Even if Hyderabad missed the bus for setting up the National Institute of Design because of the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, it has been racing ahead to become a design hub. Over the last four years, the city has been providing an ecosystem for entrepreneurial talent. Hosting the World Design Assembly early next month is a case in point. It is the first Indian city to organise the annual assembly of the World Design Organisation (WDO), an international platform for industrial design. Alongside is the inaugural edition of Hyderabad Design Week (HDW), where India Design Forum (IDF) has come together with the Government of Telangana and WDO to “explore how design innovation can be used to address the problems facing the world”.
At the Hyderabad International Convention Centre, Kondapur, from October 9 to 13, there will be 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, exhibitions, installations at multiple venues in the city, workshops and design tours. While the steep entry fee of Rs 18,000 per person for the conference is a moot point, many events in and around the city are free for all. Venues across the city include Chowmahalla Palace, State Gallery of Art, Jubilee Hills, Salarjung Museum and People’s Plaza, near Hussain Sagar Lake. “We want to use this opportunity to enhance the perception of design. It has always been the mandate of IDF to showcase that design is more than just aesthetics; it’s about having an innovative approach to thinking, living and working,” says Rajshree Pathy, Founder, IDF.
Pathy spoke of collaborations with international and Indian designers and consultants, which includes the Loo Cafe x Water Loop. UK-based Jane Withers Studio, known for melding environmental concerns and design, will present the impact of what we eat on water resources; the cafe menu will deconstruct how much water is used for the dishes served. Hyderabad studio DesignAware will have pavilions and installations at parks to create awareness about sustainable construction.
Design consultant Elizabeth John of Alcubis Design Solutions will present the ‘Pochampally Project’ at the Rajeev Gandhi International Airport to illustrate the region’s distinctive double-weave ikat. “It will be a wind installation, inspired by origami, in the shape of a spiral. I wanted to give the ikat weave a modern twist with the four-fabric installation, nearly 12×4 feet in size. The craft sector is usually not glamorous but by giving it a design intervention, I hope it reaches out to more people,” says John.
“The distinct flavour that the city derives from its history can’t be ignored and we wish to celebrate it,” says Pathy.