talks at NID

Some days ago we had a very interesting presentation by Gad Charny, Industrial Design Dept., Holon Institute of Technology. He showed us many unusual products he had designed. He started his career with lighting design, very beautiful, functional lights, many triangular in form. He had also developed a beautiful lamp which looked like a bent nun, and was constructed from one single flat piece of material. There were also unique triangular clocks, like little pyramids, with the hands on one side. He had developed colourful, attractive pens from air pressure hoses. Lots of work with office furniture, making it more usable, durable and flexible. Small innovations that make all the difference to how the furniture will be used, or moved around the office space.

Another speaker was David Kester, Chief Executive of the UK Design Council, who was on his way to address Design Yaatra, Goa. He was President of the D&AD for nine years. One part of his presentation was called ‘Designing Demand’. UK, the Design Council got together many CEOs of medium and small size businesses to make them more aware of the need for design, in their business. Proctor & Gamble now says ‘we are a design company’. He also shows the example of Buster Drain Cleaning, a small company which greatly benefited by design awareness and by a change of packaging.

Then he talked about Dott07 and service design. Design education is far from business and other streams of education, whereas it needs to be brought closer. Earlier marketing started before design, design was a sub-set of marketing, but that should change. In design you move from a problem towards a solution. First you move in a divergent manner, exploring the nature of the problem, then you move in convergent manner towards the solution. In the solution also, first you move in a divergent manner, then you converge towards the best solution. This is a double-diamond of the design way of thinking.

Different countries have different levels of design tolerance. For instance Scandinavian countries don’t tolerate bad design at all, UK does he felt. And probably India does a lot with its ugly urban architecture, polluting vehicles, and occasionally poor publications. Fundamentally, design is of the people, the public are the innovators. Mountain bikes were developed by enthusiasts in California, and were called ‘klunkers’. Then later bike companies pounced on their designs. But they were originally built by the people, as most great design is, like our very own ‘lota’, closer home.

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