Design (2018 | Issue 3)

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DESIGNER SPEAK

What’s Up, Germany? asked Indian and German shapers of design what immediately comes to mind when they hear the words German design. What is their impression? Does a typical German design sensibility exist? Here’s what they had to say!

Rakesh Thakore, design director, Abraham & Thakore

Rakesh Thakore, design director, Abraham & Thakore

“I admire the work of German designers like Jil Sander, Karl Lagerfeld, Hugo Boss and Wolfgang Joop. In Germany, the emphasis is on high-end, machine-made contemporary textiles that cater to a large market, whereas in India the commitment is towards handloom and traditional textile craft. Indo-German ties need further establishing among German designers visà-vis Indian textiles and craftsmanship and vice versa. German designers and Indian handloom craftsmen should see more interesting future associations.”

Alicia Souza, illustrative designer

Alicia Souza, illustrative designer

“When it comes to German graphic design I immediately think of ‘working beauty’. Problem-solving done aesthetically is the first thing that pops into my head. Germans are known for their high-quality standards, including innovation and attention to detail. They are one of the world leaders in all fields of design—and with good reason.”

Mukul Goyal, principal designer & director, Designwise India Pvt Ltd

Mukul Goyal, principal designer & director, Designwise India Pvt Ltd

“German sensibilities in design are quite varied and traverse a whole spectrum, from an emotional, spontaneous type of design to a logical, in-depth kind. The reason for its worldwide acceptance and demand is its ability to integrate design factors with the highest level of delivery and performance, which take the products to a very high level of positioning.”

Sheela Tiruchi, model & director, Libelle Events

Sheela Tiruchi, model & director, Libelle Events

“Germany is the land of technology and perfection. German designs are cutting edge, sleek and don’t compromise on quality. Indian designs are colourful and flexible. In India, the field of design has lots of talents and the potential to grow very big. Indo-German collaborations have always been successful. There are already around 1,600 collaborations and 600 joint ventures in different spaces today. Having a German partner would work wonders to catapult an Indian brand to another level and help sustain it globally.”

Gautam Bhatia, architect & writer

Gautam Bhatia, architect & writer

“German design has made engineering a thing of beauty. And that is rare.”

Vibhor Sogani, product designer & director, Studio Vibhor Sogani

Vibhor Sogani, product designer & director, Studio Vibhor Sogani

“German design sensibilities are well recognised, respected and appreciated. Largely speaking, one feels that products which have gone through the German design process will be sophisticated in nature, in terms of technology, functionality, minimalism and lack of frivolousness. The German connection instils a strong sense of confidence. In India, design is now beginning to impact the industry and the market. Merging India’s strengths with the hi-tech precision of German technology can result in unique advantages for the world of design.”

Pascal Hien, product designer

Pascal Hien, product designer

“I believe any design language is firstly very personal and rooted in one’s experiences. Having lived in Germany, USA, France and Italy made me take what I found good in all those places and make it my own. In Germany, I learnt to think freely, remove boundaries and create things with my hands. I would say German product design stands for some sort of rationality, refinement and quality, but it also stands for a more raw, experimental and open attitude.”

Nikita Bhate, creative director, Nikita Bhate Design Studio

Nikita Bhate, creative director, Nikita Bhate Design Studio

“I always find that the German approach to a specific brief is extremely well interpreted, vastly varying from being poetic to very technical! Right from the first thought to the forms and materials, it is rational, simple, straightforward, but also secretly infused with a sense of emotion.”

Saban Denis Dasgin, entrepreneur & director, TRENDOMEDIA and ArtYourFace

Saban Denis Dasgin, entrepreneur & director, TRENDOMEDIA and ArtYourFace

“The photo art market in Germany is rather fragmented with only a few major players. Due to immense labour cost, most of us outsource our design activities to places like India. Here, the labour cost is rather low, while at the same time, the quality remains the same, making it a natural step to relocate design activities to India. For my pop art business ArtYourFace, I work with a digital art agency based in Ahmedabad. Today, most of our artists are based in India. Little surprise that our IT programmer is also in India!”