The rest of the world really admires Indian heritage, handicrafts, arts and our ancient architecture. So much so that you find many young designers playing with popular images, creating kitsch and recycling it as the new Indian design. You will find many versions of Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe technique using graphics of the Taj Mahal, auto rickshaws, and trucks. I guess it’s good commercial sense to cash in on what people know about India. But a serious academic discussion on what is Indian design always draws a blank.
We are a country with multiple subcultures and influences; in some way Indian culture is still evolving. The way we have taken to Western design languages and added them to our own mixed up design identity, I wonder if we will ever be able to reach a point of definition. Indian design is so many things at the same time. It is colorful, cheap, expensive, universal, and exclusive. It is useless at times, often ornamental, full of rituals and stories. But, whatever else it is…it is not boring. It has promise and it has still not realized its potential. Most of all, it is designed in India.
Stepping into our 37th issue, POOL is celebrating ‘Designed in India’, a concept that is much easier to comprehend than ‘Indian Design’. Let’s make the world look beyond our palaces and our poverty…let’s introduce them to all that is ‘Designed in India’!
Published in POOL 37, http://www.poolmagazine.in