad. He is one of India’s most lauded designers with over 55 prestigious national and international awards (18 of them being the President of India award) in Graphics, Advertising, Photography and Book Design. His other areas of specialization are Textiles (Printing, Weaving), Fashion Design, Environmental Design, Product Design, Exhibition Design, Interior Design, and Publication Design (The Pioneer). The list of his achievements is unending yet he does not rest on his laurels. Presently he is concentrating on Communication and Product Development for the Craft sector, and Education. In a candid interview with POOL, he shares some of his thoughts. Excerpts: Who do you see yourself as - a graphic designer or textile designer? SB: I feel design is a discipline in itself, just like being a doctor or an engineer. Within the discipline of design, one specializes; just like a doctor specializes in being an orthopedic surgeon, a designer can specialize in being a graphics or textile designer. But unlike a doctor or engineer, one can be a designer by practice, and not just education. So after a while the many specializations like graphics, textiles, film and interiors start merging from the experience of many projects in the various

fields of design. I make textile calendars, merging calendar layout and typography, which is a graphics project, with textiles; they are printed on fabric with textile printing technology, and that makes me a designer… like a tree with many branches. As one of the earliest designers in India, how do you think design and acceptance of design as a discipline has changed over the years? SB: Earlier design was learnt through experience - not taught in classrooms but through an apprenticeship. The

methods were different. Nowadays we have what I call stamped or qualified designers. Earlier we had people who created great things and concepts, like Manu Desai and Satyajit Ray. Satyajit Ray was a great designer as he made the most apt posters for those films, full of depth. Or the Air India Commercial Director, Bobby Kooka and Umesh Rao (JWT, Mumbai) who made the Air India posters. The work of these people is rich and can’t even be found online, there are no archives. Where is learning from heritage then? Subrata Bhowmick’s early work

anthonyhlopez Did you try to scrawl the $ € ¥ £ and the Indian Rupee `. See if u like it in comparison :) 8 Pool | 8.10 | #2

Subrata Bhowmick’s recent work for Dastakari Haat Samiti What do you think about the new breed of Indian designers in terms of opportunities available to them and their ability? SB: Opportunities are available all over the world. There is tremendous scope for the stamped and qualified designers of today to design stuff, from a needle to an airplane. As long as the consumer market exists and the needs of a consumer is what the designer has to address; there will always be solutions to be found. Everyone is exposed to global trends; we are not delving into just craft but using our roots to create international standard products and services. There is no doubt about our quality or abilities. Child is the father of man. India can be considered sophisticated in terms of both textile and graphic design; then why have such few of us made an impact globally? SB: This is because we are twisting and turning and ignoring our roots and all the richness available to us traditionally and looking outwards. This makes us lose the character of Indian-ness in our work. Do you think the fusion of influences will impact the design industry positively or negatively?

SB: Fusion is everywhere. There is need for a taste. I experimented with western style and attire before I chose to come back to the most basic Indian way of dressing. One needs to make their own opinions on this. It’s too early to comment. Only time will tell. How would you define success for the Indian design industry? SB: There is no design industry here. There is nothing on the level of Marimekko or Ikea. Those are brands that cater to the masses; they are functional and define what would be a design industry. We don’t have that. We could possibly make a mark if we chase our Indian roots and an Indian vision and the Indian look and style. Stick to the agenda of imbibing stuff from our own roots. Like looking at the concept of gulli danda as the reason why we are such big fans of cricket. Do you think we as the Indian design community have a unified voice internationally? Do we need a unified voice at all or do you think individual voices are a far more important feature for the industry? What according to you will be an Indian design sensibility? SB: The seeds for a tree need to be planted, then only will there be branches

and flowers and those will get us fruit. There is no unified design community. It is shocking that in a country like India, with so many designers, creativity and so much talent, we have no common platform to express ourselves. Until this is achieved there will only be individual efforts and as such no Indian style of design, no Indian movement is possible and no intrinsic language or vocabulary of design will ever come about. How would you define Subrata Bhowmick? SB: A perfectionist, aware of the minutiae of details that make up a tapestry called life, emotional and moody; an amalgam of a variety of creative patterns as defined by people who know him. What role has your similarity to Tagore played in your success? SB: It is not just him. In general every Bengali is striving to attain a level of creativity. What do Indian designers need to do in the competitive world? SB: To understand and develop a unique Indian identity, using as building blocks the entire gamut of Indian culture to create what can be termed Indian design.

Sameer Chavan School books will have questions like - “Who designed the rupee symbol?”

along with “Who wrote Vande Mataram” 9


paavani trendiya Paavani Bishnoi

Connectivity, Conversation & Co-learning. These are the 3 Cs I got from blogging. - Paavani Bishnoi Paavani Bishnoi, 26, started blogging in 2003, one of the earliest to take to the internet as a medium of reaching out. As an industrial designer from National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad and a graduate in Information Technology, she has worked with Tata Interactive Services, DuPont and Whirlpool – Global Consumer Design as a Color, Finish & Material specialist. Her start-up, Trendiya, a design research and trends spotting company based in Gurgaon takes up most of her time, whatever is left, is spent updating her various blogs and engaging in photography. Since 2006 she has been writing on; she also blogs at, and micro-blogs at www.twittercom/paavani. Bishnoi’s interest in writing started with short poems, but she soon got hooked to blogging. “It is fulfilling to be able to express myself through my own blog,” she says. The experience of being able to write and have an appreciative readerbase is all the encouragement she needs. “I feel empowered because I am able to connect to a huge audience.” She

gets honest feedback and has improved tremendously as a result. Networking is another advantage of blogging because she meets people who have similar as well as opposing points of view. When she started out, Bishnoi wrote on design issues or stories related to toys and craft. It gave her a chance to air her own observations. “My favorite topics were design, sustainability, craft, lifestyle and travel and photography,” she says. Initially her posts were large, but in this age of microblogging she now writes about 15 to 20 twitter updates, and a few monthly posts. Feedback from readers has resulted in a few series like the ‘Toy Story’ and ‘Craft Story’. “As a blogger you do have to carry the burden of expectations,” she admits. Bishnoi feels her blog and microblogging have helped establish her as a photographer, besides offering networking opportunities, which resulted in getting her work. “When I started Trendiya, I was clueless as I had left my job in a consumer goods company and didn’t know how to

uditkulshrestha Been experimenting with the tiffen filters. #win 10 Pool | 8.10 | #2

get clients. Social networking helped me catch the first few clients,” she says. For novice bloggers Bishnoi has a few recommendations: Begin by writing on generic topics initially and then switch to specific ones; engage proactively; start reading other people’s blogs and make conversation with them; write your own original comments; make your blog interesting with pictures, charts; do not use ‘sms lingo’; never spam to drive traffic to your site. “And finally,” she advises, “write, write, write!” Bishnoi enjoys Jan Chipchase’s blog for his views on culture, design and research methods; she also follows Core 77 for updates on design and trend related posts, and Fast Company’s blog for technology, innovation, leadership and design news. She has moved from blogs to microblogging and photoblogs but is now looking for something with integrated features for everything. “And Google Buzz is not the answer!”


