We were asked to read the ‘India Report’ written by Ray/Charles Eames as a part of our course and discuss about it as a blog post.
I would like to directly go to Page 12 of the report and reference ‘Project C’.
This Project speaks of a railroad station or a post-office or an information center where the solution may in many ways be standardized but yet must be adaptable to a variety of localities.
I found this particular problem interesting because I realize that I never really understood the scale at which they work. A post-office is the example that is taken and coincidentally, my father works for the Indian Postal Services so I have some familiarity with how their offices look.
I never really realized, until now, that the procedures my dad follows were actually devised by somebody at some point and that they have to, quite literally, work for the entire nation. I cannot begin to fathom how mammoth of a task that might have been and perhaps, I now understand one of the reasons why bureaucratic procedures usually feel incompetent.
The text refers to how “- the building should be adaptable to the climate, unpretentious and inviting.” But, in my short life, the only recollections I have of government buildings where work gets done is drab, uninviting old-buildings. Perhaps the only thing that they did right was not being pretentious.
Reading the text also reminds me of Franchises such as McDonalds and KFC. They appear to do this correctly, to have a single-identifiable brand across the entire country/world. Perhaps there is indeed something in their process that’s worth a look at. In fact, as I come to think of it, it’s not just food-chains but even banks that have begun to embrace this. I think about the State Bank branches I’ve been to in Hyderabad, Guwahati and Mumbai and they share several elements that make me feel I’m at the right-place.
The report was definitely an interesting read.