Sunday, September 16, 2007

Goa Design Yatra 2007

I agree with many attendees of Design Yatra 2007, when they say that the
Design Yatra was indeed a great point for designers to
interact, and renew their gusto for design. I also
agree that the speakers Neville Brody, stefan
Seigmaster, Kyle Cooper, Michael johnson were
inspiring to the effect, that we sat upright ready to
run back to our respective studios to "start a
revolution" or "take a year's vacation".
In addition to the above stated nods I too did not
miss any Indian Speaker.
Two words for them - Boring and Un Inspired
with an exception of perhaps, Piyush Pandey. though he
needs to stop harping about Fevicol.
there is no doubt that it was a great job. But for
people who haven't heard Piyush before it's the same
presentation he offers almost every time he is invited
to speak to a rather advertising unaware crowd.
every talk Starts and ends with Fevicol, it was a
minor relief that he added Hutch at all and as a peace
offering showed us 1 piece of work from another
advertising professional, with no due credit.
he was however a relief from the worse and rather
boring Indian design speakers before and after him.

Indian Designers who are invited to make presentations
have attended talks in the past by many many other
International design professionals. And they know that
I or them as an audience are ready to fall in love at
first sight, willing to be romanced until they stop
talking, with no pre conceived notions. And they must
in all surity know that if you don't grab me by the
balls in the first three minutes, the romance is over.

I don't claim to be a good speaker and a lot of more
successful designers declined from speaking because
they knew they couldn't.
But when agreeing to Present it is imperative to
prepare for a "presentation Talk" not a lecture in
design school . Hear yourself and talk to us. Not talk
to yourself about yourself and hope to hear from us.
If you don't have any wow factor to your work and/or
gab, its a waste of everyone's time.

Which is perhaps why Piyush was far more grabbing than
the rest of Indian Speakers. he wasn't talking about
anything new. he just spoke as if he was in his living
room having a private presentation and if he can talk
about centuries old work and still get claps, he cant
be that bad.

I also disagree that the Kyoorius team did a great job
of the event.
I think it was tacky and mediocre.
I did not attend last year but heard from good sources
that it was great and in retrospect, greater. More
Interactive, smaller but focussed postive energy.
Kyoorius, i feel got too ambitious and greedy after
last year's success.
1700 people to be handled with foolish infrastructure.
with 1200 paying Rs. 12,000 each. Some five speakers
dropped out last minute. And I am not quite sure if
they had confirmed at all. I have not heard of
International Speakers cancelling at the last minute
ever. Once confirmed, It is on their calendar and they
arrive as planned. And 5 of them together is a bit too
much to believe. I reckon it was because they weren't
being paid to talk, as neville Brody happen to let
slip out.
The Photo show was a laugh and a complete waste of
space and exhibitors' money. Should we tell Kyoorius,
there is something called a curator?
They made this whole note about displaying
Photographer's work as if it was the greatest exhibit
India had ever seen and then show us 20 panels of been
there seen that images. For a whole day we could barely hear the Design speakers.
They were hoping 1700 people
would be able to hear the talks along with god's voice
with 2 speakers on either side.
The awards show was a joke. They did not show the work
which won. The wrong spellings on the award slides
were an unforgivable error, And as a little know fact,
they also regretfully claimed later at night that
they FORGOT to announce the Best of the Show award,
which incidentally was won by Codesign/Rajesh Dahiya.

Many of you have and will say "atleast they made an
effort". I am quite tired with people who are happy
"with just an effort".
I am a designer and almost everyone reading this is
too. We work hard, striving for perfection or atleast
trying to. And "an effort" is just not good enough! I
don't know about the rest I certainly do appreciate
what quality is. Unconfirmed and cancelling speakers,
Stinky loos with no water, a littered beach and
venue, A ridiculous trade exhibit. Horribly organised,
gatecrashed after math DESIGN FORUM party, with 1400
times 2 people, is not my idea of a super fabulous-tic

The speakers apparently were not paid to speak or so
said Neville Brody. The whole show was sponsored by
atleast 20 companies. The tacky giveaways were velvet
covered pencils, ghastly paper boxes, with worse
giveaways inside them, again with no sense of any
curation or design. All of which i readily left
behind. Saddened with the waste that was so tackily
put together. It may be a huge design yatra, but what
a littered and environment UNfriendly yatra it was.
Plastic glasses and Thermacol plates, with five
garbage bins.
And I am not going to apologise for saying this but
if Kyoorius has the gumption to organise a seminar for
2000 design students and professionals such as this,
It better be a clean, well thought out, designed, and
tight event.
Oh yes I forgive the part where the venue was sunk in
water the day and they couldn;t organise the food or
the water or the photo stall in time. but the above
mentioned catastrophes have nothing to do with that.

Rajesh Kejariwal is not a designer, he is a patron, I
reckon, at the least. But mostly he is a hardcore
business man, He sees business sense in getting
designers together because he sees business
opportunity to make good money in our need for that
exposure and for a forum.
Don't get me wrong, I see nothing wrong in the
intention and the business sense, But a designers
forum cannot be treated like another pragati maidan
mela. I put my profession on a pedestal and I am proud
of it. I expect others to treat it so. Aren't we the
ones who are here to make and appreciate a change ;
For our environment, for presentation, for our causes,
for our lifestyles, for our ever renewing values and
perhaps also for our country. Shouldn't we be
responsible for all of the above. And if Kyoorious is
our mediator should it not believe in the same?

And If Kyoorius is the one mirroring an example for
our habits, beliefs, presentation, design aesthetics
and functions and more so to the international world,
then we are undoubtedly doomed.

I certainly don't believe we need validity from
International designers and companies any more. But
more than them to show to ourselves that we don't care
about presentation be it a talk or an event is an
insult to our intelligence.

As a mediator and Design forum organiser Kyoorius did
just that, by being too ambitious and less giving.
The event was ofcourse monetarily very profitable to

I might come across as being petty, And believe me I
have checked myself many times since I returned and I
don't think so. I and all others paid for this
'event'. An "event" counts in TOTALITY not in bits and
pieces. When we pay for something we expect service
and not too ambitious but within Indian standards
(which incidentally is no less capable) , if not more.
Just as it is expected of us. I would like to believe
that we have become a more responsible generation of
professionals than before. I also don't think we need
validity from designers abroad, I think there are
hundreds of great Indian designers, less experienced
and more. Inspiration, Aspiration, different and
revolutionary ideas yes, but not validity. We do have
to work harder to get good work out a lot more than
designers abroad, but that too will and can be dealt
with in due course of time and knowledge.

30,000 Rupees later, I don't know about you, But I
feel a bit gypped. and if it wasn't for the The
saving factors - 4 inspiring speakers, old and new
friends and colleagues, Alcohol and most importantly
Goa; I would have certainly regretted even bothering
to go.

2500 you say next year? I shudder to think of what may
3 more design gurus Confirmed you say? I wouldn't bet
on that.
We'll have to wait and see about those confirmations.

And I am hoping Kyoorius does not assault us with
mediocrity and greed again.

1 comment:

Tanushree, NID said...

hi there...
i couldnt agree more with your view on Kyoorius Designyatra 2007. It seemed that the organizers, after having raked in all the moolah in the form of registration fee, completely neglected the need to take care of their guests, especially the students (who comprised majority of the attendees). the much hyped calypso beach party ran out of food. i along with many other friends had to return hungry, without having dinner. more than the alcohol we were looking forward to interact and network with people from our fraternity. isnt that what such socializing is all about?? but there was no effort from the organization to hold the party together, or create an environment to facilitate it!

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