The project aimed at creating an information database by documenting designers and their work throughout the country, and sharing it with the visual design community by building an online platform.
It is close to 50 years now since the first design school in India, National Institute of Design (NID) was conceived. More schools have come up in recent times (many with NID’s active support and guidance) and alumni have traversed their way through the past decades and have contributed extensively towards India’s development through design. Visual design has developed and adapted itself according to the ever-changing requirements of the country from developing media for the urban-rural connect to redefining paradigms for the growing socio-economic middle class market of the country. Vernacular typefaces, educational material, signage, publications, exhibitions, product sales support, etc. are some micro level examples. Unfortunately, little effort has gone into documenting these efforts and thereby, binding the Indian visual design fraternity together.
The final output is a website/portal, which serves two purposes: online publishing of the articles as well as a platform for other designers to meet each other and share ideas. It took a journal-like approach and entailed interviewing designers, witnessing their work, writing and publishing the generated content on a web-based platform. The articles, based on transcribed interviews, became the primary content of the web platform. A later phase of building an online design community is the secondary, but more consistent and long-term goal of the project.
It was a great experience travelling and meeting senior designers throughout the country. I looked back at my own education and realized the different influences, which played an important part in it. I strongly believe that the website will become a rich source of information for those who are even remotely related to design in India.