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Design in Developing Societies

Design, Designers, Policy

Design in Developing Societies: Problems of Relevance

Chatterjee, Ashoke

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We have gathered in this ancient city to seek a role for the designer in the last quarter of the 20th century. Our hosts tell us that design in Ireland takes place "in an old country where the tension between recent industrial development and pastoral traditions is set in an environment whose beauty and integrity still survive." How easily could one transpose this description to my own country at the other end of the globe. The beauty and integrity of one of man's most ancient design traditions survive in India amidst the struggle to guarantee for our citizens a square meal or two each day, adequate clothing, shelter, relevant education and opportunities for employment. As for the majority of mankind. These are still dreams for most of my countrymen. Yet the only reason we exist as India's National Institute of Design is the faith that our new profession may prove capable of bringing these dreams to more rapid fulfillment. It is a tribute to the vision of this Council that while the majority of its membership represents industrially advanced economies. ICSID has recognized that the real test of industrial design will lie in the quality of its contribution to the development process. This recognition comes at a time when few developing lands have yet felt or articulated the need for design as a motive force in their economic improvement. Therefore as India's Minister of Industry has pointed out in his message of greet...

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