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The future in a sketch

Architects, designers and curators visualize and sketch their response to the question: What is the future of design?

Photo: Courtesy Suki Dhanda.
Photo: Courtesy Suki Dhanda.

“The future of design is about acceptance. There is no one universal trend or genre of direction, the only given is that we all have a personal story and the future of design lies in greater acceptance of the diversity of stories. Given the (Donald) Trump and Brexit-marked world we live in, it might appear otherwise, but in the world of design there has been a growing movement towards breaking down boundaries. Consider male editors at leading female fashion magazines, gender-fluid fashion, transgender models and more."

—Maithili Ahluwalia, fashion designer and founder of lifest

“In a world torn by conflict and continual unrest, the ‘Living Bridge’ is a conceptual model that aims to primarily ‘bridge’ and unite humanity instead of advocating the creation of walls and hatred to address world issues and global conflict. The ‘Living Bridge’ aims to connect people of all ethnicities, caste, creed and gender. It aims to unite and encourage dialogue amongst warring nations and ideologies. The simple act of ‘growing’ and giving life through the act of ‘seeding’ and ‘plantation’ is central to the design ideology of the ‘Living Bridge’. It is a modular system that can span smaller and larger water bodies like lakes, bays and rivers. It explores the hybridization of pedestrian activity, performance space and green pockets, and a space for cultural and recreational activities. The design of the future must be based in the primary role of a sociocultural connector across geographies torn by conflict and global unrest."

—Nuru Karim, founder and principal architect, NUDES

“This clay sculpture called the ‘Balancing Act’ looks for a fine balance in life. There is an overload of design, and hence we need to rethink our value system, reuse more of what’s redundant and out there, and add value to it and make it useful again. I believe it would take an act of fine balance between simple, sustainable and smarter outcomes to achieve a bright future for design."

—Aman Khanna, designer and ceramic artist

“The ‘Emotional Intelligence Helper’ is a play on an image of ourselves, an image created via devices that we treat as extensions of ourselves. We go to any measure to make things easier. Our environment, filled with digital devices and voices, further projects what we want to see or hear. Funnily enough, we are strangely disappointed, and estranged, and keep returning to the same questions. Designing a future could be where we come back home to ourselves rather than our devices."

—Spandana Gopal, designer and creative director of lifestyle design brand Tiipoi

“The future of design lies at the intersection of three important trajectories. Craftsmanship: the use of the handmade and the celebration of local artisans that associates the making to geographical context. Collaboration: blurring the boundaries between distinct fields of design, architecture, graphics, product, furniture and technology. It is not pure but a collaboration of intent and skill creates a new definition of luxury. Optimistic: the future of design is linked to our optimism for the future. It is the recognition of the human will and skill to create a unique artistic signature."

—Rooshad Shroff, architect and designer

“The future of design will celebrate the human race and will put the creator and the user at the heart of the object, with products becoming more artisanal, practical and emotional. A nomadic approach to living will become a long-lasting trend."

—Gunjan Gupta, industrial designer

“As disruption, collaboration, triple bottom line and sustainability define the new vocabulary of the future of design, one only needs to look to India’s past to see how each of these concepts reveal an evolved process of creation. These tenets, culled from various texts, if adopted, can serve the world to create more consciously and appropriately as we go into the Fourth Revolution."

—Divya Thakur, designer, curator, author

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