Design Industry Stalwarts Push For Sustainability in design, need to innovate and create genuine designs


Ahmedabad : A series of discussions on sustainability, the ethos of design and innovations were the highlight of the second day of the Ahmedabad Design Week (ADW) 4.0, a design conclave organised by Karnavati University in Ahmedabad. Experts present at the conclave deliberated upon a series of topics encouraging students to focus on sustainable design and continue to innovate, while designing more ethically.

During a speaker session titled ‘Sustainable Fashion – A Paradigm Shift’, Ms Sankyukta Shrestha, a sustainable fashion designer and the pioneer of sustainable bridalwear, said, “Sustainability is all about harmony between people, planet and profit. I started my journey as a sustainable fashion designer in 2010 — a time when awareness about sustainability was low and discussions around it weren’t so widespread. We continued working on our products made of different natural and sustainable fibre even though business took a hit in the initial days. One must understand that Fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world and the onus is upon people. It is important to mindfully consume and not keep falling in the trap of fast fashion which promotes reckless consumption.”

Mr Masahiro Hara, the inventor of QR Code and recipient of European Inventor Award traced the journey of QR Code since it’s inception and mentioned how it has been designed to make it multifunctional in various industrial and consumer applications. “We are upgrading the QR Code into a new version that will help store more information and make it more secure. This will enhance the different applications for which it can be used.”

Ms Kadambari Sahu, senior vice president – Design, ValueLabs highlighted the importance of factoring in sustainability in design. “New technology is shaping the world in newer ways. One needs to factor in how it can be shaped for the better and how it will affect the society and environment. In fact, whenever we design something, we must ask whether it keeps up with the value of the society.”

Ms Shruti Kamath, cofounder and creative director, Athlos Activewear, spoke about her journey in making sustainable active wear using Merino wool.

Dr Greg Autry, Clinical Professor of Space Leadership and former White House Liasion at NASA shared his journey with Nasa and enlightened the students about NASA’s Artemis-III mission.

Mr Anand Jha, chief design officer, Miko, highlighted how artificial intelligence (AI) has shaped the world at a time when it has seen massive transitions in the market from web platform to mobile and from touch-based interface to voice-driven interface and from statistical engines to self-training machine learning. He also spoke about how the process of voice flows in uncontrolled conversations work in Miko and what challenges they overcome.

Mr S Sivakumar, head – industrial design, Royal Enfield addressed the participants on “Introspection in Design The Inward thinking.” Drawing inspiration from the traditional Indian architecture, he spoke about the fundamentals behind ancient and even new Indian traditional architecture. He also highlighted how there is a dearth of genuine and original designs. “Artificial Intelligence has helped us design to create something better and has brought about an up shift in design.”

Mr Yakup Bayrak, a system design entrepreneur also explained the finer nitty-gritties of system design and emphasised on the importance of coherent communication and teamwork in design.

ADW 4.0 is a design conclave and a confluence of globally renowned design experts, thought leaders, researchers and stalwarts, organised by Karnavati University and presented by Unitedworld Institute of Design (UID). The inaugural ceremony of the three-day event took place on Friday morning. Karnavati University is a state private university dedicated to excellence in teaching and is focused on interdisciplinary learning.

Started as India Design Confluence (IDC) in 2018 and later rebranded, ADW originated with the philosophy of providing a vibrant and gyrating platform for creative enthusiasts to showcase and express their ideas and concepts before a community of designers, academicians, innovators, global advocates, industry captains and professionals from the world of design and other creative domains.

This year’s edition is themed on TRAP – Technologically Revolutionising Across Paradigms. TRAP is an expression which states that technology is an inseparable entity in today’s time. Innovations in sectors are impossible without the assistance and integration of technology and design is no exception.

The event includes several speaker sessions and craft workshops including those on Blue Pottery, Namda, Leather Puppetry and Brass Cut among others.