Tuesday, December 11, 2007

AIDI Launches a Face-to-Face Initiative: Discusses the National Design Policy in Bangalore

The AIDI, which started as the Association of Industrial Designers of India, was renamed as Association of Indian Design Industry at the full day meeting on 11 December 2007 at the Royal Orchid Hotel in Bangalore. The agenda of the AIDI was to assist the Government roll out the National Design Policy that was announced on 8th February 2007 by the Honorable Minister of Finance, Shri P Chidambaram after a meeting of the Indian Cabinet and it was championed by the Honorable Minister of Industries and Commerce, Shri Kamal Nath.

The meeting of the AIDI was well attended with over 100 practicing designers, experts and international guests who have come for the CII-NID Design Summit starting on the 12th December 2007 at the Bangalore Exhibition Centre on Tumkur Road. Among the prominent guests were the speakers at the CII-NID Design Summit G K VanPatter of NextD, New York, Anna Kirah, Dean 180 Academy, Denmark and Daniel Buchner and Tom Burchard from the Design Continuum Team from Boston, USA, to name only a few that I met personally.

The day started with an Ice-Breaker session which was followed by Individual Ideation that would lead to lists of things to be done and with this list in hand we would work in pairs to develop the ideas and then bring them back to the group for a sharing and sorting session. The cluster of concepts captured by the small groups led to the articulation of category headings and a shared understanding. I was part of the Education group that was led by Poonam Bir Kasturi, The other groups and the respective leaders were Competitive Advantage by Design with Vinay Rao, Branding and Communication of Indian Design by Jacob Mathews, Design Parks and Funds by S Sunder and finally Culture, Environment, Social Development and Effective Public Spending led by Neelam Chibber.

Each group developed their concepts for the action programmes and priorities that could be taken up as part of the National Design Policy by the Government of India and after a great lunch we were witness to a Press Conference and a CII-NID PR launch of the Design Summit that is starting tomorrow. Dr Koshy, Director NID spoke at length about the plans ahead for the Institute in the coming years and listed the recent achievements. This was followed by the Press Meet while the rest of us had our lunch.

The post lunch session was filled with a lot of work organizing the brainstorming data and in making sense of the data that was generated. Each group gathered the insights that had emerged and they went about preparing the final visual presentations that were then shared with the whole group. The AIDI will take these recommendations and make a format that will be taken back to the Government. This is the first time that the design community in India has regrouped after the failure of the erstwhile SIDI to fill a gap that has been felt for over two decades now. I do hope that this initiative takes root and the design community sheds its indifferent attitude to national Politics and get engaged in shaping the roll out of the National Design Policy in the days ahead.

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