India

Rick Poynor
Exposure: Adamanese Man by Maurice Vidal Portman
Photography for anthropologists



Paul Polak, and Mal Warwick
How to Solve India’s Poverty Crisis
A new look at how to end poverty in India.


Manisha Sharma
Gendered Arrangements: India
Girls are considered a burden in Indian society, the issue is popularly known as the “missing girls” phenomenon.


John Thackara
Cycle Commerce: The Red Blood Cells of a Smart City
Dehli's many millions of bicycle and rickshaw vendors embody the entrepreneurship, sustainable mobility, social innovation and thriving local economies, that a sustainable city needs. How can that be traslated to European cities?


John Thackara
An Open Design School for India
Plans in India for for a nationwide network of 20 Design Innovation Centres, an Open Design School, and a National Design Innovation Network.



David Stairs
Journeying through the Sacred Profane
David Stairs chronicles his trip through India.


Alexandra Lange
Someone Else’s Shangri La
An exhibition of Doris Duke's Honolulu mansion, Shangri La, proves a “Spanish-Moorish-Persian-Indian complex” works as theater.



Courtney Drake, William Drenttel, and Deirdre Cerminaro
Design and the Social Sector: An Annotated Bibliography
This bibiography surveys the literature of social design — the spectrum from design process and thinking to the zones of social innovation.



Julie Lasky
Chandigarh on the Block
Furnishings designed for Corbusier's urban masterpiece are being sold at auction. How outraged should we be?



Alan Thomas
Calcutta: Bookland
Alan Thomas, at the Kolkata Book Fair.


John Thackara
Work Faster, India!
“Work faster, get time for life.” I just got back from a short trip to India where this insane slogan adorned a poster at a bus stop. It pretty much sums up a febrile mood in Delhi where it was announced during my stay that India's economy will grow by nine percent next year.



Yale School of Management
SELCO: Product Design Philosophy

This video of the SELCO innovation team talking about product development is a part of the SELCO case study, the first in a series of case studies on design and social enterprise funded by the Rockefeller Foundation through a grant to the Winterhouse Institute.





Yale School of Management
SELCO: Founder Harish Hande on SELCO's Future

This video of Harish Hande is a part of the SELCO case study, the first in a series of case studies on design and social enterprise funded by the Rockefeller Foundation through a grant to the Winterhouse Institute.





Ernest Beck
SELCO: Case Study Synopsis & Teaching Objectives

This case study about SELCO, a solar energy company in India, provides an opportunity to examine the strategy of a business with a social purpose and a heavy reliance on innovative design.





Ramsey Ford
What Social Entrepreneurship Can Teach Social Design

Essay on adapting principles of social entrepreneurship to social design.





Ashish Nangia
The Town That Corbusier Built

On the conflict between architectural appreciation and security in Chandigarh, India.





Ernest Beck
Ripple Effect Update

Update on the Ripple Effect initiative launched by IDEO, Gates Foundation and Acumen Fund to distribute fresh water in the developing world. Originally published July 30, 2009.





Ernest Beck
Bellagio Museum Symposium: Abstract

In April 2010, 22 participants met at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center in Italy to discuss the museum’s potential role in relation to design for social change. This is an abstract summary of the final report of their discussions.





William Drenttel, and Julie Lasky
Reasons Not to Be Pretty: Symposium on Design, Social Change and the “Museum”
In April 2010, 22 designers, historians, curators, educators and journalists met at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center in Italy to discuss the museum’s potential role in relation to design for social change. This is a report on their conversation.



Meena Kadri
Two Rupees Worth

Now that the dust has settled on India's launch of their rupee symbol we are starting to see its application beyond the initial fanfare.





Meena Kadri
India's Epic Head Count
The enormous task of conducting India's 2010 census is aided by a newly designed form.



Ken Botnick, and Ira Raja
The Subtle Technology of Indian Artisanship

How India's craftsmen offer lessons in design thinking.




William Drenttel
Design for Change Contest
Kiran Bir Sethi is a designer, teacher, principal, advocate and social entrepreneur. Now her “Design for Change Contest,” a recent initiative that swept India in 2009, is expanding globally.



Charles & Ray Eames
India Report, April 1958

Fifty years ago the National lnstitute of Design was born in Ahmedabad India. It's backbone was a manifesto developed by Charles and Ray Eames.





Dirk Wachowiak
Peter Bilak & Satya Rajpurohit: Interview on Typography
Dirk Wachowiak interviews Peter Bilak and Satya Rajpurohit on their recent collaboration, the Hindi version of Bilak’s Fedra.



Avinash Rajagopal
The Nano Effect on Urban India

Review of Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum exhibition of the Tata Nano, 2010.





Jessica Helfand
Better Living Through Artistry
SEWA, a cooperative textile manufacturing company in Ahmedebad, India, is a network of self-employed women.



Meena Kadri
Finding Innovation in Every Corner

Interview with management expert Anil Gupta, who seeks to reduce poverty by finding, broadcasting and nurturing examples of innovation among India's poor.





Ernest Beck
Chulha Stove

Report on the Chulha stove designed by Philips to reduce indoor air pollution in developing countries.





Michael Scharf
Rainfall Is Likely to Occur

The bourgeois quarters have their own hybrid neo-Tibeto-Hokkaido-Kashmiri-Brit architecture — tin-roof Tudors with peaks — yet "paddy" (i.e., rice) is still grown within the city limits, if in just a few spots.





Julia Galef
Question Box

The Question Box project puts the developing-world poor just a phone call away from an internet search.