Suzlon One Earth Global Corporate Headquarters

Suzlon One Earth Architect Christopher Benninger designed a campus which defines the philosophy and ambitions of Suzlon. The corporate office stands tall in Pune. Icons are important. They are symbols of what a corporate wants to say. Architecture has played a major role in the iconization of the world’s leading companies. IM Pei’s Bank of China in Hong Kong, and Norman Foster’s design for the insurance giant Swiss Re in London have elevated these companies through spectacular architecture overnight. For Suzlon Energy Ltd., the flagship company of the Suzlon Group which specializes in Wind Power Generation, their new campus had to reflect its global ambitions as well as its core values - quality, commitment, and technical expertise. The brief was that the building must be cost effective and suitable for rapid implementation. The ambience must be ‘Indian’ as well as savvy to the high-tech world in which Suzlon is a major player. The Suzlon campus has been designed respecting nature, evolving an energy

efficient built form, and comforting the end users who spend many hours in the enclosed spaces. This approach has resulted in a basic module of construction which is square in shape, both in plan and elevation. The dimensions are drawn from the most logical ceiling to ceiling height, which is reflected in plan. The system envisioned uses a flat slab; a dropped ceiling of about 20 inches and a floor to ceiling height of nine feet eight inches. The columns and beams leave a square cut-out closed by horizontal louvers, which allow cross ventilation, while keeping out direct sunlight. This reduces the heat gain, the need for artificial lighting, and mechanical ventilation. As an air conditioned structure the heat gain is minimized. The roof top insulation contributes to the blocking of heat. The system also allows uninterrupted views of the generous gardens which surround the complex. The basic module can be added

to and subtracted from so that endless combination and permutations can be created from a simple geometry. Components like break areas can easily be inserted into the building fabric. These units include toilets, a convenient pantry for self-help coffee and tea, and a small reference library for selfeducation and reference. The iconic elements in the campus bring very Indian features into a very global, high-tech ambience, such as the water basin, falls and lake, with the deepastambh at its centre. The deepastambh can be seen from all the entrances, and throughout the garden, and most importantly, from the glass Brahmasthal. Set in the centre of the Suzlon reflecting pool, this lamp is about forty feet tall and covered with LED lamps.

Dinesh Katre What about the recognition that it has given to a designer? I think it is of

much greater value than money.

An intitial concept Sketch by Christopher Benninger 11

RODNEY FITCH Picture at Cannes by Sudhir Sharma

Set up in 1972, Fitch was one of the first GLOBAL design firms. In 1982, founder Rodney Fitch took it public and it was a fully quoted company on the London Stock Exchange. Amongst the world’s most influential design agencies, Fitch is now owned by the WPP group. It has led the design industry for over three decades with global clients in Europe, USA, Latin America and Asia, and a portfolio ranging from architecture and interiors, to live events, exhibitions, brand identity, industrial design, and in particular retail design. Rodney Fitch was for many years a senior Governor of the University of the Arts in London, he has served as a member on the Council of the Royal College of Art, and is a past president of the Designers and Art Directors Association, and the Chartered Society of Designers. He has been a trustee of the Victoria and Albert Museum and is now Chairman of Victoria & Albert Enterprises and as such, responsible for the commercial activities of the museum. In 2008 he was the inaugural Design Jury President at Cannes. In 2009 he was the inaugural President of Spikes Design Lions in Singapore. He was awarded Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 1990 for his influence on the British design industry. After handing over the reins of Fitch to WPP, he expressed his views about design and India in an exclusive and candid interview with POOL’s Sudhir Sharma. Excerpts: benterrett “If you’re a boy and you’re going out with a boy who is the same size you’ve just doubled your wardrobe” 12 Pool | 8.10 | #2

Point of View How did you make the decision that Fitch should be in India? RF: I came here as a part of the WPP delegation in 2006 to explore the Indian market. I made two presentations, one in Mumbai and one in Delhi. I fell in love with the place. I was overwhelmed by the interesting questions and the people. This was all happening in April of 2006 and I determined that we would open a studio as quickly as we could. We were up and running by November the same year. And how was the experience? RF: Fantastic! We started and hit the ground running. I started by bringing people from London and America to do the work and to add resources to the work here. That went very well. We had some very interesting clients - Godrej, Reliance, Aditya Birla Group. We had only eight people then and established our own space inside JWT; then we outgrew the space - 35 people - and I hear they are again moving to bigger premises. When you started what was your business objective in India? Did you have any targets? RF: Absolutely. I wanted desperately to support the organized retail sector in India. I really wanted to see local brands. I am an absolute supporter of FDI (Foreign Direct Investment). I wanted to see local brands established as major retail players, so my objective was to work with people who saw their future in the retail business. I was clear about the people that I could work for; who I thought could deliver on that ambition. When you decided to come in, you obviously felt there was a void you were filling - the services that did not exist before you started offering them. Can we talk about that? RF: Yes. I did feel that while there is a tremendous talent here and a fantastic, wonderful history of visual culture, what the organized retail sector needed was an organized design capability and I thought that we could provide that. Do you see a change in the last few years since you came here first? RF: India is a work in progress. The landscape is changing forever and I have seen that change occurring. And I have seen the organized sector grow, become

