October 15, 2014 Comments (7) Views: 3870 More


Pool52-cover-for-web-2sudhir1A detailed look at the call from our Prime Minister to ‘Make in India’ (and especially the section on New Infrastructure), makes the government policy towards Design very clear. It is true that Manufacturing is a sector with the potential for large mass employment. Given our population that is definitely something to be taken care of. I heard a lot of noises from the design community when this call to ‘Make in India’ was made public. But think of this: Design will never be a mass employer sector. Even today there are more designers than the industry can employ. Design as a profession is highly unorganized and unrecognized, and has extremely poor infrastructure. Though it would be glorious and ego-boosting for Design to be the center of an economic revival for India, we are not ready yet. A strong Manufacturing sector would give opportunities to deserving design set-ups, and design infrastructure would move up. And yet, the Government has not forgotten Design. Mention of Design under New Infrastructure shows that the Government is aware of the centricity of Design in Manufacturing. Though the Prime Minister’s call doesn’t explicitly say so, the keen and observant eye will see the subtext: Design in India.

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Sudhir Sharma, Editor-in-Chief

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7 Responses to POOL 52

  1. Dear Sudhir, I have been seeing the government subtexts on design for the past 50 years and my submission is that the situation has not changed one bit with this new call for Make in India. Design creates value, and in the creative economy, it creates most of the value, where making adds just commodity value. Government policy on design is ineffective and the design community is a fragmented lot, unfortunately. I hope this will change.

    • sudhir says:

      I agree Ranjan. The Design Policy is still a blank dummy of a policy, The Design Council has not really moved anything yet except making some noise for the I Mark. I wonder who is to do anything about creative economy. The best bet is that Manufacturing picks up and provides jobs and opportunities to designers to do some showcasing. Till then it is up to each of us as individuals to do what we can. Use media and social media.- Sudhir Sharma

      • Dear Sudhir, Thete is another way. I have been asking NID for an authentic list of ALL their graduates and I want to find out the true VALUE that a small group of NID graduates have brought to the national economy, which I believe is substantial. The European Union (EU) has recently released a report which sets out guidelines for valuation of design contributions which are very intangible. This report titled “GUIDELINES FOR COLLECTING AND INTERPRETING DESIGN DATA
        A proposal for a future Barcelona Manual on Design” which has beenafted by multiple design universities across the EU.

        NID has produced 3020 graduates over th past 55 years or so but the investment made is quite small since its budgets have always been miniscule. In addition 33 graduates came out of the first decade from the pure Post Graduate Programmes of the 60s decade. However we have never used any such guideline to measure the impact of these designers on pur economy.

        POOL can help in showcasing the work and with social media we can build a database of contributions and get an appropriate agency to apply the EU guidelines and shar this widely. Last week I have posted on FaceBook about Lakshmi Murthy’s work on recyclable sanitary towels for women and about Poonam Bir Kasturi’s Daily Dump. Both of these have a huge significance on th effort the PM Modi is trying to do with his Swatch Bharat initiative.

        India needs to learn how to value design.

        Prof M P Ranjan
        From my iPad at home
        16 October 2014 at 10.30 pm IST

        • bestpool says:

          Dear Ranjan, in last 5 years Design has gone beyond and past NID. There are at least 50 Design schools that are producing students of worth..these include architecture, interior, fashion, textile, craft, art, technology and innovation. It will be wrong and insulting to define Design in narrow institutional terms.. some brilliant work is happening by the hands of designers who did not study in India..some being done by designers abroad for use in India..

          The designer population if we take a broader subject of design and non traditonal schools in account will not be less than one million..people who live by practising active design thinking and design…in that context focussing on 3000 graduates of NID (though might be important) is a bit like racism.

          I believe the database u seek is available online to do something with it. You can always start with the two case studies that you have.

          Design will get wider exposure now with 10+2 getting open to professional skill courses of Design.

          I feel if at all, we the designers fail ourselves, by becoming narrow ( me designer u not), by holding to chairs (not performing), seeking titles and not action.

          My view is that once there is a robust demand for Design..all this talk will get sidelined..anyway it will not matter.

          make in India is very good for Design in India.

        • Prodsign is a Dynamic design consultancy in India and offering innovative and Creative Design, environmental design, web design, signage, branding etc.

  2. Dear Mr or Miss BESTPOOL, I am at a disadvantage since I do not know who is making all these arguments as if some great research has been done to discover te one milloon desipgners who populate India according to you. If you equate JUGAAD to DESIGN, then what ypu claim jay indeed be true.

    Your claim that there ar today 50 design schools that gave moved design beyond NID sounds like a pipe dream, although I do wish that were true. Th NID Governing Council has been shooting itself in the foot on so many fronts that this maynotbea difficult proposition. However, my call to Sudhir fora deep reflection on the contributions of eventhesmallband of designers that have cone out of NID was based on my belief tat true value has been generated but that there is noreal appreciationof this since NID has itself been hamhandedabout promoting its Alumni and its Graduates. Its Alumni include both faculty and students whohave had serious association with the Institute but did not graduate from its education programme, this list is yetto be compiled that itcan be analysed or appreciated.

    Your claim that schools of architecture and interior can be counted amongst the Indian designs hools justconfuses the matter and now someone else will tell us that all IITs and engineering coleges arealso making huge numbers of designers! This is a myth.

    Further, the call that 10+2 schools will teach design is a far cry from the reality at hand. Th Nationa lDesign Policy of the Government ofIndia is justskin deep, so less said the better. If any real design thinking impact has beenbrough to the school education system it is the work done by another NID Graduate from its SLPEP programme and I am talking about Kiran Bir Sethi of Riverside School and heDesign for Change initiative which promises to transform Indian education system. It is just not limited to India but over 100 countries are now following this initiative with interest and great respect.

    My callwas to map out ALL such initiatives in the spirit of my paper “The Avalanche Effect” which claims that design education can indeed transform the individual as well as our society that is totallysold outon tchnology and science butchooses to ignore the true value of design. I still hold that NID has producedgreat prototypes which need to be studied in the spirit of The Reflective Practitioner by Donald Schon and ifwe do ths we willhave credible arguments that can change rigid mindsets in both academia as well as governmnet today!

    Prof M P Ranjan
    Author of blog “Design for India”
    18 October 2014 at 8.40 am IST

    • I am sorry for the typos in my post. I just hammered it out on my iPad mini and the. Pool interface doesnot give me the possibility to edit my post! Regrets.

      Prof M P Ranjan
      From home on my iPad

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