• Thinking through Design Interventions

    Poverty, Industrial Design


    Designing is not a profession but an attitude. Design has many connotations. It is the organization of materials and processes in the most productive way, in a harmonious balance of all elements necessary for a certain function. It is the integration of technological, social, and economical requirements, biological necessities, and the psychological effects of materials, shape, colour, volume and space. - Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Bauhaus School.

    What should be the role of a designer? How can interventions mediate between tradition and change? Should they be attempting to do so? What are the kinds of markets that have opened up to artisans through the medium of design intervention? Is design intervention a short-term intrusion into an artisan’s design sensibility and life, or does it have a long-lasting impact on his or her artisanal creativity and work? Is it a process that adds value to the artisan’s work, economically and in terms of creative inputs? Should all forms of intervention aim at a holistic approach, including craft regeneration and self-sustainability, or is it meaningful to intervene with restricted aims, in which case the artisan is effectively treated as the equivalent of skilled labour, executing the designer’s vision. Should we instead be teaching artisans the formalized design process as set forth in design institutes?

    Photograph taken at Abhushan: Design Dialogues in Jewellery, Skills Development Workshop, New Delhi 2011

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