Conquering Fear : My Thoughts on Entrepreneurship

I have been an entrepreneur at heart and have been trying out quite a few things. When  I reflect back on my life so far, I think there are certain instances, which I feel have inspired me. To me, entrepreneurship is all about conquering fear, and only by doing so one can be happy. Only when one is Happy, can one be an entrepreneur.

I spoke on this topic at the SAM UTH, event in VIT Vellore, on the 23rd March. Conquering Fear : My thoughts on Entrepreneurship from Kshitiz Anand

Design Day #8, Bangalore 18th May

I have been a huge proponent of the Design community in Bangalore coming together regularly and interact with each other. Often this happens only over projects, but the need to just come together more informally as well. Bangalore really needs a Design event that happens on a regular basis. There are two things that I am a part of and facilitate.

One is the movie+design nights that I host at my place from time to time, and the other is the Design Day event organized by Aashish Solanki and his team.

For those not familiar with the event, here is more about it.

Design Day is held on the third Saturday of every month, and a theme of Design is selected. There are two talks followed by a JAM session for an hour. The whole thing starts around 9:30 am and goes on till around 1:30 pm. The talks and JAM sessions are related to the theme.

The event is open to Designers and non-designers who share a passion on design and perhaps want to learn something about design.

The upcoming event is on the 18th of May and the theme this time is typography, something that I really enjoy!

Design Day Poster

You can register for the event here It is FREE, though registration is must for arranging the logistics and arranging for passes to the Microsoft Accelerator office where it is held!

I spoke on the theme of Design Education at the last edition of Design Day. You can view my presentation from the same in this earlier blog post .

See you on the 18th!

Story of Design – Design Day talk

On Saturday 20th April, I gave a talk on Design Education in India at the Design Day Event. The event is a curated, monthly, free for all event that serves to act as a platform for designers to meet, interact, network and engage in conversations around design. The theme for the last one was Design education, and every month the theme changes around one aspect in Design.

PROLOGUE OF THIS TALK We as designers often wonder,why is it that we have so less design schools in India, in spite of its rich legacy in crafts and culture. Where are we now and what is the future of Design education in India ? Do we really understand what is Design and the professional practice of design?

Story of Design from Kshitiz Anand

 

On Design Education in India - notes from the DDEI Conference

Design in India is going through interesting times. While there is the huge demand of designers from the industry, there is a crisis in terms of quality resources graduating out of the existing design schools in India. In a country of 1.2 billion people there is only around 45-50 Design schools and institutes. (Compare this with Beijing which alone as around 120 Design Schools, Seoul – 80 Design schools, Singapore – 40 Design schools). Today more people are aware of the role of design and designers in their organizations and the products and services they create. However the quality of designers that they have to choose from remains a concern of many. —- Here is the gist of the conference taken from my notes I took during the conference. 1. There is a huge need for Design education to reach out to the other 80% of the Indian population that do not have access to Design education presently. 2. How does Design education come out of its elitist image, and be affordable to a wider audience. 3. Where does India get the faculty to teach Design? This is been a major concern across all Design institutions in India.  How can the teachers be trained as processors who make more socially responsible designers / people. 4. Can the language and grammar of Design in India be around the notion of Innovation for Improvement and towards building an inclusive development of society. 5. Whether the original “India Report” (proposed by Charles and Ray Eames for the establishment of National Institue of Design [1961]) is being followed in the present state of Design education in India is debatable. Many feel it has deviated. 6. Design was at the helm of development in the 1960s (Nehru’s Vision), but then fell behind in the race with engineering and management schools. 7. Design . . . → Read More: On Design Education in India – notes from the DDEI Conference

Designer's Dilemma: Which conference to attend?

It is really interesting to know that every major city in India now has atleast one Design conference. As a result of this, we designers are often confused on which to attend! Some of these conferences also rotate from one city to the other. What conference to attend depends a lot on asking yourself, what you want to gain out of the conference. For some networking is always on the agenda. For some it is just to soak in the creative positive energies that flows during this conference.

I was just going through the details of two of the upcoming and interesting conferences in India. I wanted to give some information about both. If you were to attend just one, I would recommend the Goa Project. That is my personal opinion based on my profile and interests. For the record, I am going to be attending both of them.

1. India Design Forum. (March 15th, 16th in Mumbai) The India Design Forum- a private registration only program features two days of talks by highly acclaimed design experts from around India and the rest of the world. Going by the past experience of me attending it last year, I know that The India Design Forum is more on the lines of an international (and elitist) event.

India Design Forum 2013

The need for such an event in India is important. However one thing I did not like about this conference is the inability to ask questions to speakers. The format is such that you just hear from “designers”. If that’s the case, I am often wondering, we do that anyway through the videos we see. Though nothing to give away from the tremendous networking opportunity the IDF provides.

If not for the IDF, people in India . . . → Read More: Designer’s dilemma : Which conference to attend?

Open Show Bangalore #9

Open Show is a photography event in Bangalore that I co-produce. We have held 8 events in the past and are now accepting submissions for the 9th edition of the event. You can send in your submissions here

Open Show Bangalore #9

 

Notes from the Indian Design Forum 2012

A few days ago I got back from Delhi. The design community headed to the first version of the India Design Forum, which was held at the Le Meridian hotel in New Delhi on the 9th and 10th March 2012. Amongst the attendees were a lot of people form Europe, some form the Americas and  some participants from Indonesia also. With the amount of buzz that the word design, design education, design driven startups and anything related to design is creating in India, the event holds a significant position.

