DESIGN WEEK 6 Apeejay College of Fine Arts
Dear Dr Sucharita, dear Apeejay staff members, honourable guests, and above all dear students,
Last Friday we have started the adventure of the 6th International Design Week our second one. We took off for journey based upon the challenges students brought up during the 5th Design week in 2017. Their concerns about the quality of city life and the opportunities they addressed so strongly have been the starting point of this year’s event.
The changing of our worldwide world may cause worries. And many of them are justified. But you can take another view at it. We move from a socially closed society into a more open society. We are globally connected and we interact with friends and colleagues from all over the world. Young meet matured, experienced meet starters, engineers meet dreamers, and scientists meet poets. Communities are crossing borders, interacting worldwide on global human issues, trying to develop mutual understanding and answers for complicated issues. Sharing and co-creation is the new modus operandi: Thinking together, acting together, achieving together, embracing the People, Planet, Profit trinity. Ethics and morality are changing. Consumers and users, our clients, are rightfully claiming their rights and demand fair trade and fair production. They want to be co-owners and like to share and contribute.
The speed of technological development has never been so high, the connection of art and technology has never been so inspiring and accessible. So whynotpositive, whynotactive, whynotinnovative, whynotcooperate?
So how does this changing world affect the designer of tomorrow? What are his real challenges? How can he contribute? What is his role and responsibility right now? What do we expect from him and his skills? And how do we educate the designers of tomorrow?
Well designers should be able to empathize, to listen, to dream, to research, to act, to feel responsible, to visualize, to engineer, to innovate, to connect, to inspire, to link, to produce, to organize, to test, to communicate, to activate, to speak out, to challenge, to say no, to invent, to care, to hold on, to try, to experiment, to fail, to try again, to learn, to ask why, to think whynot… to cooperate!
These are the skills, you young creatives, designers of tomorrow, need to develop. This is what education should offer.
And as for the industries….well: they cannot -and already many do not- stand still and aside. They have to keep up with us to stay in business but moreover to contribute towards a better, more human, more social and cleaner world. Why? To stay with us and to stay profitable. Their roles and responsibilities are exactly the same, we are in it together, we better cooperate! To leave our planet behind for our children better and more beautiful, that’s why.
So we challenged you, talented young creatives, together with the industry this week: Whynotmakeithappen? The goal was to create a mind-set for innovative thinking, searching for design with social impact. Cracking our creative brains and exploring new usable concepts for users as for the industry was the ambition.
We started with an unexpected combination for each team: one of last year’s topics, a specific industry and a city context. Making inspiring associations and creating quick ideas was the first task. We learned how to select and then how to make different design scenarios for this idea. What can it look like or be like today, tomorrow or in the future? Next stage: How can you develop your idea into a concrete design? What does it take? How can the industry be incorporated? How can they cooperate? And finally how can you test, visualize and communicate your design and it’s effect?
To make this happen, you experienced what it takes to work together, to communicate, to organize, to really listen to each other, to rely on each others skills….to try, to fail and to try again. ‘Only those who are asleep make no mistakes’ is the quote of Ingvar Kamprad the founder of Ikea. Well you surely stayed awake this week…and look at the results, ….this isn’t failing! What a creative power. Some really meaningful concepts are born.
Thank you all dear students for your efforts, for your energy, your eagerness and patience. Thank you dear colleagues, for supporting your students, for helping them out to keep up with our thinking and challenging. And thank you for taking care of us and making us feel at home, literally.
Now of course you cannot expect that in 6 days you are able to deliver completed projects. No the design week is an Incubator, a place and a time where new things can arise. So whynot take-up some of these ideas and develop them labs to successful start-ups, designs or project. Whynot forming teams of diploma students and teachers form different departments working together with industry and organisations to make it really happen? Whynot?
Finally a last thank you to Madam Principal dr Sucharita and Apeejay College of Fine Arts to create this opportunity, Rajni Kumar for your on-going support, all representatives of the industry for their involvement is this journey. And thank you Alka for being such a dedicated photographer.
We believe strongly in making a better, cleaner more human world…so whynottogether. This is our WHY and we experienced that it’s also yours, so lets stay partners.
Thank you all on behalf of my dear colleagues Fleur Swildens and Gé Smit.
It was a pleasure for the Whynotcooperation to be with
Jalandhar 28 February 2018
Head of Dutch Delegation