Bhairavi Jani joins Design Public Advisory Board

 

 

Bhairavi Jani worked with the late C. K. Prahalad on the India at 75 program, and she has never lost her passion for innovation or the bottom of the pyramid. She has been the president of the Young Indians (YI) at the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). India at 75 is now in the process of spinning out into something more complex and long-lasting and it, along with Bhairavi herself, will now partner with and advise the Design Public process.

Bhairavi and I spent yesterday morning talking about where Design Public came from and where it could go in future. She made the point that it will be the spaces in between editions of the event that will prove most salient. The public conversation is important, to be sure, but it is then the alignments and actions we undertake from edition to edition that will make all the difference to seeing real change at a rapid rate. Bhairavi wants to see more representation from Government, and more partners, particularly those who can help develop pilot programs and run experiments between editions. She wants us to experiment more with our breakout sessions, using interactive games that put people in the position of having to innovate and thinking about how they might best do that.

Bhairavi wants to see more editions of Design Public in more parts of India in the near future. Perhaps we’ll be talking and thinking about Design Public Mumbai later in the year…

 

On the Relationship between Trust and Innovation

As Design Public III inches ever closer, we’ve been trying to articulate, and more deeply understand for ourselves, what we mean by Trust, Participation and Innovation, and how they relate to each other. Over the next weeks, we will be sharing our thoughts and research on these questions, the first of which is concerned with trust and how it relates to creativity, and by extension, innovation.

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This past year has been rife with protest, from the Ram Lila grounds to Tahrir Square and Zucotti Park, all of which appear to have sprung from a breakdown in trust: society, or the public at large, seems to have lost faith in their governments as well as private corporations, no longer trusting that these entities are working in their interest. This breakdown in society’s trust in its largest, most long-standing institutions is a crisis with very wide-ranging consequences in the social as well political sphere.

Anna Hazare en route to Ram Lila grounds

At CKS, however, we are most concerned with how this crisis of trust impacts innovation, which as we see it, is twofold. [Read more…]

A New Global ‘Indian’ Aesthetic: Colour Sensibilities of Modern India

Our recent event ColourNext Dialogues in New Delhi, which brought together professionals from various design disciplines to think more deeply about their relationship with colour, ended with an interesting debate. Reflecting on the event after engaging with the installations of four themes, an urban planner expressed that while the themes represented social trends prevalent all over the country, the colour palettes would appeal only to the urban sensibilities. Taking this argument further, fashion designers in the group stated that the palettes were devoid of “Indian-ness,” which would make them appeal to a broader consumer segment in different regions of the country, including Tier 2 cities. A fundamental question was raised in response by another participant- how could colours have a uniform appeal in a country as diverse as India? [Read more…]

Experience Based Design: Healthcare

Public institutions are often criticized as being bureaucratic, inefficient, or ineffective at fulfilling the purposes they are designed to do, compared with private, user-centric, industries. Often in the case of public institutions, individuals have no opportunity to choose a better product, as is the case in the private sector. That therefore leaves little incentive to innovate the design of public services. However initiatives are not absent. ThinkPublic, a social design agency, has worked with hospitals in the UK to redesign the National Health Service to become a more patient-centered public service. Their experience based design methodology involves individuals’ experiences, existing and aspirational, in the design process. Interviews, videos, photographs, journals, and web blogs of patients, carers, and hospital staff have all been used to design new, patient-centered, solutions for several difficult areas of health care, while simultaneously encouraging patients, carers, and staff to work together to address problems.
[Read more…]

ColourNext Dialogues in New Delhi: An Overview

The second edition of ColourNext Dialogues, a discussion on the trends identified in Asian Paint’s ColourNext project for 2012, was held in Delhi on February 28th. Fashion designers, artists, architects, interior designers, and students met for an evening to interact with the ideas, give their critiques, and discuss the social trends behind the colour palettes.

To open the event, Anand Vijayan of CKS, spoke about the inspiration for ColourNext Dialogues, and the opportunity to look deeper into the colour trends for real meaning. Ekta Ohri, head of projects at CKS, invited participants to talk about their own relationship with colour. Some professionals spoke about their use of colour in design and art, and observed a growing trend to more neutral, blank colours. Several participants spoke about colour as the first and primary means of communication with the world, making colour the defining aspect in an object’s identity. Whether professionals, students, or neither, all the participants enjoyed colour as more than a visual experience. They spoke about how colour as an expression reflects mood, emotion, and even personal identity.
[Read more…]

ColourNext Dialogues Delhi: Awakening

Awakening was the final theme discussed at ColourNext Dialogues in New Delhi. Speakers Siri Devi Khandavelli, an intermedia artist based in Bangalore and Delhi, and Shalini Jaikaria, Founder and Designer at Gieshadesign, began by talking about their first impressions upon seeing the installation. To Siri, the installation signified a sort of spiritual journey, an ascension of the soul through time and experience. She also spoke of how the many birds and their upward movement suggested that each individual was aspiring to move upwards, which contributed to the collective rising. Shalini was drawn to the installation because of its delicate fragility and soft transparency, elements she uses in her own work. [Read more…]

ColourNext Dialogues Delhi: Crystal

The third installation of the evening was Crystal. Speakers Anthony Lopez, CEO and Primary Designer at Lopez Design, and Banhi Jha, Dean of the National Institute for Fashion Technology (NIFT), noted Crystal was distinctive from the previous installations due to its order, transparency, symmetry, and strictly planned design. Its white and clear linear design imbued it with a sense of purity and perfection. Its design is simple, yet complex, forcing participants to think deeply about its meaning. Many participants felt a connection with spirituality, infinity, or the journey of the afterlife.The symmetry, transparency, and light hues give Crystal and ethereal feel instigated a philosophical journey, a meditative and reflective appreciation of its design. [Read more…]

ColourNext Dialogues Delhi: Headrush

Headrush, the second theme of the day at ColourNext Dialogues in Delhi, incited some interesting reflections amongst the participants. Speakers Shristi Bajaj, founder and designer at Designbait and Pushkar Thakur, founder and creative director at Grafiosi Design studios, began by talking about the energy and dynamism of the installation. To Pushkar, it signified not only only energy and immediacy, but also drama and even danger. To him, Headrush is about discarding inhibitions and facing the unknown and the thrilling. [Read more…]

ColourNext Dialogues Delhi: Small Joys

At ColourNext Dialogues in Delhi, Small Joys was the first installation with which the participants interacted. The speakers, fashion designer Nida Mahmood and gallery owner Nidhi Jyoti Jain, were initially struck by the idea of memory and nostalgia. The installation evoked a sense of looking back at one’s life, in the yellowing books and clumps of askew postcards hanging on the walls. Nida also brought up the idea of finding refuge away from the chaos of a hectic urban life, and a nostalgic yearning for innocence. In this chaotic life, she said, we can’t imagine being able to wake up without worry. Small Joys realizes the need for a little fun, a little happiness, and a little freedom that we all crave. [Read more…]

Gates Foundation an Official Partner of Design Public

We are extremely pleased to announce that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has officially confirmed their partnership and support for the Design Public Conclave, to be held on the 20th of April this year.

The Gates Foundation has worked with CKS on several different initiatives over the past few years, including the Vaccine Delivery Innovation Initiative, 34 Ways to Save Lives in Rural India, and most recently, Redesigning the Vaccine Delivery Kit used by frontline health workers in rural Bihar. This association has yielded not only a mutual respect for methodologies and approaches to work, that of innovation and design, but has also given forth several innovative ideas for future collaborations. [Read more…]