Hyderabad leaves its mark on world design leaders

Working with Telangana government was a pleasant experience, says WDO president

By Author  |  Published: 13th Oct 2019  12:32 am
world design leaders
IT and Industries Minister KT Rama Rao at the Hyderabad Design Week at HICC on Saturday.

Hyderabad: Lumium Design Inc Chief Executive Officer Srini R Srinivasan is the first Indian to become the president of the World Design Organisation (WDO). And he has a lot of positives to say about the Telangana government and Hyderabad.

Impressed with the success of Hyderabad Design Week, Bengaluru, Kochi and Ahmedabad are now planning to organise their respective design weeks. Kochi is planning in December and they came here to learn about the different aspects of the event, he said.

Government’s support is the key to successfully organising events such as World Design Assembly. IT and Industries Minister KT Rama Rao took the challenge to get the international design event to Hyderabad. Generally, most governments impose conditions or restrictions while organising a mega event or a programme, he said.

“Having dealt with different governments the world over, I must admit that I have had a pleasant experience working here with the Telangana government, especially KT Rama Rao,” said Srinivasan.

“As a person of Indian origin, I wish events to be remembered by people, especially by foreign delegates. India has developed a lot and there is a need to bring such events and Hyderabad is leading the way,” he said.

It is nice to witness India recognising the need to design. About 20 years ago, companies used to produce products and consumers had to buy them compromising on different aspects. Now, there is a lot of awareness on design and companies that do not pay attention to design of their product will not remain in the race. Even governments are recognising this importance. There is fierce competition between different cities to attract investments, younger generation and new workforce, design is helping the economy directly and indirectly, he said.

On the agenda of WDO, Srinivasan said a network of cities was being proposed. Cities can now become members of WDO which was not possible earlier. This will enable the cities to have access to all the WDO contents. “I hope Hyderabad will be one of those early cities, which become our members,” he said.

Urban planning involves a lot of architecture but the motive confines to real estate development to draw investments. The WDO will stress on setting up Ministry of Design or Chief Design Officer, who would think about urban design, street design, garbage clearance all under one umbrella, he added.

Hyderabad beats Beijing to host WDA

India Design Forum (IDF) founder and entrepreneur Rajshree Pathy said Hyderabad beat many top cities, including Beijing, to host the 31st edition of the World Design Assembly (WDA), which was conducted for the time in India along with the Hyderabad Design Week.

 world design leaders
Rajshree pathy

With the Telangana government announcing that the Hyderabad Design Week would now become an annual event, the IDF is making huge plans to make the week-long event more vibrant and draw global attention. There will be more focus on infrastructure projects, design events all over Telangana, working closely with design education institutes and roping in students for more exposure, she said.

Currently, most of the design studios are not employing local students. There is a need to change this trend by providing platforms for budding designers from the region to exhibit their talent, pointed out Rajshree, who is a Telugu origin entrepreneur settled in Coimbatore.

As more design events are organised, the mindset towards design will change. These events get representatives from leading global companies and this will offer scope for networking and collaboration between local companies and MNCs, she said.

T-Hub, strong design community drew WDA

Before finalsing a city for hosting this event, the WDA looks at different parameters.

Explaining the parameters that were considered by the WDA, IDF Partnership Director Naomi Davenport said WDA was particularly interested in United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and how the cities were working towards these goals. They were impressed with T-Hub, excited about upcoming T-Works and also acknowledged the commitment of the city and existence of strong design community here, she said.

Srinivasan takes over as WDO president

Indian origin entrepreneur Srini R Srinivasan took over as the new president of the World Design Organisation from outgoing president Luisa Baccietto during the Hyderabad Design Week here on Saturday.

world design leaders
Srini R Srinivasan

The prestigious 31st edition of the World Design Assembly (WDA) was brought to India and took place in Hyderabad for the first time. Hyderabad Design Week (HDW) is being hosted in tandem with the World Design Assembly.

On Saturday, the conference kicked off with a beautiful presentation on ‘Humanising Design’, the theme of HDW. IT and Industries Minister KT Rama Rao addressed the gathering and said the Telangana government understood the issue of sustainable development and was working on addressing the issue. However, these changes could only be brought by our collective efforts, he said.

The Minister released the HDW coffee table book brought out by the Industries Department in just five days. He later distributed Asu machines to weavers. These machines were designed and developed by rural innovator C Mallesham, who hails from a weaving family in erstwhile Nalgonda district. ‘Asu’ making is an important process in Pochampally handloom weaving.
Experts from different fields, including Praveen Nahar, Director, National Institute of Design, Rajasree Pathy, Director, India Design Forum, Luisa Baccietto, Rajiv Kumar, MD, India Development Centre, Microsoft, and others addressed the gathering.

The five-day design extravaganza was attended by 800 delegates, including 250 foreign delegates. HDW concludes on Sunday with city tours of the installations and design districts such as Maqta by St+art India and Asli Hyderabad.

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