more professional and realistic. When I first came here, there was a good deal of over-ambition, over-hype and overexpectation. I have seen that become much more sensible. And I have seen some very good things happen that I predicted back in 2004. Did your experience in India in any way influence Fitch anywhere else in the world? RF: Oh yes! I organized a triangulation between our studios in Singapore, India and Dubai. The studios collaborated on projects; the Indian studio collaborated on Dubai projects; and the Singapore studio collaborated on Indian projects with great success. Our people who have been out here working have absorbed something of the Indian culture. One of our staff even got mixed up in the terrorist attack at the Taj; she survived the attack and it was an extraordinary experience for me to be talking to her on the telephone while she was locked up in her room with terrorists firing their guns outside. When Fitch came into India, what did you think about the competition here? RF: I don’t want you to interpret this as arrogance. I did not feel that there was another design organization which was competition. The competition either arose from the established advertising industry or it arose from the ambitions of incoming western design businesses. But I really did feel that the resources that we had at that time were incomparable and we had established our credentials so I did not really feel like there was a similar sort of competition. And what was your experience with talent here? RF: Our experience has been very good. I keep saying ‘we’, and I am not a part of Fitch anymore! The studio here is terrific. We joined forces one time with a small architectural firm with offices in Delhi and Mumbai. We brought people from Delhi down here. The studio now has 40 people and it’s a wonderful mixture of Indians from different parts of the country, besides a Canadian, several English people, an Australian and a Swede. I think that an international cosmopolitan studio in India for Indians is the way forward.

Now that you have moved on from Fitch, what are you doing? RF: I’m in education. I’m a full professor; I’m running a Masters course in Retail Design in Europe from Delft University in Holland, and we are running an executive course with similar content here in Mumbai. Besides that I am involved as an advisor with various companies, which is both creative and financial. And where does India figure in your scheme of things now? RF: India remains high on my agenda. I love coming here, the work here and the potential that this country has. I love it all, the challenges, the people, the frustrations and the whims. My ambition is to build the course which will contribute to a better understanding and better resource for retail design here in India. Do you see professional engagements beyond academic engagements in India now? RF: I would like to see myself working as well as teaching here. What would you advise Indian studios which want to grow big? RF: Well I would not want to be presumptuous but I do have some suggestions. I think Indian studios that want to grow would benefit by making their studios international and cosmopolitan. Their internal resources would benefit from having another perspective apart from the Indian perspective. Secondly, they should concentrate on quality.

At the end of the day anybody can sell cheaper products but very few people deliver quality work, and those that do better work are always sought out by clients.

Pankaj Sapkal if they were gonna decide the economic symbol of the nation, they should pay the designer

a lot more - maybe like 25L or something, if not more... 13

Meet India Design Council The Design Council, set up in India in 2010 with 26 members, has its roots in UNESCO’s ‘Design for Living’ conference. The Indian delegation proposed the recommendations to the 14th General Assembly. The idea was to use design to humanize the processes intended for economic and social development of communities, using cultural patterns of newly independent and developing countries to avoid the waste that has been generated by other societies. The program would focus on creating design for living, keeping in mind the cultural sensitivities and ‘realities of social existence’. It was felt that the future of developing societies depended on the way in which technical advances could be used not merely for improving the standards of living, but for reinterpreting and redesigning the standards of living in order to integrate man and his environment and enable him to lead a more satisfying life. In this picture, Top row from left: Anjan Das :: Ravi Pooviah :: Satish Gokhale :: Jagdish Hinduja :: Anand Mahindra :: Mahesh Krovvidi :: Dr. Naushad Forbes :: Sumeet Nair :: Bidyabijay Bhaumik :: Ganesh Prabhu :: Prof. Salunke

Members Mr. Anand G. Mahindra, President- India Design Council, Vice Chairman Managing Director-Mahindra & Mahindra. Mr. Pradyumna Vyas, Member Secretary India Design Council, Director-NID Eminent persons from various fields related to design industry Mr. Akhil Succena, Activity Chairperson, NID Ms. Ritu Kumar, Fashion Retailer, Ritika Pvt. Ltd.

Dr. Naushad Forbes, Director- Forbes Marshall Mr. Mahesh Krovvidi, COO-NDBI- National Design Business Incubator Mr. Ganesh N. Prabhu, Professor (Corporate Strategy & Policy)-Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore Mr. Ajay Chowdhry, Founder - HCL, and, Chairman & CEO - HCL Infosystems, HCL Infosystems Ltd. Representatives from Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) Mr. Saurabh Chandra, IAS , Additional Secretary & Financial Advisor(AS&FA)-DIPP

Mr. V Bhaskar, IAS , Joint Secretary -DIPP Representatives from Department of Commerce, Higher Education, Information Technology and Ministry of Textiles Mr. Anil G Mukim, IAS , Joint SecretaryDepartment of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce & Industry Mr. Shri R C Meena, IES, Economic AdviserDepartment of Higher Education Mr. N. Ravi Shanker, IAS, Joint SecretaryMinistry of Communications & Information Technology Ms. Monica S. Garg, IAS, Joint SecretaryMinistry of Textiles

For every major change to happen a mandate is necessary. In the case of design the mandate has been given to The India Design Council. The body would seek to support Indian design nationally as well as internationally. Every activity related to design will be overseen by IDC. One of the most ambitious mandate of the Design policy is to encourage products ‘designed in India, made for the world.’ Quality of design and product support by a design mark from the IDC is one of the

most significant and awaited step. Setting up innovation hubs is another important agenda as drawn out by the national design policy. Besides that the IDC will be responsible for the following: a) Undertake design awareness and effectiveness programmes both within India and abroad; b) act as a platform for interaction with all stakeholders; c) undertake R&D strategy and impact studies;

d) design educations; e) conduct programmes for continuous evaluation and development of new design strategies; f) develop and implement quality systems through designs for enhancing the country’s international competitiveness; g) coordinate with Government to facilitate simplification of procedures and system for registration of new designs; h) assist industries to engage the services of designers for their existing and new products

Bottom row from Left: Ajai Choudhary :: Akhil Succena :: Shrikant Nivsarkar :: Preeti Vyas Giannetti :: Pradyumna Vyas :: Ritu Kumar :: Dr. Vaijayanti Pandit :: Rina daka :: Prof. Ranjit Mitra :: Sudhir Sharma This picture was taken during the 4th meeting of the India Design Council in Mumbai on 16th April, 2010

