Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Leading from the front and how!

By  A Balasubramaniam

The INDEX Awards   is no ordinary design award. It is a recognition for using design for improving lives. While it re-iterates the huge potential of design for improving lives of people, the awards do put the spotlight on thought leaders who could leverage this potential and make them actionable. In a world full of form-giving designers these award winners stand apart in using design for its primary purpose of ‘improving lives’.
In that context, India’s KIran BIr Sethi and Pranay Desai win this year for their ‘ Design for Change’ is truly a proud moment for Indian design.  My last post was about designers from India leading from the front. This award is proof of this potential. KIran Bir Sethi has taken the lead and ‘infecting the bug’ into every child, the potential to feel for a problem and taking charge to find solutions for it. The contest runs for a few days but it empowers every child to solve their own problems and prepares them for facing the challenges of the world.
Kiran Bir Sethi, a designer by qualification, has been recognised for what she calls as ‘common sense’ in leveraging the creativity and potential of school students into a game-changing movement all over the globe. She easily manages to make each child a protagonist, who take charge of situations and solve problems. Kiran has managed to leverage ‘desisgn thinking’ to hep solve everyday problems. And has managed to inspire the future generations of the world.

Her TED talk on the subject continues to be inspiring. It shows her journey ffrom 2007 when she took a small idea and ran with it. She proves that design thinkers from India can lead from the front using the ‘common sense’ approach.
Lead on Kiran BIr Sethi!  And hearty congratulations!
A Balasubramaniam is a trained product designer who founded January Design. He is an early graduate of NID, Ahmedabad in Industrial Design. He can be reached at bala@januarydesign.com

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