Bengaluru: What drives the decisions we make? Why do we choose a certain car, a cellphone, or a piece of clothing over all the rest? “Design comprises the human element behind creating a product. It brings emotion and empathy into the equation,” says Abhijit Bansod, founder and CEO, Studio ABD, the Bengaluru-based product design company behind Titan’s latest Raga collection. “The design industry makes a tangible difference to every aspect of our daily lives. That’s why it’s so important.”
June 29 is World Industrial Design Day, marked by a four-day period that celebrates design across businesses, with sustainability being the theme this year. It came about in 2007, as an initiative by the World Design Organisation. And Bengaluru, it appears, is at the forefront of this design revolution. The city will host, for the first time, a three-day exhibition and a conference, organised by the Association of Designers of India, that involves representatives from all aspects of design in the city – from academia to startups, social enterprises to corporates.” “We’re talking about the business of design and the design of business across the spectrum, in keeping with three cornerstones of sustainability – economic, environmental and cultural,” said Bansod, who is also a member of the association.
“Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and through the Digital and Information Revolutions, design has played a role in defining human needs for a better life (often referred to as problem-solving),” says Dr Geetha Narayanan, founder and Director, Srishti Institute of Art Design and Technology, who will be speaking at the conference. “Today we are at that moment where obsolescence contrasts itself with abundance creating a world of many things that perhaps we do not need. In this world design provides ways of generating both foresight and insight within local contexts and scenarios.” Dr Narayanan, an educator with over four decades of experience who has conceptualised new dimensions to education that involve the body, mind and consciousness, for it seems to have slipped into what she calls a “conveyor belt approach, where we force fit to a production model a kind of mechanised synchronicity. Design and design thinking allows a way of seeing the world in terms of learners who want to grow, develop and aspire to a good life. ”
Architect and urban planner Naresh Narasimhan, who is currently working on the BBMP’s revamp of Church Street, is making a conscious effort towards bringing the city’s cultural heritage together with urban design. “The impetus needs to be design-led thinking,” says Narasimhan, who is also making a keynote address at the conference on Saturday. “Design thinking as a methodology can be part of the way in which planning is approached, it’s not just about coming up with projects! Sustainability in itself is no longer something to trumpet about – everything you do has to be sustainable! ”
This is where design comes in, for it begins, says Bansod, with asking the question: ‘Is this really necessary’? And in a world that abounds with consumerism, discerning innovation is of the essence. “It’s about tapping into human emotion and understanding the difference between needs and wants.” The exhibition is on at gallery Manora, Indiranagr till July 1.