5 Myths of Design that don’t apply today!

Design is a relatively new field compared to Art. But with new technology and changing world there are 5 things that I learned (and later taught) at D-school which seem to have lost their relevance in today’s world and have become “Old School”.

1. If you can’t draw it, you can’t make it.

Nothing can be a bigger myth. This seemingly innocent statement that teachers use to encourage their fresh pupils to practice more drawing has lost its relevance compared to the Corel and Rhino equipped generation of today. Not only is hand drawing a skill that is used less and less, most exploratory work is done hands on or with CAM, rather than on paper.

2. Don’t use eraser, Don’t use scale.

Another Myth. It was fine till the first few lessons of drawings. Or in the era when you had ample time to sit and sketch endlessly by hand and communicate hand drawn designs. But beyond that, a clear representation of ideas is more important and so if it requires eraser and scale, so be it. Afterall it’s a now a “pre-sketch” for your CAD .

3. It should be your original idea.

It times of Co-creation, collaborative projects and open innovation; an individuals idea may be lacking compared to the richness a project gets from collaborative work which is designed by a community. A single individuals contribution could be worked upon and made better by others as well and no one person takes credit for the entire process. To think of it, an idea is only successful if others also believe in it!

4. Follow the process. Show the process.

While it may be a great idea to show a process in order to explain your final design to an international jury for getting an award and for other such events, Design methods can be very limiting and restraining, unless you allow them to be iterative and continuous. Most common people are not equipped to understand a design method, they can only appreciate the result and you can bring that to them any which way.

5. It’s all in the presentation

In a world of presentation , this is an understatement. The presentation is not a separate activity. It is not something you do afterwards, after the design process has ended. The presentation IS the design and part of the process and you don’t need to do many things to justify it if what you came up with is a great product!

Finding that name!


Naming your Product. Reblogged from DesignAttic.

Design Attic

Naming your product is that interesting part of design where all your thoughts and inspiration find a culmination in a physical object (or service). When some of us jumped into the dot-com bandwagon in the late 90’s, most of the names were taken. Finding the domain availability was the challenge. Most simple words had been registered by squatters who seemed to have made a business from the name game. Finding a name which was unique and available in a .com was very important for most business.

I tried various permutations of design, concept, idea. But alas, all were taken! I tried initial experiments with a very exotic sounding name “conceptuelle”. A compound of concept and “elle” ( french for she ). We found the availability and registered immediately. But looking back today, I feel that my choice is amusing. It was a foreign sounding name for our mostly Indian clients…

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Designing that Ideal workspace


What should an Ideal workstation be like?
Reblogged from Design Attic

Design Attic

Designing the workspace is quite a challenge. To organise the millions of things. To make it feel comfortable. To make it work. To do more. Here are TWO options for workspace design based on Karl Ulrich’s design process. Feel free to take the poll and vote for your favourite design. The design with maximum votes would be taken forward next week.

Concept 1.A Wall shelf which comprises of many units combined together and a Trompe l’oeil pattern of vines and creepers at back to give a window like feel.


Concept 2: A wall shelf which allows detachable and flexible arrangement patterns.

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Design Education in India — an interview by Creative Gaga

Quite a challenging task to change mindsets in Design Education in India. Reblogged.

Mixed Fruit Jam

1. How are the Indian design schools different from their international counterparts?
A major difference in design education in India and the west, is that, in the west, most design teachers are also design practitioners. However, in India, teachers don’t typically work in the field and hence lack practical and contemporary knowledge about a very dynamic field. Indian d-schools tend to “produce” students that have a similar style — which is the anti-thesis of a good creative education. The notion of encouraging students to discover and explore their individual spirit is lacking in India.

All of this may not be only the fault of Indian design education, but the very way our society is structured with respect to the west. Western college students are encouraged to be more independent by working to pay for their education. They are removed from the family “nest” at a younger age, and thus discover themselves…

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How I used sequins to transform a Shell

Sometimes you just have to use what is available to come up with an innovative solution.

These are some designs from the metal sequin and shell collection that we had developed in Goa on our last visit. Its interesting how this came up. Mussel shells were the green shells that get generally thrown away as the locals found no use of them either in product craft or otherwise. The beautiful green color at the top had a tendency to chip. So most of the shells were lack luster at the top and green towards the bottom edge. We needed to give it a look that lasted. So after rummaging the local shops for locally available solutions, I developed this metal sequin look to cover the top area. The rest of the shell was given long lasting lacquer finish. We used some silken and cotton thread for the neck and voila, it was ready to use! The best part, half a dozen crafts women from Goa were trained to make a new kind of product which supports them in their livelihood.

I’m adding this post to Sue’s blog A word A week challenge: Metallic theme as it coincides with the topic.