Drawing influences

Sakal Times
Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Ahead of Pune Design Fest (PDF), we catch up with a few participants to know their design philosophy and more

In its 14th edition, Pune Design Festival (PDF), the annual carnival with the tag line ‘The Definitive Design Festival’, will be held on January 10 and 11, 2020 at Hyatt Regency. The festival is sponsored by Lexus and powered by Pearl Academy.  Sakal Media Group is the media partner for the event.  

Sakal Times spoke to eminent speakers to understand their views about the festival. 

Ishan Khosla, a Delhi-based visual artist, designer and researcher, talks about his Typecraft initiative, how he is excited to meet a diverse range of speakers at PDF 2020 and explains how design has the power to create impact in our lives. 

Welcome to Pune Design Festival (PDF). Kindly introduce yourself and tell us what do you expect from PDF 2020?
I am a designer, educator and explorer, interested in working on the intersection of craft, design, technology, education, Indian culture, society and informal economy. I enjoy research and digging deep into various aspects of our culture and then reframing that in terms of a design intervention, design workshop for students or an exploration by myself as a personal project.
I am excited to see the diverse range of speakers at PDF 2020 and am looking forward to learning from their experiences as well as interacting with them on a range of topics. I think what makes design an interesting profession is the idea of diversity — in terms of how we designers can tap into anything in this world and reinterpret it and engage with it in myriad ways.

What can participants expect from your talk/workshop during PDF?
I will be outlining the work I have done with the Typecraft initiative. I will not only be talking about what the initiative is about but also the communities we work with and the typefaces designed. Especially interesting to audiences would be the challenges we faced while creating the world’s first typeface from a craft, tribal or folk art; challenges such as technical difficulties in making complex letterforms when fonts are typically meant to be simple or how to reconcile the rules of type design and how letterforms are created with the rules of a craft (like Rabari embroidery) which are diametrically opposite to that of font design.

What role does design play in making lives better?
“As a profession, graphic designers have been shamefully remiss or ineffective about plying their craft for social or political betterment,” said Steve Heller. 
Design is a change-maker, a catalyst that has the power to create impact on our lives — usually for the better but not always so! It really depends on how design is used and applied. If used for the promotion of wasteful packaging for instance, it is not making our lives better but just making goods convenient to use. Design responsibility is essential today in a world of environmental crisis, and this is where design and designers need to play a leading role.


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