A peep into Kochi Design Week by Surfaces Reporter
SURFACES REPORTER was a media partner for the second edition of the KOCHI DESIGN WEEK held from the 12th-14th Dec 2019 at the Bolgatty Palace, Kochi. Vertica Dvivedi and Madhurima Chowdhury visited the event mainly organised by the state governments Department of Information Technology in association with Asset Foundation, one of the highlights of the event was the announcements by the honourable Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan to develop a Design Policy for the State, a first of its kind in India. Developmental projects should invariably resolve the concerns of the local population and take special care to make them not only part of the process but also position then as the end beneficiaries, a panel of experts said at the Kochi Design Week.
The event also included exhibitions, installations and contests besides cultural shows and a unique food fair, a Blockchain Summit, titled Block Hash Live to discuss the business potential of the technology-driven new age and an inclusive platform, titled ‘Design Open’, that makes design accessible to all. It also discussed the latest trends in design as well as architecture for their effective implementation to counter natural calamities.
Some cost-Effective Nature-friendly installations at KDW:
- A wooden watercraft containing big paper balls and small boats displaying lines of profuse thanksgiving symbolise the salute of Keralites to the fisherfolk community for saving thousands of lives during last year’s deluge.
- Another installation is a collection of 50 photographs judges selected from among 4,000 such entries to an annual competition held six months ago by environmental organisation Greenstorm Foundation along with UNEP named ‘Breath of Nature’
- Rows of cost-effective installations with striking appearance. For instance, there are thin wooden planks that are actually parts from vegetable carton boxes. The festoons and tiny boats are made of paper. Hanging dolls are of the ‘Chekutty’ variety that has been a hit in Kerala as symbols of people’s resilience after the 2018 floods that hit the coastal state.
- ‘Book of Life’ that speaks poignantly about the intensity of the 2018 flood in SS Higher Secondary School in Neethu’s Areekode, 25 km north of Malappuram city.
Other highlights included:
- Cultural programmes on all the three evenings fusing traditional Kerala arts in a way that appeal to new-age sensibilities.
- Students create cost effective wheelchair solution:
The daily struggle of their physically-challenged friend reaching the classroom made two Manjeri-based school boys think about designing an easy-access wheelchair. The class XII students, Mohamad Siyad and Mohamad Faisal of Government Boys Senior Secondary School, Manjeri, Malapuram have innovated a cost-effective solution for wheelchair-bound people called Wheelchair Assist.
- A stall on illustrious Chendamangalam weaving, heralding the relevance of novel design elements that can help the traditional handloom industry grow in the new age. At KDW, leading designer couture brand Rouka collaborated with an NGO called Care for Chendamangalam to create a set of novel-looking garments that is drawing a lot of attention.
Inviting visitors to try paint in 3D space, International School of Creative Arts (ISCA) introduced design buffs to a world of virtual reality. Using ‘Tilt Brush’ application Google launched three-and-a-half years ago, users were provided with a virtual palette that permits one to select a range of brush types as well as colours.
Besides the Chief Minister, Shri Pinarayi Vijayan, the list of speakers also includes Oscar-winning sound designer Resool Pookutty, contemporary artist Bose Krishnamachari of Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF), HPIC Chairman S D Shibulal, Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy, IxDA president Alok Nandi of Architempo, Amazon senior manager Shibu Damodharan, Microsoft Country Head Lathika S Pai, Accenture MD Charulatha Ravi Kumar, Titan Company Chief Design Officer Revathi Kant, Thomas Garvey of Carleton University, Biren Ghose of Technicolour India, Lydia Thornley of ISCA London, David Ludlow of University of West England, Marta Piekarska-Geater of Hyperledger, Robby Schwertner of Austria’s CryptoRobby and Jane Thomason of Fintech Worldwide.
Some of the other prominent speakers, besides Mr Sivasankar and Kerala Chief Secretary Tom Jose, were the National Institute of Design former director Pradyumna Das, IIT-Mumbai Industrial Design Centre head G V Sreekumar, Kerala Startup Mission CEO Saji Gopinath, and Asset Homes MD V Sunil Kumar.
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