“Designers have a huge role to play in facilitating systemic flexibility and responsiveness, and the government urgently needs to recognize the transformative power of design, and to leverage that power in a proactive manner.” – Abhimanyu Nohwar would like to see government engage with designers at all levels.
Surrounded by high technology as a child, Product Designer is what Abhimanyu Nohwar set out to be. Today he is founder-director, head designer, head of business development, and office boy at New Delhi-based Kiba Design!
“to be an effective designer, one should be comfortable living with uncertainty, and be able to see patterns and connections in blurry situations. The day you lose that burning, visceral need to learn, is the day you should retire as a designer.”
Over the years of entrepreneurship his obsession with detail hasn’t changed much, though he increasingly enjoys strategic consulting:
“…the big picture stuff that helps to situate the proposed solution in a larger context, and goes beyond the brief to get to the core of the problem.”
The freedom of running a small studio made it possible for Abhimanyu to go on six months leave in 2012 and work for the government, writing design policy:
“When I presented my concept note to them (The National Innovation Council (NInC)) in early 2012 they instantly resonated with the idea of open and collaborative structures of education, and brought me on board their team of expert advisers to elaborate on my proposal and create a roadmap for design education in India.”
His proposal for an Open Design School based on an open education format, and a national network for collaborative, design-led innovation was presented to the President of India in 2012, and was included in the 12th Five Year Plan. It was subsequently handed over to the Ministry of Human Resource Development for implementation.
“Traditional educational models and systems come with baggage, – Abhimayu believes, – they cater only to a limited number of students at a time, and propagate the specialization model of education with little to no cross-disciplinary learning or exposure. To bring design thinking to more people, we need to institute open structures of design education that allow for free sharing of design learning material and encourage cross-disciplinary learning and interaction between design and other disciplines.”
Apart from our gradual move towards strategic design consulting, Kiba Design plans to expand their involvement in large-scale social change projects and launch a line of beautiful eccentric products and furniture.
Read this story in POOL 53.