OPERATION GLOBAL!

‘Can you please send your page for July issue immediately?’ Request from INSITE Editor! Putting across Ground Zero realities of IIID to our elite members is not child’s play man!; is what I want to say. But I only ask; ‘What is the focus for this issue?’ ‘Two international designers and their works’. Focus on foreign architects? Do I like it or not? I have to take a stand. ‘Truly Indian’, ‘narrowmindedly Indian’, ‘conveniently international’… are all stands I might have taken at different times. Opportunist? Hypocrite? Whatever… It may also be because of not spending enough time and space to frame a policy with some due thought. I need to; at least now. Because Generals can’t bluff on policies. That too when the President himself is chairing ‘International Affairs!’

‘Adithi Devo Bhav’! We like foreign architects and designers! We like having them as friends, come over as guests, and grace our conventions (…absolutely!). But we have a different take on ‘cross border design practice’. With WTO harping free trade and the grim global economy making India a most lucrative destination ‘visitors’ are on the rise and we are skeptic. It is our land, our people, and our spaces! Architecture and design need roots and need to be rooted. Time to promote the Indian design quotient amongst Indian policy makers to start with. Why would high profile projects like even Legislative Assemblies synonymous with the land and its people go overboard? We ask questions which boomerang with counter questions. Isn’t it better to give it straight than you coming back with their design?’ Where is the desi spirit when you fly to China or Italy to source ‘what-nots’ while Indian artists, craftsmen and industries go extinct? How good are you in global vocabulary and technological exercises to address complexities. And why the hell would you play their ‘local aides’ if you are so averse to the idea?

Global village and global citizens are evolving concepts which we will need to embrace eventually. We can’t give a ‘walk over’ or rigid resistance. I, for one, is comforted that the term is global ‘village’ and not global‘metro’ which allow for personal touches, community living, regional identities, cultural contexts and all such sensibilities important for us to be humane. We need to address issues, equip ourselves, meet the situation on level grounds. International affairs portfolio of IIID is committed to dialogues with like-associations worldwide and our own policy makers to take a sensible stand that will matter. ‘Imagine Natcon’ has powered us with a visibility and confidence to pave the way. Insite is taking it ahead. Designs of rare brilliance and designers with beautiful minds need to get together shake hands and share notes.

Indian design talent flag is at an all-time high at Lisbon thanks to Correa’s Champalimaud, British-Indian designer Anish Kapoor is trending on the news having designed the tallest slide at Orbit London. Benninger is doing the Secreteriat for Bhutan. It is only a matter of awakening with the right awareness at this crucial hour which we will together in IIID! After all only we have Vishwakarma’s design legacy which made the Crown Prince walk half nude with illussions of water in the ‘Interiors of Indraprastha’ (any clue regarding the specs for the floor?) followed by Draupadi’s laughter and a series of events culminating in a bloody war! Wow, being in a General’s attire a war connect is always nice! No worries. IIID Ground Zero will see that our International agenda goes ahead focused be it by war or peace!

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