A country so young, so huge to standardize, support, govern, develop is a heavy task.Every country after its independence have faced this problem, none like India due to its huge population, religious and secular citizens.
The Government of India, about 10 years after her independence, have invited one of the greatest designer duo Charles and Ray Eames to comment and review India and suggestions to train its people about design.
This article was written assuming that the reader has read the India Report. If not, have a look at it here
When I have read the foreword of the India Report, I instantly felt “this, is going to be a good one, I will not rush writing about this.”
Firstly, let me comment about the way how the report was written. Precise, crisp, easy to understand for people who have English as a foreign language(In this case India) and ambitious yet not futuristic views.
Imagine you have had no chance of growing, you are to mimic every move, every dialogue, every sentence that has been already uttered by your role model or your mother. How would the experience be?psst! you won’t even experience anything because you are limited to only mimic not experience.It is that same way that the young independent countries are developing themselves. Just because there is a bridge over the sea in China, doesn’t mean there should be a bridge over every sea.
Every country has the same problems, but the solutions are different. Eameses suggest tackling all the problems as if it was been tackled for the first time and I completely agree about this. The interdisciplinary approach suggest sure will be chaotic, but the problems once solved wouldn’t be a problem for another decade or maybe a century.
National Institute of Design was the result of this report. It was recommended by the designer duo to come up with a Design institute which will eventually be the center to solve all the problems that India faces. I was very happy to see the details trickle down to the choose a director for the Institute, that the institute shouldn’t have a director who has a design background.
They have listed down all the problems and the mistakes that the other countries have done before so that India does not repeat the same mistake. I think India is bound to make many mistakes due to huge language barrier, awareness, and socio-cultural scenario, this would make the country make new, better processes to tackle a problem
A beautiful metaphor was expressed in the report about how lotas were self-evaluating and that this process of a product evolution should be hastened
The information that this part of the report provides is still followed by the National Institute of Design and other design schools in India as well. Today we might not need a graduate architect to solve problems or join the institute, this is because, at that point of time, the intervention that food, clothing, and shelter needed was alarming, not that we don’t need it right now. A student from rural areas might solve and discuss the problems that no other architect would have done. A psychology student would help the institute in understanding what is it that the citizens of India require. It was also mentioned that a housewife might join the institution, but now with entrance exams and fierce competition, the participation from rural areas will be opted out completely. This would be the first institute of Design in India, there is no Design faculty that it can recruit from India. Thankfully, Design is interdependent on every aspect of knowledge possible. “Everyone is a Designer”, they said and it is for some part true, hence a faculty from all the disciplines of the world could be the potential faculty for this school. Emphasis was given on communication and communication design. The faculty was to be trained in one of the communication techniques.
The student teacher ratio is well defined, unlike all other technical institutes. Students and staff were to work together, just like Bauhaus. They were to solve problems in India. I wish there was this kind of ratio in every Design school. Most designers and artists, in their truest form, tend to be introverts. Information from them has to be dragged out, some people won’t speak up until they get comfortable with each other.
THE PROJECTS OF METHODS
No project mentioned in this report can be scrapped out. I personally have seen a very low amount of solutions coming out for providing a solution for all the 4 projects mentioned.Agreed that it takes time and effort to provide solutions for this problems, but I haven’t seen any increase in standard of living, at least in high rural areas. But, the solutions that have been seen like the post offices and other services and ceremonies are well and perfectly designed with India and Indians in mind. It is appreciated that this institute works on problems like these. I wish there was government funding for other institutes as well, to fasten up and increase the competition
In conclusion, the India report finely sums up the need for design in India, why is it that we give much respect to the foreign delegates out there? I am sure that if this was written by Indians, example Satyajit ray, with the same content, it would not have got the same importance that it has today. We Indians must learn to respect ourselves, only then can we grow our country, as a whole. Jai hind