Ernest Beck
Ripple Effect

IDEO launched Ripple Effect in India to help communities with the arduous process of transporting water.





John Thackara
We Are All Emerging Economies Now

I recently received an invitation to discuss design and development with a wonderful group of design peers in a beautiful location. But I have decided to decline the invitation. Why?





Observed | May 21

Wanna play with some Brutalist buildings? Skyline chess has a new offering of London’s most-notable architecture from the Brutalist movement including the Trellick Tower, Petty France, Centrepoint and Cromwell Tower. [BV]

Design Observer co-founder @jessicahelfand is heading to Malta this week as an external critic working with Professor Vince Briffa, recipient of the Tribute to Art and Innovation award at this year’s Venice Biennale. [BV]


Observed | May 20

Book lovers will want to pay close attention to a new collaboration between Designers & Books and Peter Kraus’s Ursus Books & Gallery in New York. This installment: A Flowering of Creativity: Ladislav Sutnar and F. T. Marinetti. [BV]


Observed | May 15

We can‘t wait to explore Boston this fall when we host The Design of Business | The Business of Design conference at MIT. Bike-commuting, T-riding, and monorail-tweeting around Boston with transit-oriented 20-something NUMTOT founder Juliet Eldred. [BV]


Observed | May 14

What year is it? Why does it matter? While chronology and dating might not be exciting, they are the stuff that history is made on, for dates do two things: they allow things to happen only once, and they insist on the ordering and interrelation of all happenings. [BV]

“We should not be excessively interested in books”, wrote Roy Gold, biblio-graffiti outsider artist, and a bookish man. [BV]


Observed | May 13

You may not love sports, but it’s hard not to enjoy sports photography, especially for it’s innovativeness. Case in point: Sports Illustrated photographer Neil Leifer hit a grand slam when he set out to capture a double play on film. [BV]


Observed | May 10

In the 1950s and 1960s artists from the Soviet Union looked to the skies and foresaw a Utopia in space. [BV]


Observed | May 09

Early cinema is often remembered as an exclusively black-and-white affair—the bold and often fantastical colors that flickered across the earliest film reels are frequently left out of our greater cinematic history. More neglected still are the women responsible for those dazzling hues. [BV]


Observed | May 08

We’re addicted to likes, retweets, and reshares, and our addiction makes us distracted and depressed. Tristan Harris believes that tech is ‘downgrading humans’ and that the words we use to describe the problem are tepid and insufficient. It’s time to fight back. [BV]

Created for animators aiming to perfect their rendering of animal gaits, this video combines illustration, biology, and physics, and is a joy to watch! [BV]

The compelling history and impressive prints of the earliest printing press in the Uruguayan territory. [BV]


Observed | May 07

Our very talented friend Rob Walker has a new book out today! Get yourself a copy of The Art of Noticing: 131 Ways to Spark Creativity, Find Inspiration, and Discover Joy In the Everyday and be inspired. [BV]


Observed | May 02

Gail Bichler and Jake Silverstein look back at a year designing The New York Times Magazine. [BV]


Observed | May 01

A thoughtful critique (and a few commonsense changes) of Hudson Yards and it‘s walkability: who uses the space, when the space is used, how the space forms community, and how it integrates the the community that surrounds it. [JH]


Observed | April 30

The brain apparently makes no distinction between a broken bone and an aching heart. Rejection actually hurts. [BV]

Influence was worrisome long before it was digital. The word “influence” appears in a quarter of William Shakespeare’s plays, in which the condition of being influenced is rarely happy or dignified. A history of the influencer, from Shakespeare to Instagram. [BV]


Observed | April 29

Lego has come up with perhaps its most ingenious product yet: bricks designed to help children learn Braille. [BV]

Back in the 1960’s, when Penn Station became a subterranean rat’s maze, New York City seemed to be heading very definitely south. [BV]


Observed | April 26

In its original concept, the Appalachian Trail was more than a hiking path. It was a wildly ambitious plan to reorganize the economic geography of the eastern United States. [BV]


Observed | April 24

American food is increasingly channeled through a handful of companies: Amazon, Walmart, FreshDirect, Blue Apron. What do we lose if traditional neighborhood supermarkets go under? Meet the man who’s going to save your neighborhood grocery store. [BV]

Timed to coincide with Easter, Earth Day and, for New Englanders, Patriot’s Day: two billboards outside of Boston. [BV]


Observed | April 23

Public Sans is a new typeface from the US Government. According to the General Services Administration, “sometimes you need [a typeface] that’s simple, neutral, and isn’t Helvetica.” Not sure we agree. [BV]


Observed | April 22

A brief memoir of growing up in the library. [BV]

Where can a teen get a poster in 2019? How does a teenager turn their bedroom into a shrine? A wonderful history of the poster and it’s meaning past, current, and future. [BV]

In honor of Earth Day, three galleries that remind us of the beauty and power of nature: the power of storms from Mitch Dobrowner, amazing landscapes from Leah Kennedy, and Earth from space by Astronaut Scott Kelly. [BV]


Observed | April 19

Spam musubi (a Hawaiian snack of canned meat served on rice and wrapped in nori) and other unintended consequences of cultural exchange. [BV]

Despite their seeming environmental unfriendliness, logos with factories and smokestacks have made a comeback in the US. [BV]


Observed | April 18

Post Typography created an unconventional participatory campaign to support the Baltimore Museum of Art‘s conversation series on art, race, social justice, and imagining the future(s) we want. [BV]

Where do you stand on the “Pedestrian Aggressiveness Syndrome Scale”? Why your brain hates slowpokes. [BV]



Jobs | May 21