how does design figure here ?
What could be the alternative development
model of the future .. that could reflect this
fundamental shift to “Life Centric” ?
Can it define how we Live, Learn, Work & Play ?
Perhaps we can look at the future face of human
habitats as a major change agent and context
maker. With a shift to “Life Centric” we can
conceptualise habitats that are organic entities
that coexist with other life forms, where we give
“space” for other life forms to flourish and enrich
the environments that we habitate.
Cleaner air, fresher cleaner food, working
environments that are technology enabled to
make physical travel minimal. Where the creative
human mind can find free expression.
Let’s learn to live life.
Creating harmony instead of
Can community models become
the structure for
equitable future societies?
Shelter, food, clothing, education, meaningful
employment, good health, social interaction &
a joy of living .
People shouldn’t have to travel for hours to do
work they don’t really enjoy and have no real
time to live life. What can a community habitat
be, that addresses all these? Our references
have changed. Technologies have effected
radical change in the way things can be done.
Do we really need those monstrous flyovers
and mega concrete structures ? Can we shed
those massive societal Egos which restrict us
from making a qualitative quantum jump in
how we live and work?
How about communities that have access to
technologies that will be enablers in
visualising and implementing how we want to
live and work with limited commuting?
Let’s save that time for fully enjoying what life
can offer. How about fresh produce that need
not be preserved and can reach us from the
not too distant neighbourhood ?
Do we need to travel to far away places to
enjoy a bit of nature because we have
destroyed it in our immediate neighbourhood -
because somehow we equate “development”
with more built space?
the tremendous possibilities of Design
engagement in being a catalyst in defining
From the inside out at community levels.
NOT thrusting directions outside-in.
This means the evolution of a new equation ..
of also a raised political awareness .. of a
society than can be aware of constitutional
rights .. of demanding engagement with your
elected representatives .. and therefore where
policies can be in tune with what we as a nation
Think “Design Thinking” can help change our collective futures ?
You bet we can!
Should designers have anything to do with
Be Citizens first ! Our professions exist within the
society that we function in. We live in an “illusionary”
democracy with no real voice in how the nation is
run. Accountability to the electorate seems to be a
notion that has had a quiet cultivated demise.
The design community is by and large an “aware”
group. How come we are so silent on issues that
are critical in shaping the country?
Remember that “design” will function in a future
that is being shaped by policies in which we
currently have no real say.
If the design community engages in this process,
it can play a pivotal role in changing this. Use
your skills to communicate real issues to the
people. Create forums, groups, discussion
groups. Use the tools that we are good with.
By NOT engaging, we are
doing a disservice to the
future of our nation.
If Design is a change agent, what would be its
greater function ?
How do we define the role of design in a nation
trying to rediscover it’s place in the global
How will we take “Design thinking” across the
country? This is an exercise that has been doing
the rounds in design forums.
OUR basic premise needs
There are innumerable real life “design” solutions
manifesting all across the country. This is not new.
All communities have found solutions to problems
that have confronted them.
They might not be slick, they might not be for
markets outside. But they are sustainable,
innovative, creative, use locally available materials
and processes. “Institutionalised” design can
perhaps bring in an external viewpoint.
But local knowledge is unique to locations and
could offer the solutions that we are looking for.
The danger has been of the slow death of rich local
knowledge by succumbing to “market” pressures
and the onslaught of corporate “empires” seeking to
tap the mass market at the “bottom of the pyramid”.
This in itself is flawed as this approach looks at
milking the poor. It looks at “equalising” and
bringing in a sameness to everything.
The nation needs to look at enabling
local communities to prosper by tapping
their knowledge and skillsets.
By enabling them to setup their
Where OWNERSHIP is theirs.
The engagement of design professionals have
to be that of an exchange of knowledge and
skills that is mutually enriching. There is much
to learn from the hinterland.