This is the first of a set of three manifestos I’m writing which I hope will form the seed, soul and eventually the spine of what this site eventually hopes to be.
This is something I have been putting off for a while now, not out of procrastination, but rather from not having found the right moment in time to do so. I believe right now, sitting on a train en route to Bombay from Bangalore, with the sun setting to my right as I travel north, a copy of Of Love and Other Demons spread open, upside down on my lap, is the right time.
The idea for this exercise struck me only a month back. It is the assumed prerogative of every practising designer to put together a portfolio of work on the Internet to woo prospective clients and assert a presence on the web to interested parties looking for design work to be done. The first question from a prospective client is almost always, “do you have a website?
My allergy for code has kept me from building a site with all the bells and whistles of what the web world calls current, but I discovered this was only a minor hurdle, since the (mostly welcoming) web offers many options for creating sites.
The second hurdle was of what to put on the site. Working independently over the course of three, almost four years now, has given me a portfolio of more than seventy projects to feature, but all the projects in the world only partially communicate who one really is, since I believe that is what is more important when developing a healthy professional relationship, rather that prior achievements.
Having spent nearly a decade steeping myself in the field of design, its not surprising that I now not only live and breathe it, but also perceive the world through the eyes of a visual designer, spending hours assessing the pertinence and propriety of the symbols on bathroom doors, squinting at the inappropriate use of type and colour all around us and sighing contentedly, observing precise alignments of image bottoms to text baselines, I believe its a special pleasure to perceive the world as a series of shapes, positive and negative spaces, shadows, lights and colours.
Through the Design section (for lack of a better phrase, currently) I hope to feature design process (not as a manual or doctrine of ideal practices, but as a demonstration of an approach; a cross section through the brain, if you will), profiles of people contributing to the field of design I’ve had the good fortune to learn, work and interact with, design projects (executed professional ones, hypothetical ones and student projects), amongst other things I know I don’t know yet.
The intention behind this endeavour is to honestly outline the process, intentions and outcomes of design. I’d like to confess to a bias towards design at the very beginning of this endeavour, since I believe that design is essentially an entity or movement or school of thought that has the betterment of human life as its most major goal. It isn’t something that is restricted to a designer with a degree from a D school or a portfolio laden with concepts and sketches and prototypes and proposals; design thinking is a universal ability, silently advocated by the Rennaissance men and women of yesteryears and anyone with a flair for building something fresh out of all they see around them. Our educations, conditionings and perhaps just inertia dulls this otherwise universal sensibility and convinces us that we can only be good at one thing (at a time, or mostly, at all).
This idea forms the crux of this effort – the idea that we are all renaissance men and women, that we, as humans are all blessed with the ability to not just create, but create with thought, with the seed of an idea or concept that blossoms into infinite tangible items that we surround ourselves and others around us with.
This Design Manifesto comes first only because of the bias that comes from my education and background towards design, because it is what forms the foundation of my creative thought process, and more importantly, how I communicate it to the world.
My fingertips have now worn the holes in the paint on the keyboard of my phone wider than they have ever been. The sun has nearly set, the sky is a shade of dark orange as my train coasts in a north by north-westerly direction. Hunger is now setting in, thanks to the travel friendly- super -light meal I had before I boarded this train.
An ideal time to move onto the Gastronomy manifesto.