Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Prestigious Awards and Design success: The Onio example

...Design for India...

Image: Hispital Bed designed by Onio Design, Pune for their client Godrej Interio and it won an award at the Design Brilliance Award

A press release from Onio Design tells us that they have won a prestigious award for their new Hospital Bed Design. Congratulations to Manoj Kotari and Prakash Khansode for this achievement and this is extended to the teams involved as well. According to the release the award has been instituted by Future-Group, Business World and National Institute of Design jointly. You can see the full report at this link here:

Hospital beds have been in the cone of vision of designers who have tried to show that design can work in critical areas and not just in the market economy. Prof Bruce Archer carried out some of his most intensive research efforts on the design of a Hospital Bed at a time when very few believed that design could be a systematic activity. Read more about this at the wiki link below: Bruce Archer and Design Research at the RCA

The interest in Hospital beds and the recognition that the healthcare industry needs design brought the Metropolis Magazine to ask four design groups to offer what they called "Design Prescription: The Hospital Bed: Reimagining the bane of every patient’s existence." The results of the 2005 initiative can be seen as concept designs in the slide show that pops up by clicking on the image of the traditional bed on the page. See the Metropolis link here:

I was project guide to NID student Pradeep Shodhan way back in 1976 when he designed a Hospital Bed as part of his diploma project at the National Institute of Design and this problem that was addressed then has not gone away and I am happy to see the Onio initiative offering an alternative for the Indian market. The diploma document can be seen at the NID library but it did not reach market although it was fully developed and ready to go. In those days industry was not looking at innovations to drive the market since it was the license and control Raj that was in operation in India. Specifications was king and innovation took a back seat. I wish that NID would make these archival documents available online as digital files which is so easy nowadays.

Recently Seymor Powel designed an improved aesthetic bed for Huntleigh Healthcare which has function and form at the heart of the offering. Created as a range to meet a variety of critical needs these beds use metal and blow moulded components to achieve a more humane look and feel for patients in high performance healthcare situations. The company claims that besides meeting the needs of patients the needs of maintanance engineers, porters, cleaning staff and all direct users such as doctors and nurses were also met through deep research. See the Seymor Powell bed here:

The Onio bed for Godrej looks smart and works well in an economical and ergonomic manner, congratulations team. I wish it commercial success. The bed was designed for their clients Godrej Interio, a furniture manufacturing unit of Godrej Group of companies that has been a leader in the furniture industry in India.

Image: Snapshots of the Onio website showing unconventional design offerings.

This Onio offering can be a role model for drawing much needed investments into design for non luxury products much needed in India today. The Businessworld Awards in India and most other international design awards each year are filled with examples of luxury products where industry has been using design to push and grow the market just as fashion product manufacturers have tended to look to design to keep the wheels of their industry moving each year through new and enticing offerings that can attract a consumer in a very crowded marketplace. I hope this particular demonstration from Onio opens a new trend for India and we would see many more of these design offerings with the much required investments in sectors of real need such as public utilities, BOP products as well as other sectors of real need from both industry as well as the Government in the years ahead. See BusinessWorld Awards here:

Victor Papanek had called for an awareness of real world issues in his book titled “Design for the Real World” in the early 70’s and and much later in the mid 90’s he called for a concerted effort from designers to address environmental and ecological issues in his book “The Green Imperative”. Papanek visited NID in 1979 to attend the UNIDO-ICSID conference and I remember that the students were drawn to his ideas like flies to some sweets but the conference organisers found his views too radical to be brought centre stage at the ICSID and UNIDO agenda although this did happen much later. The Design for Development conference in 1979 gave me the opportunity to design a new auditorium chair for the NID and twenty years later this set the stage for the design of another new chair for the Ravi J Matthai Auditorium at the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad which I have written about in my previous post on the Design for India blog.

Design for India

No comments:

Post a Comment

I reserve the right to edit comments. Please keep it simple and to the subject.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.