Representatives from each of the three apex industry organizations Mr. Anjan Das, Senior Director- CII, Mr. Sumeet Nair, Member- ASSOCHAM. Dr. Vaijayanti Pandit, DirectorFICCI WRC Representatives from Design Institutes Prof. Ravi Pooviah IDC, IIT Prof. Ranjit Mitra Director, School of Planning & Architecture

Eminent designers Mr. Satish Gokhale Design Directions Mr. Bidyabijay Bhowmik Vice President Mahindra & Mahindra. Mr.Jagdish Hinduja Chairman, Gokaldas Images Ms. Rina Dhaka Fashion Designer Mr. Sarabajit Singh Fab Interiors The invitee members of the India Design Council are Mr. Chandraker Bharti IAS,Deputy Secretary-DIPP

Ms . Preeti Vyas, Chairwoman & CCO, Vyas Giannetti Creative Mr. Ashok Butala, President – IIID Institute of Indian Interior Designers Mr. Shrikant Nivsarkar, President-IFI & Former President, IIID Mr. Sudhir Sharma, INDI Design, Designindia. Mr. S Sundar, President, Association of Indian Design Industry (AIDI)

Diesel’s Be Stupid campaign, launched earlier this year has got everyone in frenzy. Then again, the fashion brand is no stranger to controversy. The campaign, brought to life by new artistic director Bruno Collins developed at Anomaly London, outlines the company’s STUPID philosophy – “Like balloons, we are filled with hopes and dreams. But. Over time a single sentence creeps into our lives. Don’t be stupid. It’s the crusher of possibility. It’s the world’s greatest deflator. The world is full of smart people. Doing all kind of smart things… That’s smart. Well, we’re with stupid. Stupid is the relentless pursuit of a regret free life. Smart may have the brains - but stupid has the balls. The smart might recognize things for how they are. The stupid see things for how they could be. Smart critiques. Stupid creates. The fact is if we didn’t have stupid thoughts we’d have no interesting thoughts at all. Smart may have the plan - but stupid has the stories. Smart may have the authority but stupid has one hell of a hangover. It’s not smart to take risks… It’s stupid. To be stupid is to be brave. The stupid isn’t afraid to fail. The stupid know there are worse things than failure - like not even trying. Smart had one good idea, and that idea was stupid. You can’t outsmart stupid. So don’t even try. Remember only stupid can be truly brilliant. So, BE STUPID. ”Taking the world by storm with its online, press and outdoor advertisements featuring “stupid” acts, a digital recruitment campaign for the Diesel music video/2010 catalogue and viral activity, they feature a host of scenarios with “stupid people doing stupid things”. Needles to say, stupid acts as a metaphor for being young, being reckless, being footloose and fancy-free. To me, it poses as a lighter, fun-ner and quirkier version of the prolific advice given to the graduating batch at Stanford by Steve jobs in 2005. Quoting three stories of his own life on connecting the dots, on love and loss and finally on death; he ended his now famous speech with a quote from

LimeIce Nahi chahiye iPad. I’ll wait for Windows powered tablets before investing. 16 Pool | 8.10 | #2

Stewart Brand’s last issue of “The Whole Earth Catalog” – Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish. Naturally, the Diesel campaign makes no claims of being so profound and is clearly targeted at young adults, with the sheer shock value of its suggestive visuals. It also seems to have ruffled a few highbrow feathers, upset at the advocacy of reckless

behavior and glamorizing drunken, lewd, asinine, careless, irresponsibility that encourages stupidity. (Perhaps it is because they see a little bit of themselves in these ads. Let’s be realistic – spending $250 on a pair of jeans. Now that’s really stupid – in the true sense of the word. We’ll save that for a different critique altogether. —Ria Rajan

Ria graduated from Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology in 2008. She is a freelancer, based in Goa, who writes for a design blog ( and spends her working hours illustrating a children book, listening to Tom Waits, drinking multiple cups of chai and lusting after the new 35mm Diana Mini. 17

Beyond Borders

Dr. Henri Christiaans He holds a Ph.D in Industrial Design Engineering from Delft University of Technology, Netherlands. He focuses on design thinking, information processing in design, cultural diversity, and cognitive ergonomics and in education and research areas. And has published books and papers on these topics. Since 2008 he is a visiting professor at the Faculdade de Arquitectura de Lisboa, Departamento de Arte e Design in Portugal. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Design Research. On his fourth visit to India, he met with POOL’s Sudhir Sharma. Excerpts from an exclusive interview:

You head the integrated product design course at Delft University. What exactly is integrated product design? HC: Integrated product design means integrating several disciplines. It’s both about management and also about psychology; it’s about ergonomics and esthetics and form. You have to realize that when you are doing product design you first have to do an analysis of all the aspects which are involved in designing before you can go back to the client and say this is it! Often the client doesn’t even realize that all these aspects have an important role in design. So let me start with asking you about your first impression of India. HC: Talking about design, I think it is a very promising country. Though the community of designers is not big, many of them are of high quality. I compare it to the development in Holland; I have been faculty for 25 years and earlier it

was very difficult for our graduates to find a job, but now everyone in Holland knows what is design. I have the impression that India is still not that far ahead and there is a whole lot of development needed for companies to understand the value of design. What would your interest be in India? HC: I would like to see India reach the same level as the western countries, but in a uniquely Indian way. Let me go back to the basics – what is design for? I think that design is very important to bring people happiness and leisure. I think it is the aim of design to bring consumers and users to the center of design. India needs to reach there. Companies are designing for the people without having any knowledge of who these people are and what they want. My interest in India is to see how you bring here the knowledge and experience we already have; not by adopting western thinking, but by bringing

