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Alongside the Week, the 31st edition of the annual assembly of the WDO, an international platform for industrial design, will take place for the first time in India—in Hyderabad (Courtesy: DesignAware)
Alongside the Week, the 31st edition of the annual assembly of the WDO, an international platform for industrial design, will take place for the first time in India—in Hyderabad (Courtesy: DesignAware)

How design innovation can help fight poverty, pollution

The first edition of Hyderabad Design Week aims to raise awareness about sustainable construction and living

New Delhi: Can the power of design improve lives? Is it possible to use design innovation to address environmental concerns and poverty? The inaugural edition of Hyderabad Design Week, starting on 9 October, aims to explore these questions over the course of five days through art, panel discussions, workshops and keynotes by designers, artists and architects from across the world.

Organized by the Telangana government in partnership with India Design Forum (IDF) and the World Design Organisation (WDO), the Hyderabad Design Week will “explore how design innovation can be used to address the problems facing the world". Alongside the Week, the 31st edition of the annual assembly of the WDO, an international platform for industrial design, will take place for the first time in India—in Hyderabad.

Contending among other global cities in 2018, the city won the bid to host the prestigious World Design Assembly. It is even more wonderful that it will be held in tandem with the city’s own design event Hyderabad Design Week, says Jayesh Ranjan from the Telangana government’s department of industry and commerce.

‘Humanising design’

The Hyderabad Design Week, which is expected to see over 150 international participants, will include presentations and projects from industry figures “to understand the role of design in tackling issues such as clean water and sanitation, the environmental impact of mass consumerism, and pressing healthcare agendas". Themed “humanising design", the event will have a conference; a design expo, featuring works by students and design professionals from across the country; workshops; and citywide tours showcasing the region’s heritage crafts.

A key highlight of the programme is Design Conference (11-12 October), which will take place at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre (HICC) and feature eminent such as Marcus Fairs (Dezeen), Tim Kobe (Eight Inc.), Cristiano Ceccato (Zaha Hadid Architects), Jane Withers (Jane Withers Studio), Emma Greer (Carlo Ratti Associati) and Pratap Bose (Tata Motors).

Other highlights include the Wonderwater Café, a initiative by UK-based Jane Withers Studio, which aims to create awareness of the water footprint of what we eat; a contemporary atelier set up by Italy’s Politecnico di Milano for technologists and jewellery designers to co-create wearable tech devices that respond to critical healthcare problems in India; and a large-scale upcycled plastic installation curated by street art foundation St+art India, which addresses the environmental impact of consumerism.

There are many challenges in today’s world such as ecological crises, infrastructure of the future, ethical impact of technology, among others. Humanizing design will play a crucial role in addressing these, believes Praveen Nahar, director, National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad.

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