Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Shivers in London; where is the winter?

Why are so called 'mature design' economies are shivering in the imminent winter of 'Indian Design'. Will the Indians gobble-up the already sluggish design markets by offering every service at 1/3rd the price? Will Indians do in Design, what China has done in Manufacturing?
...several such discussion dotted my trip to London this time for Insight Indian 2006. The British are just too scared of Indian Design...though they may not even know what stage Indian Design actually is....my constant counter question to these queires was- "Do you, after 30-40 years of design in the country, really worry that a Indian company can do renderings at a cheaper price?".."Does it really matter if Indian design company produces three alternative concepts for a salt & pepper dispenser at 1/5th the price British would charge? Is there so much of suffocation up there?
I think that entire design profession is undergoing evolution still...the need to notch-up higher in the corporate decision laddder is one of the bigger challenges that mature design economies should lead the way to. The thought leadership angle is still missing of present ina very weak format out there. Even as Prakash tells me, after his visit to all the top design companies in London, that the kind of work and energy that one sees in the these design companies, no way reflect that they are around for 30-40 years.....They should have created a new paradigm by now....they seem to stuck in a time-warp. One of the persons who is reponsible for Promotion of British Design got so flabbergasted after she saw the Onio brochure (which discusses the Design Research and Trends etc.) that she could no help saying "you guys have even reached here..then where is the place for us?" A pitiable viewpoint...I thought.


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Insight India 2006-London

I have just returned after successfully organising 'Insight India 2006'roundtable in London, under the ambit of London Design Festival.This roundtable was organised by Onio Design in collaboration with Style-Visionof France. This first of its kind event organised by any Indian Design companyabroad, was attended by likes of Head of Design Procter & Gamble (Beautyproducts- USA), Steelcase (Office Furniture- USA), Hitachi (ConsumerElectronics), Pearl Fisher (Trends Consulting, USA), Symrise (Perfumes and FoodDesign, Singapore) etc.Aim of this event was to sensitize the European and American companies on DesignInsights and Consumer Trends for India.Onio also promoted the cause of Indian design by showcasing the works of twoother Indian designers there i.e. Abhijit Bansod (chief designer of Titan) andYogesh Purohit (Textile Designer). Other speakers included David Griffiths (heis a part of this egroup as well) and Prof. Venkat S. from IIIT.Participants were pleasantly surpised when they saw the quality of designunderstanding displayed through the case-studies and usage of cutting-edge toolslike Trend Research by design comapnies in India.Generally speaking, a very little information is available to world outside (notto talk of the awareness within the country), about Indian Design even afterseveral decades of presence of design in India. There is a significant amount of'visibility' work needs to be done by anybody and everybody connected to IndianDesign. I think we require Design Summits to be organised not only in India butall across the world. I am sure CII/FICCI is listenling....(in want of a DesignCouncil) ...Onio is now planning for a similar event in New York (USA), in collaborationwith Style-Vision again. Though the contents and precise structure is notfinalised yet, but surely Onio would like to take along some upcoming andinterested design companies. Do get in touch with the undersigned for the same.There is a huge update pending from London Design Festival...specially from theCII delegation...