Dr. Henri Christiaans

in your own kind of local and cultural ideas and thinking to fulfill your needs. Delft University is also running a Retail Design, Retail Management course in India. Can you tell us about that? HC: Retail Design is one of the new areas of design where you find explicitly different disciplines of design brought together. Retail Design is deeper and has many more layers. When we talk about retail, it is also a mirror of what people do in leisure. It shows different cultures and it is not just about shopping. It also shows how people do social things together, etc. We have brought Retail Design to the school of Industrial Design Engineering; we bring together architecture, interior design and graphic design. We at Delft try to put together couses which are kind of split up in different disciplines; and also have close contact with industry. Our master’s project or our graduation projects, which take six months (full time),

nachiketbarve The money wasted collectively on unused gym memberships I am pretty sure can wipe out

world bank debt. :p 18 Pool | 8.10 | #2

Featured are done in the industry. For example, in the school of industrial design we have 250 graduation projects per year and that means there are about 200 companies involved (because some companies like Philips take more than one graduation project). All these companies are very keen to get students from us because they like the approach on one hand, and what comes out finally as a product or whatever is often taken into production later on. It is a very successful way again of integrating several aspects. When the student goes into these graduation projects he starts with an analysis of the question of the client; is it a real question or is it a much broader problem? What is important? What about the consumers? What about the situation? What about the culture? He brings that together and then from that analysis starts the design process. Does Delft have plans to set up a campus in India? HC: It’s not yet a plan; they already have contacts with a university in South Korea for a joint master’s. I am the first one from our faculty who has serious contacts here in India and I’d like to build on that further on and see if there is indeed a possibility that Delft will establish here a kind of collaboration. I think India has more potential then China. That’s really nice. Tell me something about your contacts in India. You mentioned that you have personally very good contacts India – who are the people you know and what is your impression of people in the design field in India? HC: Well, my contacts were actually made in the beginning of last year when I was part of a delegation organized by the Minister of Economic Affairs in Holland. I started with Delhi, Pune and then Mumbai. I met you, and Hrridaysh Deshpande and we visited the Design Yatra where we met practicing designers. We already had a plan for an International Retail Design course in four cities. Our international course with four modules should take place in Delft, New York, India, either Mumbai or Pune, and in Hong Kong. In the meantime Rodney Fitch has become a professor with Delft and he has a lot of contacts in India. We will build on that.

My Status in Pool BHAVIKA SHAH Successfully ended the photography competition W2010- Question Everything!, beyondesign will announce its winners by July 30th. Now putting together the Diary for 2011! Beyondesign now works with Kalpataru, The Lodha Group, Panchsheel, and is launching a new dessert brand…watch out for more! AMOL JUNGARI Its an intiative in the field of design in India. I was always surprised as there is no any magazine on industrial/product design in India. and we have to opt for foreign magazines which are too expensive and featuring very less creative indian minds. I suggest it shud features students work as well so that people will get to know the design education and works done by students. FYI We have organised our Design degree show 2010 at Master of Design (industrial Design) at IIT Delhi campus. It will be grateful if you feature the works of students in various categories ranging from consumer electronics to design for elderly. Thanking you. NEHA SINGH Design is a term widely used but hardly understood. One must understand that its not so much about how it looks, its about how well it works. SAURAV MISHRA Webonise is the process of converting businesses to web. Like begets like! True to the saying we team up with people who are adventurous enough to take a bungee jump into the world of unconventionality with a conviction that they are built to create an impact. We are not looking for degrees, experience or credentials. We are looking for passion and aggression. We want you to demonstrate knowledge, not technology. Demonstrate problem solving skills not portfolio, exhibit curiosity to ask why and tenacity to attain an answer. For more on what we exactly do visit Wanna join the clan?? Drop in your resume at POOL MAGAZINE Pool Magazine is always on the look-out for interesting people and innovative projects that will inspire our readers. We look forward to your suggestions on the same.

navin pangti recognition to the designer is a definitive plus but why just 2% of the collected sum? where will the rest go and for what purpose? 19

Young Talent

Ac ross the


Sit up and notice student artist and emerging illustrator create joy and delight through her work, Shilo Shiv Suleman Make Shilo Shiv Suleman’s blogs your pit stop this month. The 21-year-old student has an enviable repertoire of work to her credit. She is pursuing her degree in Design and Animation at the Shristi School of Design Bangalore, while she does freelance assignments painting walls, instruments, posters and t-shirts for NGOs. She wanders around the country, illustrating ads, magazines and children’s books. Could you expect any less from the daughter of renowned artist Niloufer Suleman?

Shilo Shiv Suleman

For Shilo, it all started at age 16 when she illustrated a book of children’s poems in Hindi followed by five others - two for Karadi Tales, and one for the Kishkinda Trust in Hampi, Pampasutra by Arshia Sattar - about the river goddess of Hampi. She also wrote an interactive graphic novel for children called ‘Khoya’. Shilo also started blogging when she was 16. “I soon realized that I was running out of words and being flooded by

images. My mouth was sealed shut and I opened my eyes,” she recalls. “I started taking pictures and uploading them on the blog but then realized that my eyes and camera couldn’t capture what my heart saw.” That is when she started illustrating. Art and design was always something close to her heart and she has grown up watching her mother. But what interested her about ‘applied art’ was how everything could became a canvas, right from a can of juice to a book to a wall in a rural area in Bangalore. For one so young, she is clear about how she defines creativity. It is not something elusive that a few lucky are blessed with. “Skill can be taught by others or learned by oneself. Creativity and intuition is in everybody and that creative urge is what needs to be channeled,” says the wisebeyond-her-years Shilo. She believes that most of us swallow the beauty and esthetics which are around us in natural patterns and forms; the lines on a leaf, colors, visions, postures, characters. It’s the same with sounds and tastes. “We are unthinking observers. But if we bring awareness to it and combine it with creative urge, one ceases to be an observer and moves into the role of a ‘creator’,” she assures. Is it that simple? Take a look at her work and judge for yourself. www.

sahilkarkhanis Note to self- Never read an e-book on a tablet PC at coffeeshops. Strangers interrupt

to ask you if it’s the new iPad! :-P

20 Pool | 8.10 | #2

Pankaj Sapkal I wonder what the govt. might say if someone files an RTI asking for the rationale based on which they

had decided this amount of money to retain back. 21

Van Bronkhorst after his goal (1)

Jabulani and world cup branding

Branding goes beyond the creation of a logo. It creates an experience to touch hearts across borders. Around 75% of what I do is related to strengthening or developing brands. In a number of cases, we develop a brand and apply this to resources. We also often develop complex websites which express a brand proposition in all its facets (behavior, meaning and communication). Or we develop products as an extension of a brand. The unavoidable question that arises in this context is: what actually is a brand? A brand can be described in many ways, but my favorite is that of a mental construct: a cluster of associations which are evoked

in your head at the moment you are confronted with an expression of the brand. These associations can be divided roughly into two parts: the associations based on instrumental experiences and evidence (Ikea is cheap; Apple is easy to use; and a Toyota Prius is green), and the group of associations related to values and characteristics expressed by the company or sender. Both groups are interlinked, and influence one another. From this point of view, I have always had a fascination for brands which have as their product or service a commodity,

a product that at an instrumental level is not – or is barely – distinguishable from its competitors. Airlines, for example, sell a commodity, as do the power companies, and to a certain extent the automotive industry. Consequently, competition must take place at the level of value and meaning, which results in fascinating – and sometimes farcical – communication.

designmonkie men have this uncanny knack for screwing up! I’m contemplating switching sides! :-s 22 Pool | 8.10 | #2



Exploded View of the Jabulani (2)

To illustrate that a brand derives some of its strength from the story behind it, there are a number of footballs floating around Fabrique. And recently the controversial Jabulani was added to these. Why balls? They are all round, the same size (5s) and you can play a good game with them. In other words, a football displays all the characteristics of a commodity.

