Looking back – moving forward

The semester ended all too abruptly – as it does. And I was plunged into this phase of intense reflection ( amidst breaking concrete) – which meant I wrote a lot of it up. Plus went on a rampage through the net looking for sustenance.

It helped that at this stage I was already committed to three things; one, a new design school in New Delhi (India), two, chairing a forum on sustainable cities and three, making a pitch for New Delhi as the new Design City at the Design Cities Forum in London. The dates for three collided with that for two and so I let London go.

As I have been sitting writing up a vision for a new design school and its programs I am meandering down “social” lanes. A design school that leaves behind the traditional to embrace the uniquely contextual ( Bottom of Pyramid) with a construction of discourse around social innovation. The fact that I taught a semester – focussing intensely on social innovation helped. The fact that I got Charles Leadbeater to agree to come onto the advisory panel for the school – helped even more.

So I was writing all this up into ‘faint voice‘ – which I now call my practice. Yes, I do have a practice. It doesnt make money – not directly, but has a voice – and a presence. Many people visit it – and it has acquired a life of its own. Its still uses open source and free wordpress – as an ideology. These days I am propagating a ‘Times’ newspaper look. Finally faintvoice is demanding – as a practice – of time and quality discussion. Which I am giving it – in bursts. And will do more in 2009.

Why faint voice you say? Its an emotional issue with me. I eschew the elitist position of design – the dominant discourse. This allows me to focus upon the neglected and marginalised. I have now discovered the whimsical is marginalised too – so I indulge.

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