Wednesday, August 12, 2009

India in design

I saw myself nodding in agreement over many of the points Aadisht made in his post on Incorporating heritage.

I guess everybody "wants" to be "international" (including airports and malls) and seen as such rather than as a 'local' mall - which is also part of the whole story. Now, clearly, you can incorporate India into a design in US and be called exotic, but in India, well, to be called India and yet sound posh may be a stretch (this IS an assumption) - someone like a FabIndia or the Design store though can show you how. But this is clearly a stretch, so building those glass and silvery structures with artificial palms often works...

But, there are some brave guys, IMO which have incorporated some 'Indian' or 'heritage' aspect in their design. Now, I don't mean putting an odd Taj Mahal here or an odd mango design there or a Rajasthani mural on the wall or upholstery - I mean a little more than that. I am also unsure whether to include things specifically adapted for India under the same head as 'designing with Indian heritage in mind'. Here are a few which I think have done well...

The Titan heritage series incorporates India and its heritage beautifully in its watches. What are the sales of this range compared to the Aviator series (another equally well designed folio) - I don't know.

A lot of restaurants do this theme thing rather well. Bombay post - with the moustachioed doorsman in hunter uniform and the tented look of the place is uniquely Indian (almost British Indian). And they play mostly 70s songs for good measure. And in any case restaurants are not guilty of not using India or its heritage...

Funskool has some neat Indian games. Again, don't know how well they are doing...(I need to pick one or two up and play for starters).

Cochin airport has some elements of local architecture incorporated into it - any user experiences here? It seems to blend beautifully with the landscape though.

Now, for the marketeers, if India sells, they will market it (Tantra t shirts, Fab India, Any heritage silk or jewellery store).

The Indica, for instance was a cleverly designed car for India - as opposed to incorporating Indian design in its design. And no, I don't buy Kishore Biyanis argument that Indians like crowded spaces in shops - and that is one "design element" that must be got rid of forthwith. That's my thoughts, really scattered, for now. Will keep thinking about it until it comes across as a coherent post....

6 comments:

Nikhil Narayanan said...

Neel,
Not just Cochin International Airport Limited,but many institutions like IIM-K and Technopark,Trivandrum have made sure that the architecture is unlike other institutions in their league,but very much in sync with the architecture of that area.
I am sure,there are many more examples.Yes,the Legislative Assembly building in Trivandrum...
Somehow,I feel Kerala (govt.) takes care of the local flavor when it comes to buildings(in recent times,at least)

-Nikhil
-Nikhil

ecophilo said...

Yes, you were just the person i hoped would chime in :)

Aadisht said...

Neel,

this morning I remembered one more area where heritage is poorly used - typography and signage.

I dislike the obtrusive and illogical laws about Marathi and Kannada signboards which are examples of the government shoving its nose where it isn't required. But once the law is there - I wince at seeing the signboards that result - the same old English signboard, with the Kannada or Marathi name added in small black text tucked away in a corner. There's no attempt to bring the design elements of the original logo/ corporate typeface to the mandatory local language text.

This is a big gap - typographers who can work with desi scripts and add a touch of design to them; and also make this a marketable proposition.

Arif said...

I spent time in Lake Forest Hotel,Yercaud this Independence Day part of the IndEco Hotel Chain. All the hotels of this lovely Museum Theme, where they have on display rare artifacts from India's past.

Admin said...

Thanks ever so much, very useful article. Great information! Very smart, thanks for kindly sharing it with us. Very well done indeed. If you do not mind, please visit my article related to pandeglang district in Banten, Indonesia at Kenali dan Kunjungi Objek Wisata di Pandeglang and if you want to learn how to speek Indonesia just come visit my page at Learn Indonesia Language

Daniela said...

Interesting post. I have been wondering about this issue,so thanks for posting. I’ll likely be coming back to your blog. Keep up great writing.

Find your great Travel News and sing the songs at Free Song Lyric or you can watch the drama at Korea Drama Online one of great korea drama is A Love to Kill if you go to travel to Indonesia learn Learn Indonesia Language first! And find your home cari rumah or make a blog Belajar membuat Blog find your home again rumah dijual and again at jual rumah then if you want buy a new laptop see the Laptop Price List or you can buy a New Blackberry and then take care your Health & Jewerly.