Nevertheless, they all have a different story, which also automatically generates a different preference among consumers. For example, the Euro 2004 ball from Portugal is a relatively simple item with big blue crosses on it. These crosses apparently represent the fact that the Portuguese once sailed the world’s seas and were a leading nation. This is in stark contrast with the Asian theme on the ball for the 2002 World Cup, which was held in Japan and Korea. Its colors are gold, red and black, and if you look carefully you can see that the ball has a very fine honeycomb pattern, as if it is secure printed matter. This is probably intended to make it difficult to copy. The ball made by the Swiss bag brand Freitag is of a totally different caliber. Just like the bags, the balls are made from old lorry tarpaulin. Due to the random way the tarpaulin is cut, each bag, and therefore also each ball, is unique and different. And if you know that the products are assembled mainly by people with disabilities, you feel that the story surrounding the brand is strong and special.

These stories are all supported by the design, and in a number of cases are inseparably linked from one another. This year’s World Cup ball, the Jabulani, is of course an interesting case (Photo 2). The most obvious aspect of the story is the alleged ‘floating qualities’ of the ball, which has led to some heated debate. In other words, an instrumental dysfunction. This is just about the worst thing that can happen to you as a commodity brand. You no longer comply with the minimum standard in the category, and the consequences can be disastrous. But there is, of course, hope for the Jabulani. See: watch?v=ZVpHYOWUCWA, the spectacular goal scored by Van Bronkhorst against Uruguay (Photo 1). Adidas would be welladvised to hire Van Bronkhorst for a day to act in a campaign. With a self-assured look, his copy could be: ‘Giovanni says: don’t believe the hype!’ The image would show the high-precision trajectory of the shot. We will probably never find out whether the ball does have a tendency to float or not. “A brand is an illusion,” as a colleague once said to me. To which I would add, “But we love it!” –Jeroen Van Erp A graduate of Faculty of Industrial Design at theTechnical University of Delft in 1988 Jeroen van Erp started as a freelance designer. His clients included ING Bank and the Dutch Postal Service. In 1992, he was one of the founders of Fabrique in Delft, which positioned itself as a multidisciplinary design bureau. He established the interactive media department in 1994, focusing primarily on developing websites for the World Wide Web - brand new at that time. Under Jeroen's joint leadership, Fabrique has grown through the years into a multifaceted design bureau. It currently employs more than 100 staff of artists, engineers and storytellers working for a wide range of customers: from supermarket chain Albert Heijn to the city of Amsterdam, from the Lower House of Parliament to TNT Post. Fabrique develops visions, helps its clients think about strategies, branding and innovation and realizes designs across design disciplines, redefining the traditional borders between graphic design, industrial design, spatial design and interactive media. The focus is always good design.

2002 23

Business of Design

Quetzel Sandeep Mukerjee

Quetzel’s team

He could pass for Gandhi - the glasses, the tonsured head, the soft spoken, almost gentle voice. But don’t be fooled, the eyes are a dead giveaway; the intense piercing gaze of a man who knows what he wants and does not suffer fools gladly. Meet Sandeep Mukerjee, who started Quetzel in 2000 along with partner Sarita Fernandes. “We are equal partners, there is no 51 - 49 partnership.” says Mukerjee with a twinkle in his eye. Fernanades and Mukerjee set up the factory on Sarjapur Road in Banglaore; now it is the hub of Quetzel Design. The studio is involved in developing furniture and related accessories for its own brand ‘Quetzel‘. It has a team of furniture designers, interior and accessory designers, design engineers, prototyping staff and a proprietary service and manufacturing processes. Quetzel takes on turnkey projects as the duo feels that if a product is designed as well as manufactured by them it will keep the design philosophy and integrity intact. Till date Quetzel has worked in ‘retail fixturing’ and hospitality furniture; recently it launched its retail presence through a home furniture line by same name - Quetzel. The plan is to expand to six stores from the current two in Bangalore, and eventually taking it national in the next five years. The store will market products which are designed and manufactured in-house. Says Mukerjee, “A pure vanilla service model does not work in the industry, since creativity cannot be measured in tangible terms. Therefore a product line and service line are two parallel offerings from the company. This is a scalable model instead of just offering a design service.” The design and manufacture set up makes the organization focus on product quality. Quetzel has recently started designing and building furniture and woodwork for very high-end homes for an exclusive client. This is an entry into a difficult segment of the market, that of home interiors. Each piece of furniture tells a melodious story. A story of research and thought, of the environment, of sustainability and of a unique Indian sensibility. But first, the beginning. Mukerjee graduated from the National Institute of Design in 1985 and along with three friends, Anand Aurora, S Sundar and Jacob Mathew, started Tessaract Design. He quit in 1995 to start Kiri, which now works only on graphic design solutions and is run and managed by Yamuna Mukerjee.

