Leading Lights on Design: Convocation Addresses from the National Institute of Design

Leading Lights on Design: Convocation Addresses from the National Institute of Design

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Item Code: NAG400
Publisher: National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad
Language: English
Edition: 2004
ISBN: 8186199470
Pages: 332
Cover: Paperback
Other Details: 7.5 inch X 5 inch
Weight 320 gm


Design interprets culture. Culture creates values and values shape the future. The thoughts on design in this collection capture not only the erudition and perspectives of the eminent speakers but also reflect the changing times and concerns. I remember that in the fashion industry there is a statement that even if everything gets destroyed, if you have the pictures of the people and their dresses over the years you can tell a whole story of the evolution of the society and the times they lived in. The concerns, vanities, predilections, constraints, challenges and aspirations are all visible in the dresses of people. Designs have also a way of capturing the societies and economies in transition.

Design is a simple word with a complex meaning. The origin of the word design is from Latin and the Latin word designer means to express. I remember in 2002 asking the NID community to come out with equivalent words for Design in any Indian language. I drew a blank as the over powering English word Design seems to have become a comprehensive expression in everybody's mind space. Even if the word Design is a transplanted one in India we should not lose sight of transforming the Indian traditions, cultures, aesthetics sensitivity and heritage to create an Indian idiom of design. It was this Indian design idiom what the late Charles and Ray Eames had advocated for NID to pursue. NID being a unique institution, which reflects these concerns, the Convocation event at NID every year is more than just giving Diplomas and awards. NID continues this Khoj in the words spoken by eminent people and the footprints they leave behind in the sands of time. I believe the words spoken have a way of creating ripples to begin with and then some of them become waves and then with the right wind can create mountainous waves, sometimes even turning furious washing the shores away. Design has remained a peripheral activity owing to many reasons one of which is its failure to use the power of anticipating the future to full impact and connecting the vision with realistic action. There has been a huge gap between the design vision and design action, which have left the people somewhat unsure about design. I hope the experiences shared by the visionaries through the years in the convocation addresses find resonance in the minds of everyone who reads and shares these thoughts. I invite you to an edifying experience, as more and more people would want to understand design. We do hope the reader will discover the true value of design in defining and improving the quality of life. Design is not just for a privileged few but for everyone, everywhere. The leading lights on design invite you to tread this territory where angels in this instance do not fear to tread.



  Preface vi
1 1979 Walking in One's Integrity 1
2 1980 Designing a Better Life 16
3 1981 The Basic Purpose of Design 30
4 1982 The Problems of the Masses 38
5 1983 The Art of Visual Comment 50
6 1984 Designers as Part of India's Life 60
7 1985 Values in a Changing Society 72
8 1986 The Larger Perspective 82
9 1987 The National Realities 92
10 1988 Design, Designers and Development 106
11 1989 Culture and Design 120
12 1990 Wanted: A Collective National Effort 138
13 1992 Be Guardians of Indian Good Taste 152
14 1993 Interdependence of Design on Other Professions 172
15 1994 Become a Successful Indian 190
16 1995 Relevance of Design in Economic Development 204
17 1996 Towards a Golden Balance 220
18 1997 Industry as Customer of Design 238
19 1998 Design Integral to Our Times 254
20 1999 Catching up with Change 268
21 2000 Media as Vocation for Designers 284
22 2001 The Need for Excellence 292
23 2002 Spread the Gospel of Design 300
  Speaker Profiles 306

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