India

Rick Poynor
Exposure: Adamanese Man by Maurice Vidal Portman
Photography for anthropologists



Paul Polak, and Mal Warwick
How to Solve India’s Poverty Crisis
A new look at how to end poverty in India.


Manisha Sharma
Gendered Arrangements: India
Girls are considered a burden in Indian society, the issue is popularly known as the “missing girls” phenomenon.


John Thackara
Cycle Commerce: The Red Blood Cells of a Smart City
Dehli's many millions of bicycle and rickshaw vendors embody the entrepreneurship, sustainable mobility, social innovation and thriving local economies, that a sustainable city needs. How can that be traslated to European cities?


John Thackara
An Open Design School for India
Plans in India for for a nationwide network of 20 Design Innovation Centres, an Open Design School, and a National Design Innovation Network.



David Stairs
Journeying through the Sacred Profane
David Stairs chronicles his trip through India.


Alexandra Lange
Someone Else’s Shangri La
An exhibition of Doris Duke's Honolulu mansion, Shangri La, proves a “Spanish-Moorish-Persian-Indian complex” works as theater.



Courtney Drake, William Drenttel, and Deirdre Cerminaro
Design and the Social Sector: An Annotated Bibliography
This bibiography surveys the literature of social design — the spectrum from design process and thinking to the zones of social innovation.



Julie Lasky
Chandigarh on the Block
Furnishings designed for Corbusier's urban masterpiece are being sold at auction. How outraged should we be?



Alan Thomas
Calcutta: Bookland
Alan Thomas, at the Kolkata Book Fair.


John Thackara
Work Faster, India!
“Work faster, get time for life.” I just got back from a short trip to India where this insane slogan adorned a poster at a bus stop. It pretty much sums up a febrile mood in Delhi where it was announced during my stay that India's economy will grow by nine percent next year.



Yale School of Management
SELCO: Product Design Philosophy

This video of the SELCO innovation team talking about product development is a part of the SELCO case study, the first in a series of case studies on design and social enterprise funded by the Rockefeller Foundation through a grant to the Winterhouse Institute.





Yale School of Management
SELCO: Founder Harish Hande on SELCO's Future

This video of Harish Hande is a part of the SELCO case study, the first in a series of case studies on design and social enterprise funded by the Rockefeller Foundation through a grant to the Winterhouse Institute.





Ernest Beck
SELCO: Case Study Synopsis & Teaching Objectives

This case study about SELCO, a solar energy company in India, provides an opportunity to examine the strategy of a business with a social purpose and a heavy reliance on innovative design.





Ramsey Ford
What Social Entrepreneurship Can Teach Social Design

Essay on adapting principles of social entrepreneurship to social design.





Ashish Nangia
The Town That Corbusier Built

On the conflict between architectural appreciation and security in Chandigarh, India.





Ernest Beck
Ripple Effect Update

Update on the Ripple Effect initiative launched by IDEO, Gates Foundation and Acumen Fund to distribute fresh water in the developing world. Originally published July 30, 2009.





Ernest Beck
Bellagio Museum Symposium: Abstract

In April 2010, 22 participants met at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center in Italy to discuss the museum’s potential role in relation to design for social change. This is an abstract summary of the final report of their discussions.





William Drenttel, and Julie Lasky
Reasons Not to Be Pretty: Symposium on Design, Social Change and the “Museum”
In April 2010, 22 designers, historians, curators, educators and journalists met at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center in Italy to discuss the museum’s potential role in relation to design for social change. This is a report on their conversation.



Meena Kadri
Two Rupees Worth

Now that the dust has settled on India's launch of their rupee symbol we are starting to see its application beyond the initial fanfare.





Meena Kadri
India's Epic Head Count
The enormous task of conducting India's 2010 census is aided by a newly designed form.



Ken Botnick, and Ira Raja
The Subtle Technology of Indian Artisanship

How India's craftsmen offer lessons in design thinking.




William Drenttel
Design for Change Contest
Kiran Bir Sethi is a designer, teacher, principal, advocate and social entrepreneur. Now her “Design for Change Contest,” a recent initiative that swept India in 2009, is expanding globally.



Charles & Ray Eames
India Report, April 1958

Fifty years ago the National lnstitute of Design was born in Ahmedabad India. It's backbone was a manifesto developed by Charles and Ray Eames.





Dirk Wachowiak
Peter Bilak & Satya Rajpurohit: Interview on Typography
Dirk Wachowiak interviews Peter Bilak and Satya Rajpurohit on their recent collaboration, the Hindi version of Bilak’s Fedra.



Avinash Rajagopal
The Nano Effect on Urban India

Review of Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum exhibition of the Tata Nano, 2010.





Jessica Helfand
Better Living Through Artistry
SEWA, a cooperative textile manufacturing company in Ahmedebad, India, is a network of self-employed women.



Meena Kadri
Finding Innovation in Every Corner

Interview with management expert Anil Gupta, who seeks to reduce poverty by finding, broadcasting and nurturing examples of innovation among India's poor.





