Narrations of India

My graduation assignment seemed as an opportunity to discover through design what the rest of the world has to offer. India was the land chosen because of its endless cultural richness and radical differences in social aspects compared to the Western living contexts. STUDIO ABD in Bangalore located in Bangalore provided a a great chance to explore these social and cultural contexts and their differences through “Storytelling” Design and discover the the world of handicrafts. In the end this amazing half a year had a huge impact on my design thoughts and allowed the initiation of a stronger personal design ideology. This Info graph visualises contexts explored and elements experienced that can be used by fellow designer and people of studio ABD in order to find sources of inspiration. It is a representation of the aspects that I found fascinatingly inspiring throughout the whole process.


The first steps in every context are deeply related to the sensual adaptation in every context the designer ‘dives’ in.  It takes time and strength in order to allow the designer’s tacit & implicit  knowledge or personal characteristics to learn how to process the detected signals into interpretations and manifestations.


As adaptation slowly occurs, the first aspects that reveal the magnificence  of this land is its people’s aesthetical statements. The necessity of expression through color and form exists everywhere and anytime like a life’s ritual. From the richest palaces to the most common daily objects and artefacts, aesthetics reveal that the wealth of living simple comes along with  the soul’s  complex manner of showing its  existence through expression.


Meanings like function, usability and material solutions have made a very inspiring ‘alliance’ with India’s daily life.A form of minimalism in possessions and material belongings in most of domestic environments reveal the beauty of  practicality that Indians have generated with every day artefacts. It reminds designers how human inventiveness is part of our nature and that  the ‘User-Object’ relationship is about enhancing our creativity by offering our lives ease instead of commodity.


A profound and major aspect found in India’s spiritual paths is the way of living by rejecting any form of material possessions and  thoughts like desire. It is a form of ‘immaterial’ freedom that can provide food for critical thoughts around the practice of design itself. In addition, spirituality can be found in the idea of interacting, as a user,for meditating purposes. This is another inspiring aspect that can lead to a design mentality which enhances the idea of using a product on a creative manner.


Witnessing the craftsmen really affects you for the rest of your design life. They are truly an ideal sum up of the aforementioned aspects. Handicrafts, represent the value of tactile knowledge and remind us  what the roots of design actually are. Contemporary Indian designers are constructing an identity by learning from what the Western design mentality has to offer and appreciating local handicrafts as a national heritage. By merging the knowledge gained from both sides, India can create a respectable name in the world’s design map.