Q. Talking about Design in general, according to you, what are the most prevalent misconceptions in the Indian market about designing?
-That design is a necessary evil
-That every enterprise need to have a namesake designer
-That good design is as simple as it looks
-That a good designers is cheap
Q. Now, the most important question, what are the various prospects in which design can be utilized in the Indian scenario, which most of us still fail to see?
Good design is invisible – we don’t even realize and it is needed, to our lives better and good. As I sit down to think over the design avenues in Indian Scenario I am sure I can share at least 7 points. Now that I said without thinking – allow me to make it right. Here we go:
1. Chronic Diseases often require a CT Scan. These CT Scan machines are imported by General Electric and they come at a mammoth price. Diseases like brain tumor/ cancer do not differentiate in rich or poor while the diagnosis machines do. Specially in India where poors are more prone to chronic and fatal diseases and often are not treated well. If we can have a MicroMax Canvas for Samsung Galaxy Note, we can have an Audegn CT Scan for GE Brivio just that Indian designers and technocrats have to think beyond graphic design and web design.
2. More than 60% of the population in our country travels on two wheelers – often carrying an entire family or upto three passengers. While the road and traffic conditions offers a great deal of danger at the same time. Ratan Tata’s Nano gave some hope to these guys, but making safer two wheeler designs is what we should be looking at rather than making new stars in motorcycles. Sad fact is that speed and looks of vehicle overcome the accident and death rate figures and no one bothers.
3. Half knowledge architects work for government of India and design quarters/ public housing units that are a total waste of space. Not considering the climate, sun path, wind directions and context is integrating and binding itself into Indian Architecture – pushing architecture away from its place; specially in government sector. Reason? Too many architecture graduates and too less understanding. We need to accept and look straight into the eyes of the fact that a designer cant deliver on the basis of degree. Those who know about the DD Nagar Housing Scheme of Gwalior will know that not a single bedroom receive natural sunlight out of the 280 houses built there. Imagine the amount of germs that will infect the bedroom of the families living there in 10 years time. If you are opening the bathroom and washroom doors straight into the kitchen doors, why do you need an architect at all?
4. Google Play store is flooded with apps from Indian Developers. And we all know how many of these apps can actually compete with design and technology standards of Apple Store’s Apps. Design needs quality – not quantity. Either you are the best or you are nothing. No mid way finding.
5. Movies like Gravity and Lord of The Rings, uses motion graphic skills and raises the bar in VFX Animation Design. As a matter of fact, global animation industry is worth 7000 Bn $ and cost of a 10 Minute animation in India is 10% that of in America. Still, we all know what kind of movies are produced in the best caliber of Bollywood. This is not changing because we dont tell our user what their eyes and time is worth. We push ourselves 10x while Steve Jobs would have done it 100x – telling people what they can have.
6. Everybody claims to be a logo designer these days. I myself have designed more than 2200 logos till now out of which some 150+ were selected and used by clients. Now I am a dumb slow learner thats the only reason I can use to explain why that happened. Otherwise, I like to tell myself after 10 rejections – “You can still do better”. We are motivated by the desire to beat others, not by the desire to achieve more and beat ourselves. How will the creativity come?
7. We live in a technology dominating world where everyone is so convinced about the technological innovations. Design, however can bring in huge changes in the ecosystem we live in right now. Take a simple observation. If you are reading this, chances are that you own a phone, tablet or a laptop. We charge these equipments on daily basis and sometime, more than twice a day. Better and compact designs have however increased the battery life already but heavy features have taken their toll too. Imagine metallurgical engineers designing new materials that can replace the lithium ion batteries or imagine electrical engineers using intelligent circuits that cut on power consumptions. If you are thinking nanotech, you are probably jargonizing it all over again when all it require is
simple lateral design thinking.
All of it require a certain technology – accepted. But design thinking is missing to a larger extent in technology in today’s age.
Q. Finally, any advice for budding designers and entrepreneurs?
Creativity should be the foundation of your work. Keeping it at the center, and being aware of the environment, everything else (time, money and other necessary agents) fall in place by themselves. Ultimately it is all a gamble, of course, and that is what makes designers and entrepreneurs who they are, for it challenges their creativity at all levels.