How do you create a sensible design that benefits the residents when transforming into smart cities, or how can design play are role in creating positive impact of your innovation on your customers? Is it possible to create water sustainability? These and more pressing issues will be raised and discussed at the 31st edition of World Design Assembly, which will take place simultaneously with the launch of Hyderabad Design Week on October 9. Organised by the Government of Telangana in partnership with India Design Forum (IDF), the five day event spread across various venues within the city has noted names from design community, who will come together to speak under this year’s theme - Humanising Design.

One of the marquee names at this year’s conference is Eight Inc. founder Tim Kobe, who worked with Steven Jobs to create the first Apple store. Over the years, his interdisciplinary approach in strategic and experience design, has lead him to work with companies such as Nike, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Citibank and Lincoln. Through his vast industry experience, Kobe will talk about how design, business and innovation intersect in creating meaning experience among users and its importance.

Other speakers include UK-based Jane Withers, who runs the Jane Withers Studio, works towards innovative design thinking to tackle social cultural and environmental issues. Her focus lies in creating experiential engagement with water, so that it enables discussion on water conservation. At the conference, she will discuss about the future of sustainable sanitation with reference to the project, Loo Café x Water Loop, which she has worked on in collaboration with British Council. The project aims to examine new model for public toilets in Hyderabad.

Tim Kobe
Tim Kobe

With automobile industry undergoing massive disruptions and innovations, another interesting talk to watch out for will be by Tata Motors’ head of design Pratap Bose. Leading the design of passenger and commercial vehicles for one of India’s largest conglomerates, Bose will discuss the challenges of designing aspirational product and how the company is adapting to the changes.

While mobility is an important aspect of urban dwellers’ lives, with cities embracing Internet of Things (IOT) and gearing up to become ‘Smart cities’, Canadian architect Emma Greer will critically look at the varied applications of IOT from mobility to citizen participation.

People interested in material futures should consider listening to the talk by Henry Skupnewicz , co head, Godrej Design Labs. Skupniewicz, who founded the digital fabrication lab at CEPT University in Ahmedabad, will give a glimpse into the future of design – through trans-disciplinary practise and expert collaborations.

Although it’s important to discuss about eh human centric design innovation from the prism of tackling larger social issues in the world, Peter Draper of Makuta –VFX will take the audience through the world of another experiential design, that in entertainment. Known for his visual effect work in Baahubali franchise and other movies, Draper will throw light on the magical realm of VFX through the movies he’s associated with.

Shiva Nallaperumal of design firm November will share the typefaces she has developed and working with existing fonts that reflect human intuitions and break preconceived mind-set around design practices.

Marcus Fraiser of DEZEEN, Sandeep Sangaru of Sangaru Studio, Christiano Caccato of Zaha Hadid Associates, Priyanka Khanna, founder of Fashion of Good, Bodice’s Ruchika Sachdeva, Jayathi Reddy of Jayathi Reddy Label and Rakesh Jetli, project lead – better air now, IKEA, are also expected to speak at the conference.

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