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Indian Design Edge (Strategic Insights For Success In The Creative Economy)

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Item Code: NAE164
Author: Darlie Koshy
Edition: 2008
ISBN: 9788174366702
Pages: 175 (Throughout B/W Illustrations)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 9.5 inch X 8.5 inch
Weight 690 gm
Fully insured
Fully insured
Shipped to 153 countries
Shipped to 153 countries
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
100% Made in India
100% Made in India
23 years in business
23 years in business
Book Description
Back the Book

All economic progress comes from a single source- increased efficiency or productivity. It is not often realized, but to my mind, the scope of desigh is as important as technology. and management in proving the efficiency and productivity that leads to economic progress. Good design Cuts Costs, improves functionality, creates a desire to possess and purchase and permits technology to be translated products that have consumer appeal. Design, thus, together with technology and management is a determinant of progress. Design has another aspect. The manifestation of style, elegance and aesthetics, through good design brings to the fore the in making in terms of motivation, inspiration, aspiration, pride and achievement and can charge and change societies and nations alike.

Indian Design Edge brings alive the impact the design revolution in India is making on India's transformation

About the Book

Breaking the glass ceiling existing perceptions and mindset about Indian design, Dr. Darlie Koshy an internationally acclaimed Design management expert. In Indian Design Edge. attempts and touch upon the evolution and growth of Indian design which makes it possible for design to add and realize value and to create brands in the new age economy. This book is a step towards creating a vision for India to assume leadership in the world of design.

Indian Design Edge has a hands on, minds on’ approach emanating from years of expense as an academic from years of experience as an academic leader, researcher, top manager, consultant and, above all, an innovative thinker. There are illustrative design case studies, historical hlestrones, policy perspectives, industry insights and scenario analyses inspiring the reader to explore. Discover and unleash the power of Indian design for success and growth..

About the Author

Director of NID, Dr. Darlie Koshy began his professional career in the handlooms and textiles. Sector and later joined the NIFT as a founding faculty member and held the position as the Chair of the Fashion Management Studies, contributing substantially. To the institutes positioning in its formative years. In 2000, he was appointed the director of the NID and soon joined the Executive Board of the world apex body of design, ICSID. Dr. Koshy has spearheaded a complete transformation of NID in a short span of eight years which is now recognized as one among top twenty-five design institutes in the would stated to become shortly the country’s first multi-dictionary, multi- campus national design university.


Let’s celebrate the fact: India is on a sustained path of growth and that is manifested, amongst several other things, in its vibrant economy, a strong presence of youth power and a credible position in the global arena. As is expected, this unprecedented growth is a result of change’ in the larger perspective of a nation, and like in any other sphere, change automatically impacts the world of design. There’s no doubt that design and innovation, as also several other factors, are the new enabling forces that can unleash the power and potential of a country like India which has a heritage spanning nearly 5000 years. This book is an attempt to trace and touch upon the evolution and growth of Indian design while unveiling the connections which make it possible for design to add and realize value and to create brands in the new age economy.

As a starting point, design establishes itself purely through and emotional connections and in the final recess sustains itself in a market as a commercial entity. Therefore, if on the one hand ancient crafts and design a great recipe serving our roots and values in a rapidly changing global world, management philosophies, soccer and technology are the tools which provide the Impence creating which provide the recites for creating wealth and maintaining a quality of 4The initial chapters in the book examine these linkages acing crafts as the foundation for design innovation the point of view of skills, materials, techniques and human creativity and people centricity. There is no wing the fact that Indians are creative people and this a generic statement but amply exemplified by some grass-roots innovations, as is evident in this book. notation and creativity of those at the bottom of Pyramid is an important factor in the coming years as India is not only market in the making but also a reservoir of tacit knowledge and design power.

Today it is the context’ that defines and redefines as they conceptualize products, systems and culture and emotions. Therefore, it is not just arraying technology and design or humanizing but also about ensuring that designs conform with the inner core of the customers. The human-centricity has become the central focus of new design lore than design’ as a noun, designing’ as a verb the processes, as they are often more critical, utcomes.The paradigm shift, as it were, is about e- in which form, function, and image converge with the help of technologies to offer’ experiences’ through services. The world over; economies are now don creative industries, as was seen in UK, with sit of emphasis on design-led and other allied tries. ‘The Rise of the Creative Class’ has led :epts like creative cities and design capital and we increasingly being described as ‘innovation elative economy’ and the like by trying to fleeting ‘zing’ which provides a different character to the emerging ecosystems of d design. In a nutshell, in creative economies e roost, and the litmus test is the speed with which ideas are converted to marketable products and services. In context, an interesting turn of phrase is ‘creative destruction’ which has become the norm of the day and those who design change and interpret change with the help of new products, systems and ideas are bound to be winners.

