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Meena Kadri

Wellington, NZ, New Zealand

Cross-pollinator at OpenIDEO + Consultant at Random Specific

Member since May 22, 2007

  • Newspaper to New Paper

    Communication, Communication Design


    Scooping up a D&AD Yellow Pencil in this months awards is the brilliant Newspaper to New Paper Project from Dentsu, Tokyo. I applaud D&AD acknowledging the worth of this humble project. Although it was responding to a brief from a commercial client project it definitely qualifies as social advertising. You can see why from their entry rationale:

    BRIEF: Design a package for a street vendor that sells farm-grown vegetables and fruits. The brief required somethig original, easy to use and low cost.

    SOLUTION: We focused on old newspaper used to wrap vegetables with. Newpaper was used for good reasons – for its moisture retention quality which helps keep vegetables fresh longer abd for its reuse value. Under the "Newspaper for New Paper" project we utilised what was already there – the newspapers – and added an element of design that would be playful and make people smile... both those selling the vegetables and those buying them. By re-using old papers that would be thrown away, the project was friendly to the environment as well as to the budget. By simply adding colourful dots or stripes to the old paper we came up with a totally new package design.

    RESULT: Sales grew by 20%, as did the number of customers. There was more interaction with customers. Because they liked the design, people didn't just throw away our New Paper but re-used it for something else. News of the low-cost, original design wrapping paper spread virally to other stores that used ...

  • Fashion, Humanism & the Online Environment

    Communication, Fashion Design


    I was particularly heartened to come across the recently launched mash-up of fashion and fundraising: The Uniform Project in which a pledge has been made to wear one dress for one year as an exercise in sustainable fashion.

    Actually there are seven identical dresses – one for each day of the week. Every day the dress is artfully reinvented via layers and accessories and images posted online in the effort to raise money for the Akanksha Foundation – a grassroots movement that is revolutionizing education in India.

    Read more at Random Specific

  • Creative Culture-Contrasting

    Communication, Communication Design


    Furthering my interest in global-local intersections I’ve been noting of late increasingly engaging cultural insights provided by the progressive use of media which explore and celebrate diversity.

    Each of the examples I discuss on my blog below champions diversity via contrasting local insights. Through creative comparison we are engaged and gain perspective on our own contexts. One can see why people are migrating in droves from watching mainstream television to embrace such formats, concepts and platforms which provide more meaning. And Godspeed to them!

    Read more at: Random Specific

  • Writing on Walls

    Arts & Culture, Communication Design


    Public space can be a contentious concept.

    New York’s lively Public Ad Campaign aims at “expanding curatorial responsibilties in the city”. It seeks to question the commodification of public space via outdoor advertising. It co-ordinated the volunteer whitewashing of over 100 illegal street-level billboards between Soho and Chelsea and their subsequent transformation by street artists.

    Read more at: Random Specific

  • Elevating Adversity

    Arts & Culture, Communication Design


    Everyone carries baggage and the current exhibition at Wellington’s Bowen Galleries examines the weight borne by those affected by learning difficulties yet acts a testament to their resilience. Visitors to the gallery have been moved to tears – not in the least, I feel, at being confronted with the reflection by which art mirrors society (and its failings) so glaringly back at us.

    Read more at: Random Specific

  • Still Life, Smooth Moves

    Arts & Culture, Communication Design


    Aligning himself with Buckminster Fuller’s notion of a comprehensivist, Carnegie Mellon industrial design student Nadeem Haidary is one to watch. His provocative forays into interaction design, anthropology and information visualization command fresh perspectives.

    In his Food of Art exhibition in Pittsburgh he analyses the nutritional content of twelve celebrated still life artworks including pieces by Van Gogh and Cezanne. He points to the data’s indication of the artists’ respective economic means and I’m also interested in the underlying implications encompassing taste, value and the consumption of art.

    A delight for label checkers and talent hunters. See more:

  • Astronomical Outreach

    Education, Communication Design


    The UNESCO supported International Year of Astronomy 2009 is a global tribute which celebrates the 400th anniversary of the first use of an astronomical telescope by Galileo Galilei. The central theme of the year long program is The Universe, Yours to Discover. A former student of mine from the National Institute of Design in India, Kathan Kothari, was involved in a brilliant local initiative last month for the 100 Hours of Astronomy project which was observed simultaneously by countries across the globe.

    He co-developed a mobile camel cart exhibition on Astronomy which visited villages, slums and local neighbourhoods in and around Ahmedabad, Gujarat. He was happy to report the enthusiastic reception by locals, especially children, for many of whom it was their first exposure to topics such the solar system, eclipses and celebrated Indian astronomers. Hands-on activity was encouraged with 5000 solar viewers being distributed so that people could view the sun safely while being told about its various characteristics by a team of volunteer guides.

    Read more:

When you go to the fountain of knowledge... do you drink or just gargle?

Contact Meena Kadri
Random Specific

My Interests

  • Industrial Design
  • Environmental Design
  • Communication Design
  • Fashion Design
  • Audio/Visual Design