Pune: As the technology and communications get the people across the world together, the design thinking must get more and more people centric with human being as the epicenter of all design process, international design expert and founder and chief executive of U.S. based design firm Sonicrim, Uday Dandavate said on Friday.
The present day design challenge is to find the meeting point for the corporate approach to design marked by greed, speed and consumption and the emerging thinking that creation of a convivial society should be at the heart of the design development process, Mr Dandavate said.
Mr Dandavate was delivering the keynote address at the 10th Pune Design Festival which opened here today. Design professionals from India and abroad are present for the two day event that will witness insightful debates and idea exchange on the role of design in creating the future society.
Mr Dandavate said the design of the future will have to be for the ‘people’ as opposed to user, consumer or customer of a product or service for which is the subject matter of design.
Looking at life through the eyes of ‘everyday people’ and listening their voices – especially observing the children and hearing them out – will help the professionals study their imagination which will lead to the germination of more compassionate design ideas, Mr Dandavate said. “Relentless curiosity and empathy will help us create meaningful design,” he said. “We must liberate ourselves from the cliched approaches of ‘World is flat’ or ‘Form follows function’ and understand that the aspirations in different places and societies can be divergent and the form of a product must convey the meaning which it brings to a human being,” Mr Dandavate said.
Earlier, music composer and expert in music design Rajat Dholakia and E. Suresh – pioneer in animation and storytelling through films, opened the festival with a fusion vocal composition.
Mickey McManus, Principal at the Maya, set up by IT design major Autodesk, who was the other keynote speaker, said design needs to follow the current trends in technology and behaviour of human societies. The explosion of digital technology and communications is going to get men and machines tightly close and it will be a challenge for the design thinkers to keep people at the centre of this world of connected things, McManus said.
In the session on “Designtrepreneur: Business impact through design” furniture design and manufacturing experts Sandeep Mukherjee and Arvind Panwar elaborated their experiences of transforming their design profession into a formal business enterprise. Mr Mukherjee said a design business can be passion led but the drivers of this business have to be objective and practical. “Creativity and growth objective sometimes do not go together,” Mr Mukherjee said, adding that the business of design manage finances in a strategic way, should be scalable and communicate effectively its key differentiators.
Mr Panwar stressed the need to study how productionisation of design takes place and the importance of creating large teams with equally competent members. He also stressed the need of being close to the intended customers and tailoring design strategies keeping in mind the socio-cultural nuances of the location where the design is going to be used.
The session also included a panel discussion on “The Billion Dollar” which brought out the peculiarities of the process of making a design driven idea into a big business. Prashanth Prakash of venture capital investor Accel Partners said it is important to have a co-founder for the business who will have strong credentials and who will constantly interact with the investor. Ideally there should be an idea co-founder and a technology co-founder as well, he said.
Krishna Depura of software as a service business Mind Tickle pointed out that the design idea of a product or service has to be timely and relevant and should have a direct impact on the behaviour of the consumer. It will be important to study the investment pattern and philosophy of the venture capital firm, its areas of investments and exit record before accepting investment, Krishna said.
Anil Paranjpe who represented the venture capital side said it will be better to bring the product out at a fairly workable stage and then fine tune it later because that’s how the VC will develop some confidence as the revenue starts flowing in. He said the VCs have developed good confidence in the Indian product developers and are now more willing to wait for longer time before they exit the investment.
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