Although India is on an upsurge now, in the past the country was rather content being a protected economy and by and large gave creativity, innovations and original designs a miss. Even the most precious heritage of Indian crafts, handlooms and handicrafts, have languished and been ignored. Although I do say, as I have earlier; that at an individual level the Indian people are creative but as a collective whole, there’s been a failure to protect Indian ideas and discoveries in the global arena. It is rather strange that India’s very own ancient traditions and philosophies of yoga, herbal treatments, and hundreds of culture specific products and recipes have been exported elsewhere to create wealth while India has remained a mute spectator espousing the ‘used apple policy’ through reverse engineering and screw-driver technologies. There has been a general apathy towards spaces, environments, architecture, roads, infrastructure, gardens, and museums and this has had an impact not only on the health of the nation but there has been a gradual but severe degradation in manual skills and creative talent too.

One of the most stark examples of the deterioration of the visual culture in India is: its cities are devoid of any aesthetic appeal and ambience with the exception of perhaps a few. Given the situation, can India discover the ‘Design Edge’, and become a’ Creative Manufacture’, rather than being a ‘Factory to the World’ which is how I feel China is positioning itself? For instance, in garments, can India move from being a ‘Tailor to the West’ to becoming a ‘Brand Creator? How come a smaller country like Italy which had no design schools till 1985 is able to capture 27 per cent of the world luxury market and several dozens of world beating brands; or; for that matter Korea which was known for slipshod products till mid-eighties turn the tables to have today in ts kitty world beating brands like LG and Samsung? How small countries like Sweden have been able to realize top designed products and brands, like SAAB, Volvo, Ericsson and Ikea, and Finland which has successfully created great mass brands like Nokia.

Other pertinent questions are: is there a way to reestablish an ‘Indian idiom in Design’? How do we decode the design identity and enable the industry to compete on Design Edge’? Why is it that despite the presence of NID since 1961, design education in the country did not receive sufficient patronage from either the government or the industry to multiply and scale-up, like the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) or the Indian Institute of Technology (lIT). Let us not forget that these institutes were set up as post-independent India’s conic temples of learning, as part of the Nehruvian vision, almost at the same time.

By and large due to lack of an expansive view, for a long time design failed to dovetail either strategy or technology and could only register its presence at the end of the process chain; merely confined to form and colour changes or just packaging and aesthetics. Some graphics were added in good measure at best. However today design precedes product creation through an in-depth research focusing on consumer’s ethnographic’ or ‘psycho-aesthetic’ needs. For instance, the culture specificity of Korean products indicates the ability of design to bring forth emotion, culture and values by encoding these efficiently. There was a time when products were designed by a group of designers and domain experts as they were technology enabled. Today, services are technology enabled and they need to be designed more or less like products. Spaces, products, images, and services merge seamlessly and converge as experience often delivered through and held devices on the move. Therefore undoubtedly, design has a major challenge, as seen through the examples of Apple’s incredible holistic designing process which combines the product and an ecosystem around it including the retail system, in taking a great leap forward towards designing ‘experiences’ for the users. This has been a paradigm shift and a strategic success by design.

Many high growth sectors hold the key to India’s emergence as a design power. As I have said earlier and also reiterate in the book, the skills, traditions, and decoding of ancient handlooms and crafts of India cannot be overlooked to create new lifestyles and luxury goods for tomorrow. Similarly, India is exploding with ‘mobility’, automobiles and medication devices will call for tremendous design interventions as the future unfolds. Customized design for the media and entertainment industry along with the burgeoning world of Bellwood and animation films require a gamut of talented designers for world-class output.

However, I feel there is a severe crunch of talent in the country and Indian design scene is a classic example of what is termed as the ‘National Design Deficit’. The number of designers required in tandem with the number of technologists fall far below the requirements. It is time design education in India, led by NID over the last five decades, once again ‘shift orbit’ to create a critical mass of quality designers with generic design capabilities, in-depth domain expertise and a ‘global’ outlook After all NID’s repositioning and transformational turnaround at the beginning of the twenty-first century is a significant case study as the institute emerged as one of the top design schools in the world as reported by the Business week, US in 2006 and 2007, consecutively. As a milestone in the history of Indian design, NID pitched hard for the first National Design Policy of India to be formulated and it came to fruition in February 2007.