To the IDF

This was marketed as the first International Design conference in India, which actually its not, but lets just ignore that for the moment.

This post is not meant to be a press release of the conference and neither a summary of what other people spoke, but just a personal reflection on the event and a constructive criticism for the event .

First the positives

The organizers had done a great job in getting a very good list of people to attend as speakers. That itself must have gathered a good crowd. So full marks to the organizers to  at-least reach out to the folks who otherwise would not have graced a design event in India.

I was impressed with the organization in terms of its venue selection, (you would be foolish not to like a posh 5 star hotel) , the effort put into the  whole planning out and the scale. I have seen and been to bigger ones outside India, so this was good to see here as well. The halls were really big, the stage was awesome and so was the audio – visual facilities to help follow the speakers well.

The conference started  with the pretext that design should come out of its elitist image. . . . → Read More: Notes from the Indian Design Forum 2012

Why I love Canvera – notes from a Tweetup.

One of the amazing things about being in Bangalore, is that you are always surrounded by some amazing people, who are so passionate about what they do. It is no wonder that it is the Startup city in India and you get to meet amazing entrepreneurs. Dhiraj and Peeyush from Canvera are two such folks!

I have been a loyal Canvera customer since quite some time now, and was recently at a Tweetup organized by Dhiraj and team. It was something that I could not miss, especially when the a thing on the agenda was to show around the Canvera’s production facility. As a photographer, it is very simple to just see the final output in the form of a photo book. But it has always fascinated me to know the level of complexity that one goes through to get a book that is more like a piece of art in itself. The awesome books that come out are a treasure of memories and a testimony to that is that all my clients who have received the Canvera photobooks have loved it!

Needless to say, all were amazed at the amazing facility in terms of the equipments that are being at par with the best in the world, the quality of paper and the processes in place.

What impressed me most was the attention to detail that is paid at every step. Whether its in the consistency across printers or the lamination of the pages or the cutting of paper or the multi level quality assurance checks or to ensuring privacy of the customers and the photographers.

It may sound easy, but when you get to know that all these have to be done in a maximum turnaround time of 48 hours, you are left amazed! Moreover the challenges that . . . → Read More: Why I love Canvera – notes from a Tweetup.

The rise of SoLoMoN

My recent talk at STC UX conference aimed to throw light on why everyone is a designer and is contributing to the co-creation of UX.

We user experience designers, live in exciting yet challenging times. From the rise of social networks, to the evolution of different devices and platforms, to our design decisions being governed by someone else, the excitement for the field is unbounded. However the excitement also comes with its set of challenges. Design being discussed in the board rooms, poses a lot more challenges. While its an indicator that it is being given its long due value, it also leads to a lot of expectations.

This also allows that a lot of people start pitching into the design process. The rise of the adoption of Agile framework at work places, the decision making in design is starting to get faster and often without much thought about ideas.

Another phenomenon that is gaining momentum, is that with design gaining more prominence across projects, often we end up having many more people who need not be from a design background, to contribute to the designs. These come mainly from the Business teams, the technology teams or even the marketing teams. This is also corroborated by the fact that there is a rise of a lot of crowd sourcing platforms. Design faces a lot of challenges when going via a crowd sourcing platform. As a result of all the above, the UX field is undergoing a paradigm shift.

In a follow-up to my earlier article on Co-creating the User experience, I recently gave a talk on the same topic at the STC UX conference, held on 27th August at Bangalore. Here is the presentation that I used in the talk:

Co-creating the User Experience View more presentations from Kshitiz Anand . . . → Read More: The rise of SoLoMoN

Cyber Ethnography and its challenges in Emerging Markets

I recently attended a talk by Elizabeth Churchill, Principle Research Scientist at Yahoo Inc, California. She was presenting her ideas from a HCI perspective and as a part of the Big Thinkers Series, organized by Yahoo Research and Development, Bangalore.

The talk focused around the idea of SocioTechnical Design and Engineering. The context was primarily in understandings for the Internet Experience Domain. It was a great talk! I enjoyed every moment of it. It is especially important in the context in which we have opened up Deskala. At Deskala, we are exploring the reach of technology in emerging markets and coming up with design solutions, services and innovations.

With the context of communities changing everyday (Sherry Turkle et al. ), the way we conduct research on users is also changing. What was the notion of a community a few years ago is not the same today.  Cyber-ethnography has become the most appropriate tool in reaching a definition of the virtual community.

In the context of an emerging market like India, the need for defining newer methods of user research is important. The penetration of technology is limited to the mobile experiences amongst the emerging markets population. But with the ever changing technological scenario, the technological intervention will expand to other forms of technology.

One of the key propositions going on in the design research field is to bridge the gap between the offline and the online. In India at-least, inspite of having a good reach of technology, there are only 32.1% of the population who are online and are accessing internet from devices.

The notion of cyber space, is therefore not limited only to the online world. One has to expand the understanding of the cyber space. So in the ideal case of cyber-ethnography, one would spend hours in this . . . → Read More: Cyber Ethnography and its challenges in Emerging Markets