The Indian Design Society took an exciting new initiative- tracing the classic Indian design facts amidst the Indian history, ‘jugaad’ stories, and the birth of the Indian design community. In short, we sharpened our pencils and noted down a bunch of Indian things that make us truly, proudly and unapologetically…us. So, how did we evolve?
In India, we crafted our identity through design. Its the land where the Tricolor speaks louder than nationalism and crafts define cultures, not just art.
The year was 1932; no older, no less. It was the era of pre-independence and the Indian society, armed with newfound motivation and a deep-rooted will for indigenous development, perhaps unknowingly, took its first step towards design. Charkha quickly became a symbol of design innovation and gained mass popularity that was more than just a commercial cry for affordable clothes.
Post-independence, when India first saw its design evolution through gradual changes in everyday objects, it wasn’t for the purpose to appease the market, but to grow the economy. Design in India lacked a platform for a long time. For the Indian community, Design stemmed from memories and values, and much of the innovation happened from the motivation of a need.
In 1959 when Doordarshan moved out of its parent company, All India Radio (AIR), a young Devashish Bhattacharya- then a student at the prestigious National Institute of Design (NID)– sat in his college classroom and unwielded his brush to craft the historical logo for Doordarshan. Among the veteran design circles, the story runs as a classic anecdote. For the fresher crop of young Indian designers, it’s a mere discovery that often invites awe and closer inspection.
From the Statue of Unity crafted by Ram Vanji Sutar to the National Emblem designed by Dinanath Bhargava, and more recently Arunachalam Muruganantham’s iconic design for sanitary napkins – design has seen many forms.
The Indian design community is a hub of such amazing facts drawn from a long history and a colorful portfolio that still astounds generation after generation. So, how did we come to evolve? In her book, Design: The India Story, Divya Thakur argues how design in India is intrinsic to its being- “function has always dictated India’s approach to design, from a lota to a sari.”
Let’s take a moment to celebrate these little anecdotes of design creations that never failed to inspire but became lost to the present generation. We wonder who designed, what, and when? Let’s find out together at #indiandesignfacts.