The Association of Designers of India (ADI), organizers of the first ever Bengaluru Design Week, realize that design is one of the most poorly understood disciplines in India. The Design Week, which starts on 29 September, aims to showcase the all-pervasiveness of design in our lives, its utility and importance, and its value as a career.

“Indian design and designers have reached a heft and stature that is not celebrated today. Forget New York or London—Thailand has two design weeks. This is a step towards putting Indian design on the global map," says Manu Neelakandhan, director of Bengaluru design studio IdeaCulture and joint secretary of ADI, which plans to make the event a global one by 2020 by inviting designers from India and across the world.

For now, the focus is on Bengaluru designers and companies that have embraced design thinking. There’s a “Design Collage", an opportunity for the design community to host mini events (with 40 such events over the week); an exhibition; a film festival; “Design Santhe", a pop-up market; and a conference.

Perhaps the most interesting events are those at the intersections: between design and technology, food, art, sustainability and data. There’s the “Dine X Design pub crawl", which will showcase uniquely designed restaurants in the city; a studio crawl organized by Design Core to understand the basics of museum design; a hackathon to apply design thinking to big data solutions; game sessions at Kavade Attic, a studio working for the revival of traditional Indian games; and a session at Schmancy, a company that creates sustainable packaging. “We are moving to an era where you can’t sell anything without telling a story. As consumers, we don’t just buy products—we consume stories and value systems," says Neelakandhan.

The Bengaluru Design Week is on from 29 September-6 October. For more information, visit www.blrdesignweek.com

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