The first National Design Policy is a landmark simple and flexible document that could provide necessary impetus as it leaves enough room for improvement by those whom I would like to call stakeholders. The policy creates a direction and environment for accelerating growth of design-led industries and design practices including expansion of much neglected design education. The world reacted to the policy document with Unprecedented enthusiasm as for the first time it anted India’s fragmented design community. There is anticipation about branding Indian design, promoting movement and most importantly, an unwavering commitment from the industry to use design strategically by setting up its own design studios and hiring more Indian and international designers as is evident from Tata Motors, Titan Industries, Mahindra and Mahindra, Bajaj and other companies who are rapidly realizing the value and innovation.

At a micro level, there has been a transformation as Ii roan design practice is changing rapidly. Many studios are growing at a hectic pace to mass and size. Some of them are in the active critical mass and acquisitions. Some have become 200-designers strong design factories. A vision for design leadership is being now envisaged through many local initiatives in Pune, Goa, Mumbai and Bengaluru.

From the days of iconic designers and prima donnas, design is now entering a period driven by participation and teamworlc which I have termed as Design Democracy’. The best example for democratic design is one involving services and there are numerous examples of empowering consumers through this. For example, the digital devices and mobiles in India which have ushered in a period of greater interactivity and empowerment of choice, This is a time for making Indian design stand up and get noticed in both manufacturing and service sectors. This book is an attempt to create a vision for India to assume leadership in the world of design to make Designed in India, Made for the World’ the new mantra to reverberate around the globe in the not too distant future. consumers through this. For example, the digital devices and mobiles in India which have ushered in a period of greater interactivity and empowerment of choice, This is a time for making Indian design stand up and get noticed in both manufacturing and service sectors. This book is an attempt to create a vision for India to assume leadership in the world of design to make Designed in India, Made for the World’ the new mantra to reverberate around the globe in the not too distant future.


These are exciting times for India in many spheres and design is one such prominent area with potential and future promise. As an architect, I have always been conscious of India’s rich heritage in the substantial pool of human talent in design and the immense entrepreneurial possibilities of leveraging that talent on a global stage.

The NID is among the most prominent repositories of India’s talent and knowledge in design and I have had the privilege of several productive discussions with its staff and students over the years. I have also been following the institute’s initiatives into new areas like transportation and automobile design and its endeavour to transform itself into an internationally-acclaimed multi-campus institute.

Dr Darlie Koshy has had a ringside view of the evolution of Indian design over the years and I can well appreciate his need to communicate the power of design not only to the converted but to practically every one as designs affects every body, in some way or the other His book traces the development of Indian design, beginning with its deeper roots in our culture and traditions and zrduding on a note of how to unleash the competitive of Indian design to improve the quality of life for ay more people. As this book is also the result of the author’s research for India’s first National Design Policy came out in 2007, there are also several policy face’s inheriting the discussions in the book.

The main argument running through the book is the to become a ‘creative manufacturer’ or innovative Provider of services in a cross-section of national human orators. To simplify matters somewhat, the book’s call s it create a movement towards realizing the dream of Dared in India, Made for the World’.

For Indian industry, whether in services or in auguring. whether as a large unit or as an SME (small and medium enterprise), the book identifies new opportunities for creating a ‘design enabled’ India. It also lists certain focus growth areas and sketches a roadmap roadmap on how to use design elements to craft global Indian brands in those areas. The book argues that design as a source of intellectual property needs to be fully explored and utilized by Indian industry since the international market place is increasingly being dominated by creators of intellectual property.

Design, the book emphasizes, can have a major role to play in shaping and upgrading many aspects of India’s civil life. Manmade urban environments, products and services is just one of the many areas where the author calls for ‘societal innovation’ to use design to empower people and improve their quality of life and creates what he calls a ‘design democracy’.

For the many who place a premium on design and innovation, this book will be an inspirational read and I am honored to have been asked to write this foreword. I trust and hope this book will be the precursor to more such endeavor’s by the author.


Evolving Design18
Culture, Crafts and Design34
Designing Change52
Discovering the Design Edge66
Strategic Design80
Sectoral Growth by Design102
Creating Gennext Designers118
Towards a Design enable India138
Visions for Design Leadership152
Designing Services162
Select Bibliography172
Photo Credits176
**Sample Pages**

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