Sandeep Mukerjee says that the biggest problem that designers face in India is that of marketing. Most of them have experimented with supplying for national chains but invariably the mark up on each piece is too high. Therefore, the slower but more expensive route of owned stores is being taken by Quetzel to

penetrate the market with its own brand. The team is happy with the results of the initial launches and excited about the future. Quetzel has not had a very good experience with corporates however. “Most of the large corporates are like an ocean; while the top team is sensitive to the idea, they are essentially driven by only one

elementalbasics Ok no tongue piercing ... I’ll be evicted if i get one. though i still think it would be quite rad! 24 Pool | 8.10 | #2

factor - COST,” says Mukerjee. This causes the team lower down the line to lose complete focus on achieving quality, be it in terms of design solution, or materials or processes, and focus only on cost. The design duo has had a good experience with medium and small industries which recognize the value that design intervention brings in. He also believes in a unique Indian design vocabulary. Quetzel has a product line, marked IndiQ internally, which is

What is the business model for Quetzel? Retailing products/ design services-turnkey projects? SM: The business model is to grow the retail of our brand ‘Quetzel’ over the next few years, as this takes time and effort and funds. We will be seeing a transition from our present model of largely doing turnkey projects. Increasingly our returns will come from Brand Retail as one vertical and from projects in the area of hospitality. Hospitality offers tremendous opportunities for design and creativity as

in for a first round of investments by bringing in capital. And surely there will be future rounds too. What is the percentage of the profits from retail? How will you fund expansion? What is your path of growth? SM: At present the percentage from retail is small as we started retailing cohesively only in February this year. As per our financial goals, we will be earning about 25% of our revenue this year from retail.

Quetzel’s recent work focused on ‘Indian-ness’. It is inspired by Indian culture and tradition and interpreted in a modern Indian sense. This range is designed for the modern Indian home - modern in outlook but traditional in essence, like most Indians today. The duo looks for inspiration in India. The Aasan range, the Bhuj Range, and the Kabini range are examples of this. Only available in Quetzel stores right now, these will eventually be sold across India and even internationally. “We use a lot of traditional materials, traditional joinery details, and insights into traditional lifestyles. We are working with fibers and natural materials, engineered bamboo, and a lot of timbers that are sustainably harvested from controlled sources,” informs Mukerjee. According to the talented duo, Pune and Bangalore will carry the flag of Indian Design in the future.

it is an experiential thing. Design services are not our focus. We will be completely focusing on our own internal design requirements and build that with all our passion and integrity. There is no strong visible brand in India that is retailing innovative furniture. I mean innovative in the real sense of the word, not being different for the sake of being different and therefore ‘ fad-ish ‘ Most are traders that are in this for a quick turnover. None of them have a concept that they are marketing. Our focus is to ensure that our customers get the best that we can offer; we empathize with their needs and therefore our products carry great utility value integrated with great esthetics Where has the funding come from self or investor? SM: Initially our project was self funded but that is not easily scalable so we went

The balance will be from projects in hospitality and from captive clients. Going forward this ratio will change. Is there any design led company in the world whose business model you admire or would like to replicate? SM: Sure thing – Apple. As far as furniture is concerned, IKEA is a great company in terms of what Ingvar Kamprad has done, but that is not our business model; the design part is what we want to replicate. Would you be ok about giving us the size of your business? SM: This year’s total targeted business will be Rs. 30 crore and Inshallah, unrestricted growth thereafter. We need to cross this year’s line as this is going to be the toughest.

AnasKA 25


Design is now making headway in the most important area, that of the symbols of India. The ‘Rupee’ symbol has been designed by Udaya Kumar, an architect who completed his M. Des IDC from IIT Bombay. Udaya Kumar has just submitted his Ph.D thesis on Tamil Typography - ‘Decoding the transformation from Tamil palm leaf manuscripts to early letterpress printing’, and has recently joined the Department of Design at IIT Guwahati as a faculty member. According to the designer, the symbol is a blend of Indian and Roman letters – capital ‘R’ and Devanagri ‘Ra’, which represents rupiya; the two horizontal lines with an equal negative white space between them represent the tricolor flag flying high. This is a proud moment for the design community, which has enthusiastically lauded this historic event. Margie Sastry interviews jury member Anil Sinha, who is also an advisor to POOL.

Tell us all, the why, what, when and how of the story. When did it begin, who announced the contest, why a symbol now, and how was the process planned? AS: Realizing the urgent need to have a symbol for the Indian rupee, with India’s growing visibility on the global arena, in February 2009 the Ministry of Finance announced a public competition for the design of the symbol of the Indian rupee; the last date for entries was 15th April 2009. More than 3,000 entries were received from all over the country and a jury was set up to evaluate them. As a member of the jury I know that the process was fair and transparent; each entry was made anonymous and given just a number, with no names or details of the participant. Since the number of

entries was so large, we decided to first weed out the ones that were over decorative, monumental, and with a design totally unsuited to the purpose, and prima facie not meeting the objectives listed in the announcement of the competition. So in fact you followed the very Indian method of search for a solution. Neti Neti, not this, not this!! AS: Well, Indian ethos was the key word in the process of selection. Those that did not match up in terms of concept and visual esthetics and did not broadly satisfy the overarching criteria that the symbol should represent the historical and cultural ethos of the country were eliminated. So we were able to reject

AshuMittal Love thy neighbor’s wifi. #bible2.0 26 Pool | 8.10 | #2

a sizable number in the first round and were left with a more manageable selection of around 300 entries. As you were also in the committee that devised the rules of the contest, I guess sifting the grain from the chaff would be easier for you, at least theoretically. Was it so simple? AS: No! There was another factor that made the selection process difficult. Many, if not most of the entries that passed the criteria test were fashioned around the concept of the Devnagari letters ‘ra’ and ‘ru’ and the Roman letter ‘R’ and variants thereof. In other words, most entries constituted variants on the same theme and were almost identical, at least to an untrained eye.

But you and others on the committee are trained to be more observant. Was that the skill that came into play? AS: Indeed it did. Moreover we then segregated the symbols under different categories, depending upon a number of characteristics such as ease of execution, simplicity, designed with a single stroke, recall value, link to India, and so on. Those with thick and thin strokes, as well as complicated symbols, fell by the side at this round. This reduced the selection pile to 150 and then to 31, out of which 5 entries were short listed. But let me confirm this - through all these rounds, the judges had no way of knowing who is who. The entries were still anonymous numbers to you? AS: Yes, till the penultimate stage. The final five, who had been anonymous numbers till then, were invited to Delhi in December 2009 to make a presentation of their symbol design before us. Though of course, their symbols spoke visually for themselves and did not need an explanation of the underlying concept. For grading them in a hierarchical order, we used the five criteria of overall esthetic value, easy recall, ease of replicability, symbolic interpretation, and applicability. And of course their conceptual representation. As the designers made their presentation, each jury member

independently gave marks with equal weightage to the five criteria. The total marks of the six selection committee members were added up and the tally was used to rank them from 1 to 5. So the jury selected the first five out of the initial 3,000. Who made the final decision of the winner? AS: This list was sent to the Department of Economic Affairs for the final choice. Luckily, their choice matched that of the selection committee and Udaya Kumar’s design was chosen as the winner. As he explained in his presentation to the committee, his identity has all the finer details that are required of the symbol, in that it evokes ready recall of India, is easy to write and typecast, has integrity, unity of form and a compact look, and is in harmony with the existing currency symbols of the world. It is a perfect blend of Indian and Roman letters - a capital ‘R’ and Devanagari ‘ra’ which represents rupiya - to appeal to international audiences and Indian audiences.

