Visualising my Past

Recently I started sketching certain scenes from past incidents. I tried keeping it as simple as possible by bringing out the minimum characteristics of every person.

In this one, the character with the collars is my granddad and the small kid is me. Scenes starting from I sitting on his lap watching Tv to his death have been visualized.

This one has 4 characters in it. The one with the black mark on the face ( a sign of a mustache) and a half bald head is my dad. The younger kid is me. The lady in a skirt is my mom and the one with a bow tie is my sister.


DNA Young Adults Illustrations

The following illustrations featured in DNA’s Young Adults.

The epaper can be found here.

Making life simpler – Bangalore Mirror

The ” Eat , Walk, Feed ” concept that was proposed at World Usability day 09 has been covered by Bangalore mirror dated 11th December 2009.

Read more about it here.

How does the idea of walking out of a concrete jungle right into the arms of a vegetable garden sound to you? One of the teams came up with an idea of an ‘edible landscape’. Instead of spending loads of moolah on decorative but useless plants, plant vegetables like tomatoes and the like. This method also initiates a change in the behavioural level of the employees, because it becomes the responsibility of the employees to feed the plant. They are encouraged to walk in the gardens and feed the plants, thereby promoting good health, sustained eco-system around offices and effective utilization of office spaces. The idea was mooted by Angeline Bhavya(@strangie) , Kanchana G (@kanchana_g) and Shankar Narayan (@notnarayan)

Art = seduction

This debate will never end. Second day into NID we newbie’s had started  calling Art names and somehow the debate circled around the fact that art had no purpose and that design does. Any composition (thats one common term artists and designers agree upon) if had a purpose and if was designed for that purpose was a design. And art on the other side was made as an expressing, most of the times fueled by emotions (not thoughts).Design on the other hand is directly equated to purpose.

To start with we were convinced about what art was and what design was.Art was bad and design was good.As far as our intellects allowed us were happy with this argument and stopped at this.

Over the last few months I have started developing a difference of opinion with respect to what art is and why it needs to be handled in a different way. Whether it’s the right judgment or wrong is something Art does not cater to.There is nothing that is wrong and nothing that’s right. That’s art. Its an expression which is either accepted and comprehended by the masses or not. The funny thing about art is that if a particular piece is incomprehensible it has greater value. Its almost as if this piece will, as time ages, speak it self out to the viewer.

Art could be a product of the artists emotions but, not entirely. It creates emotions in the viewer. And only a good design (according to us ) could do that.

As of now, I believe I am standing on that thin line between art and design finding it difficult to decide which perimeter to stumble into. Design is tugging my arm talking to me about purpose and large scale use. Art on the other hand is a very seductive goddess. It just sits there and stares at me.

That’s the power of art. Seduction.

Further Thoughts:
An artist was first a designer and then expressed himself using the designs he came up with. For e.g.. Cave paintings did expect the man to make paint. Now man first designed paint and that’s a good design. Over the years, rabbit hair and horse hair was used as brushes. These were all products that were made for a particular purpose. The purpose was to drive art, express oneself. A canvas is a good design.

Univers Revolved : A solution

Universal design, is a good challenge. One well worth the effort. Universal philosophy argues that if a particular design is acceptable to all, whether he is physically handicapped, blind or hard of hearing, this product, if it appeals to him is a universal design. Don Norman, in his book emotional design explains the fact that there is no excuse not to design  usable products that everyone can use.

Art has a very funny way of looking at you. Somehow most of the art pieces I have encountered seem like they could solve some problem. Sometime ago I happened to see the “Univers Revolved” and a problem that was lingering in my mind was finally solved.

Why must a person be branded as being visually challenged. Is it only because of a majority of us can see? What if we found ourselves on a planet where most of the people were blind and things were designed by them ? Then who would be the challenged one ?

This is a problem at the universal design level.

Communication barriers if broken between a visually challenged person and an able person would be  a good communication design. The solution to bridge this gap could be found in Univers Revolved.

Every alphabet in latin has a specific form. This form we see it is on a 2D plane. Univers Revolved takes this to a 3D plane. The resulting shapes look like this :-

When a challenged person encounters this shape he would have to be initially be told that it is a particular alphabet. The same way one learns alphabets, whether in braile or by writing it on a piece of paper. The concept of an alphabet is known to the blind through the brail system. A blind man’s sense of touch is marvelous. Using this sense of touch and which the knowledge that the blind man has of alphabets he will learn the forms of these alphabets. On the other hand the able man can see these forms and capture them to be a particular alphabet just by mentally revolving them back to its original form.

Thereby there is a common means of communication between the blind and the able. Design at this level can forever eradicate the concept of a visually challenged person.

What is cute and why?

So, what is cute ? Certain questions that come to my mind ( I am tempted to call it the intellect ) I would try and explain it to myself. What is that which is cute ? Why is a small dog cute ? Why is a little kid cute ? What is it about little things that make them cute ?

All these questions were driving me crazy. Every well reflected answer, did not convince me. I started asking people around me what they found was cute and why ? Never was the answer good enough to convince me and by now a small group of people started asking the same question to all.

And one day, I picked up Don Norman’s ‘Emotional Design’ and there, in a second I found solace.

There are 3 levels in which decisions are taken. They are the visceral, behavioral and reflective. Every decision we take, any decision is a product of one of these different independently existing levels. A decision to select the colour of ones car would be on a visceral level where as which Tv is more value for money would be on a reflective level.

Somehow the concept of what was cute, I tried pushing it top down to a reflective level. When the answer to this question was at the visceral level. A designer’s fear towards a visceral attraction had me trying to answer this question only through reasoning.

This is the thought process captured when I looked at a particular object and liked it. Why I liked it ? I don’t know. So to try and answer this question I come up with multiple reasons.

Me :Hmmm, I like it.

The Reflective Mind(TRM): Oh! why do you like it ?

TRM: Because…

TRM: Ha ha ha

Me: Hmmm I wonder why I like it, maybe it’s the organic form, or the way the user can hold it? Hmmm I think its because its usable and can fit into a person’s everyday life.

TRM: Naah, not convincing enough!

So what’s wrong if a person is unable to explain why he likes a particular thing . I believe a designer who is unable to answer this question is in tune with his visceral side apart from the reflective side. And working with these two entities together is a great combination.

One side looks at the function while the other looks at the form. Functionality and Looks. A well tuned designer’s mind would be where his behavioral traits are under control and he uses the visceral and the reflective side while designing a product.

So coming back to what is cute ? Well, I don’t think I can answer that.

As the dog barked…

It was a normal day. Nothing had really changed. The bookshelf was at the same place as it always sat catching dust. The gods, as we were forced to call them, sat where they were made to. Over the years, we had assigned ourselves certain places and we ended up sitting at the same desired place. Nothing had changed. The songs that played in that room belonged to the same set that was played everyday.

But there was something different about this evening. There was this eerie sense in the air, a strange smell, a strong perfume that none of us could comprehend. The perfume was strong enough to cloud one’s thoughts and make “its” absence felt.

Apart from the songs that played, there was another sound that kept echoing in the back. There was this dog which kept on barking. As a kid I remember being told, maybe by popular belief, that if the dog barked this way, someone was to die.

could  it be that I was the only one who sensed that perfume ?