The inaugural edition of the India Design Forum – held in New Delhi in 2012, over the course of two days – had talks, seminars, discussions and debates by world renowned experts and designers who addressed issues of the social relevance of design, its commercial appeal, and the innovations that drive it. The Forum was preceded by the Design Week, which activated an exciting array of design events across the city, including creative workshops, collaborative events, and design exhibitions for the public.
Notable speakers – including figures such as Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator of New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) – spoke about the transformational power of design and the landmark movements of that year. Industrial designer and architect Karim Rashid, who has over 300 awards to his credit, shared his design philosophy and the way it had translated to commercial projects in over 40 countries.
A particularly relevant topic of discussion was the future of design education, which was of particular interest to India, given the number of design institutions emerging across the country at that time. This panel saw participants such as Pradyumna Vyas Director, NID (National Institute of Design), Anand Sharma, former Union Cabinet Minister and Tim Marshall, Dean of Parsons, The New School of Design.
Addressing the significant role of design in society, Amitabh Kant (from the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion) shared his views on designing for social impact – drawing a parallel between design and problem-solving – and internationally acclaimed trend forecaster Lidewij Edelkoort regaled the audience with her years of experience in the industry and of redefining the word ‘trend’.
The Design Week that preceded the Forum saw a spate of events across New Delhi celebrating design and its many glorious facets. IDF 2012 set the stage to start the conversation on design and acknowledge its relevance in India.