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?




The Design Observer Cooperative

Observed | January 19

“Our lives should be marked not by “comps” and metrics and filters and proofs of concept and virality but by tight circles and improvisation and adventure and lots and lots of creative waste. And not just to save ourselves, but to save each other.” [JH]


Observed | January 18

How architects write fictional architecture. [JH]

Beautiful weather rendering from Will MacNeil. (via Blake Eskin) [BV]


Observed | January 14

A New European Bauhaus? [JH]


Observed | January 13

Though it was later determined to be troll-driven, design twitter went bananas this week over the new CIA rebrand. [JH]

Women either decide or strongly influence 70% of all automotive purchases yet are 73% more likely to suffer injury in a car crash, and 17% more likely to die than the average man. A design problem? [JH]


Observed | January 12

Joy, disillusion, success, failure, hiring, finances, office space—just some of the topics in All in a Day’s Work, a new animated series about being an entrepreneur from our friends at Mailchimp in collaboration with It’s Nice That. [BV]


Observed | January 11

When Pac-Man arrived in 1980, it revolutionized gaming. The original game is at the root of a rich design tradition, one that goes well beyond detailed graphics and fluid controls. [BV]

Can the story of a pandemic be told in a single headline every day? David Rainbird collected headlines about the pandemic as a way of making sense of the infodemic that was 2020. [BV]


Observed | January 05

Paul Klee’s notebooks—nearly 4,000 pages of them—are now online. [JH]


Observed | December 30

“On cream-laid paper there is no “forward” button.” New York Times book critic Dwight Garner on the lost art of paper correspondence. [JH]


Observed | December 29

Job of the week: Yale’s British Art Center is looking for a new Design Director. [JH]


Observed | December 21

Renowned Swiss Designer Armin Hoffman dies at 100. [JH]

Screw mediocrity: Scottish industrial designer Neil Ferrier weighs in on a typographic mistake that turned out to benefit his career. [JH]

“That the cover of a book — something produced with a finite shelf life — could grip us throughout such a bitter, caustic year is either a triumph of artistry or a sign that our collective alarm bells are still not ringing loudly enough.” Matt Dorfman, Art Director for the New York Times Book Review, selects his favorite covers of 2020. [JH]


Observed | December 17

How custom fonts became the ultimate corporate flex. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]

First world problem of the week, or, why graphic design matters on your wine list. Behold: vinography! [JH]

Italian architect Stefano Boeri introduces prefabricated timber and fabric pavilions as Covid-19 vaccination stations in public piazzas across Italy beginning in January. (H/T Adina Karp.) [JH]


Observed | December 14

Pantone names its colors of the year for 2021. [JH]

Apparently not all architects declare. [JH]


Observed | December 11

“Royalty Now” is an ongoing art project by graphic designer Becca Saladin that reimagines queens, kings, emperors, statesmen, nobles, (and a few famous musicians, scientists and artists) as contemporary people. Follow her on Instagram. [JH]

Forest Young, Vivianne Castillo, Kelly Walters, and Dori Tunstall—among others—on the new design rules and why they matter. [JH]


Observed | December 10

Currently streaming: What Next? A virtual symposium discussing luxury as a concept and the ethical and moral questions surrounding it. [BV]


Observed | December 07

One week left to help support St. Bride’s magnificent library—and contribute to their efforts to digitize it for the rest of us. [JH]

Typography. Esports. Discuss! [JH]

Everything you ever wanted to know about a rejected Paul Rand logo for Ford Motor Company—from 1966—but were afraid to ask. (With apologies for the term “fancy-schmancy design trends” which would make Mr. Rand spin in his grave.) [JH]


Observed | December 03

Help our friends at Class Action fund their next campaign, a series of billboards in the hotly-contested state of Georgia. [JH]

Kern in hell! Announcing: Hell Vetica (via Victoria Brown). [JH]


Observed | November 30

Help our friends at Unit Editions produce a long-overdue monograph on the work of artist and designer Ed Fella. [JH]


Observed | November 18

You may congratulate yourself for being a good listener, but often it’s the powerful who get to listen and decide what to hear. (via Blake Eskin) [BV]



Jobs | January 19