The assignment was to write your ‘own’ perception of The India Report. So, here it is. The document that led to the start of formal Design Education in India, was truly a food for thought (a tasty one!).
Out of the many interesting things to talk about, I’d like to talk about the reference of Lota, given by Charles Eames. Why, you’d ask. Well because the perspective is different here in this context. Being one of the most sophisticated and widely used utensils in Indian households, the Lota perfectly explains the importance of a design process and the considerations one need to make while designing something as simple as the Lota. Being able to pick up right considerations, priorities and assumptions while designing is very important and hence a formal education is a must for the same.
The design of the Lota shows the iterative nature of the design process when Charles says- “no one man designed the Lota but many men over many generations. Many individuals represented in their own way through something they may have added or may have removed or
through some quality of which they were particularly aware”. The quality of a product is defined keeping in mind the benchmark of the Lota, its belovedness and the time it has served in India (and abroad).
One more interesting thing that caught my attention was the involvement of Government in the Design Institute and the concept of service provision. When in one hand, the institute shall provide constructive services to different sectors of the Government, a proper restriction and power of decision exists to limit unwanted exploitation of the Institute. As suggested by Eames in the beginning, that the Institute shall be kept away from politics and the board shall comprise people of diverse areas to strengthen the multidisciplinary nature of design.
The India report not only provides guidelines for building a Design Education framework in the Indian context, it also highlights different facts of Design itself. For example when a section is written about architects as the closest possible multidisciplinary people (at that time), it shows the people who can become designers by showing what Design is!
There is a lot more to write, but to prevent the article from becoming India Report Part-2, I’ll probably stop here with my 2-3 most impactful points.