design and so interested in knowing the details is good news indeed for all designers in India. What do you think is the next step? AS: I feel that the Government of India should now ask Udaya to create all variants of the identity, in normal, bold, italics, extra bold, in serif and sans serif, for compatibility with other fonts.

And what do you think is more important, the cash prize of a lakh and a half or the infinite goodwill and pride of having litAerally made a mark? AS: I think we all know the answer to that one. The fact that Udaya and his design have been celebrated across the media and nation is really heartwarming. The fact that people are relating to the

Udaya Kumar, designer of the Indian Rupee Symbol, during an exclusive interview with Pool Magazine, told us that he has been on the move since the news about his entry for the Rupee Symbol being selected was announced. So far he had not received any formal intimation of his entry being selected, his source of information was the news on TV. “Maybe the letter has gone to IDC, in my absence”, the humble designer added. On life after his entry being selected... “I have been getting a lot of calls and wishes, I am being invited to a number of felicitation ceremonies, and a lot of travel is coming up” On the controversy surrounding the tranparency in the selection process.... “I have nothing to say, Jury should answer the questions that are being asked, because I just submitted it and they selected it and I heard it on TV.” Deepak Pathania wasn’t the prize mentioned before? then whats the financial huha about? 27


Are we there, yet? Anyone who has taken road trips with children is familiar with the query, “Are we there, yet?” It comes from children who are excited, eager and impatient at the prospect of reaching someplace. The design industry in India is in a similar predicament. We are constantly soulsearching, checking with each other to see if design in India has arrived. We know that we are definitely headed there but can’t seem to wait to get there. Design in India is a very old activity but a very young profession. Like all young people, the profession is also impatient: we just can’t seem to wait to grow. And like all things young, the profession has several faces. There is the face of the professional industrial designer, competing with global designers, in increasingly global markets, in making better cars and phones. There is the face of the graphic designer creating Brand India. And the social entrepreneur putting his design skills to create lasting value in society and the environment. There is the craft designer who is re-interpreting traditional crafts to suit international markets. There is this software and UI designer who is piggybacking the IT revolution. There are also designers becoming brands that are slowly making progress in marketing their names on products and services. Emerging on the horizon is the thinkerdesigner who is seen to be increasingly applying the process for bettering hospital administration and making drinking water safe. Collectively this plurality of faces in the profession is something that is unique to us in India. This is the result of the design education in India that is inherently generic. Design education in India began with the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad in 1961. Fifty years on, NID has progressed from creating the most number of designers to the most number of institution-builders. Several early graduates have gone on to head different design schools and design-led institutions. Major institutes like the IDC at IIT Powai, Institute of Crafts & Design, Jaipur, the Accessory Design programs at NIFT, BCDI-Agartala and a lot of private initiatives in design

education like Amity, IILM, etc., have all been led by NID graduates. So, what next? Are we there, yet? As a design collective much needs to be done. We need to build a designconscious constituency in this country that will demand good design. We need to raise the collective consciousness by educating everyone about the benefits of design. Design education itself needs to go through a major churning with the emphasis shifting from being a formgiving activity to a more in-depth, analytical process-driven exercise. There is an urgent need to revisit the design curriculum. Design thinking needs to be emphasized beyond the formative years of study. We need to bring back the broad-based, inter-disciplinary approach and give a huge impetus to design research. We need several new design institutions. A new crop of design educators needs to be developed. We need to find patrons beyond the Government of India for design research. Which reminds me: The Government. One needs to form focus groups that will only concentrate on educating the powers-that-be to use design. Opportunities like the Commonwealth Games are being squandered away as the government is still indifferent to design. If the Government decides to use design services and pay for them, there would be no dearth of projects for generations of designers. We would also have better bus stops, better berths in trains, and better health-care services for the people. A recent convert in the government is the Ministry of Micro, Small and Mediumscale Enterprises. An announcement on subsidizing design projects made by the Ministry of MSME may just be a gamechanger. The scheme subsidizes a major portion of expenses incurred on design exercises and hopefully, there will be a groundswell of design assignments that can bring in the much needed change in this sector. Such schemes will have to be ably supported by professional designers who need to formalize alliances that will work towards our cause. Designindia is probably

A Bala Subramaniam

the only forum that has successfully brought together designers of all hues under one umbrella. It has the mandate. It now needs to transition to becoming the legitimate voice of design in India. The India Design Council that has the mandate to steer the profession has also been constituted, which should bring about the much-needed facilitation. To become a force, we must also get the business on our side. Most industries call on designers only to firefight in the market, instead of partnering with them in co-creating products and brands. Industry associations should be persuaded to sponsor research and education, to support innovation and to emerge as a catalyst that will drive the change. In design, we are getting there. We all need to work together to get there: industry, government, education, professional associations, and the people. And work towards the common good of design. I recall a sequence from the film ‘Shrek’, where Shrek is taking a road trip with his wife and Donkey to meet his inlaws. When Donkey keeps asking all the time, “Are we there, yet?” an irate Shrek, replies, “No Donkey, we are going to a place, called Far, Far Away! And it is far, far away!” We are getting there in design. And hopefully, it’s not far, far away. (A Bala Subramaniam is an early graduate of National Institute of Design. A widely experienced and respected industrial designer, he is the founder of January Design. He can be reached at )

Ameet Mehta Even if there was no remuneration for the designer, am sure the sheer opportunity to be able to design something for an occasion like this is the biggest prize. 28 Pool | 8.10 | #2 29

for Dastakari Haat Samiti by Subrata Bhowmick

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August issue of POOL Magazine