Ernest Beck
Chulha Stove

Report on the Chulha stove designed by Philips to reduce indoor air pollution in developing countries.





Michael Scharf
Rainfall Is Likely to Occur

The bourgeois quarters have their own hybrid neo-Tibeto-Hokkaido-Kashmiri-Brit architecture — tin-roof Tudors with peaks — yet "paddy" (i.e., rice) is still grown within the city limits, if in just a few spots.





Julia Galef
Question Box

The Question Box project puts the developing-world poor just a phone call away from an internet search.





Ernest Beck
Ripple Effect

IDEO launched Ripple Effect in India to help communities with the arduous process of transporting water.





John Thackara
We Are All Emerging Economies Now

I recently received an invitation to discuss design and development with a wonderful group of design peers in a beautiful location. But I have decided to decline the invitation. Why?




The Design Observer Cooperative

Observed | July 10

Together again for the very first time, Microsoft ditches backgrounds for foregrounds—like simulated office desks. [JH]

A new, coronavirus-inspired concoction at Alinea, one of the world’s most famous restaurants, is spurring backlash online. (via Blake Eskin) [BV]


Observed | July 09

A look inside the typography of the Biden campaign, by Hoefler & Co. [JH]


Observed | July 08

A look inside the typography of the Biden campaign, by Hoefler & Co. [JH]


Observed | July 06

Designer and photographer Margaret Morton, who taught for many years at Cooper Union and at Yale, died last week at her home in New York City. She was 71. [JH]


Observed | July 03

Architect James Biber on backgrounds as the new foregrounds. (Via Adrian Shaughnessy.) [JH]


Observed | July 01

An exhaustive study of house address number styles. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | June 29

Aric Jenkins curated some essential writing on racial inequity and injustice in urban planning and design for Pocket. [BV]

Alice Rawsthorn and Paula Antonelli cohost Design Emergency, a new series on Instagram Live. [JH]


Observed | June 26

In the “you can’t make this shit up” department, from the company once described as a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money, Goldman Sachs releases a new font you’re not allowed to criticize Goldman Sachs with. (H/T Jeffrey Kittay) [JH]


Observed | June 24

The Drift is a new online magazine about politics and culture. (Don’t miss what bores them.) [JH]


Observed | June 23

June 24 at noon Pacific, 3pm Eastern: don‘t miss Rachel Gogel speaking in the Ladies Who Create series from Dropbox. [JH]


Observed | June 10

IBM will no longer offer, develop, or research facial recognition technology. [BV]


Observed | June 01

For the Army Corps of Engineers in 1944, Harold Fisk created extraordinarily beautiful maps of the changing Mississippi River over time. [MB]


Observed | May 29

A brilliant and timely design exploration: Alexandra Bell disrupts perception by rewriting headlines. (Via Lana Rigsby.) [JH]


Observed | May 28

The new book from Scott Berkun, How Design Makes the World, “will help you see design everywhere and question why it works—or why it fails.”—Ellen Lupton. Watch the trailer. [BV]


Observed | May 27

Kate Wagner at McMansionHell on the rise of Coronagrifting: “cheap mockups of COVID-related design ‘solutions’ filling the endlessly scrollable feeds of PR-beholden design websites” [MB]


Observed | May 21

Former Design of Business | Business of Design podcast guest David Rockwell creates a kit for instant outdoor restaurant dining. [MB]


Observed | May 20

Floodwaters threaten Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House. [MB]


Observed | May 19

A map featuring the 222 typefaces named for American places. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | May 15

Matteo Zallio, a design research scholar from Stanford, has developed a multipurpose tool as an open source response to COVID-19 outbreaks.. [BV]


Observed | May 14

Seven artists on how creating during the quarantine is helping them find solace and meaning in this period of uncertainty and paralyzing anxiety. [BV]


Observed | May 06

On the Detroit City of Design Podcast, Jessica Helfand points to curiosity and agile thinking as a resource for creativity. [BV]


Observed | May 04

How poster artist Randy Tuten inducted Led Zeppelin into the Avocado Club. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | April 27

Is the NYC subway system being unfairly blamed for spreading COVID-19? [MB]


Observed | April 24

Is minimalism the punch line to some joke we haven‘t heard yet, but are about to? [JH]


Observed | April 21

The Great Pottery Throw Down is the feel-good home and design show we need right now. It‘s chill, creative, and educational (with a tiny side of drama). [BV]


Observed | April 20

Shepard Fairey collaborates with Adobe to make a new series of posters celebrating the medical first-responders on the front lines during Covid-19. [JH]


Observed | April 17

How tape is remaking the urban landscape in Singapore. (via Daniel Benneworth-Gray) [BE]


Observed | April 16

The #BestNYAccent challenge on Instagram from Nicolas Heller, answers the question: How does a New Yawker tawk? (via Steven Heller) [BV]



Jobs | July 12