i3 in India: Report-Back from Future Probe
Workshop at the i3 Spring
Days 2000 - Glyfada, Athens, Greece, March 3rd
In collaboration with the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, Doors
of Perception organised a professional workshop, and a public
'show-and-tell' event, in India in Februrary 2000. This event wa supported
by i3 as a 'future probe' activity. The workshop is your first opportunity
to find out what happened.
During the first five Doors of Perception conferences (1993-1998)
Indian speakers such Kapila Vatsayan (Indira Ghandi National Centre for the
Arts), Ranjit Makkuni (Xerox PARC), Sam Pitroda (WorldTel) and Jogi
Panghaal helped the Doors audience look at issues of innovation and the
internet from a fresh perspective. The February 2000 workshop continued
that process. Its longer-term objective was to accelerate the exchange of
people, knowledge and experiences between India, Europe and the US. In
education, there is a clear need for support to design schools and
universities sending groups to India. International design and media firms
also need guidance in developing s collaborative research and design
projects with Indian industries and designers.The i3 community will
also benefit from documentation and evaluation of resources, tools,
methods. The February workshop explored scenarios for meeting these
1: half the successsful start-ups in Silicon Valley are led by
entrepreneurs of Indian origin; cricket is the fastest growing sport in
2: Cultural complexity as a context for innovation: India is a land of
extraordinary complexity and diversity -a thriving, open, experimental
society where several 'times' seem to co-exist at the same moment, and
often in the same space.Here are 900 million people immersed in a 4000
year-old culture, much of it still alive and intact.There are 18 official
languages, and more than 400 dialects.Contrasting geographies and climates
are the setting for an amazing array of lifestyles. Hundreds of millions of
people are engaged in basic agriculture - but India is also one of the
world's most advanced industrial economies. India's 600,000 villages are
home to farmers, forest based indegenous people and artisans. In vast and
dynamic cities are some three hundred million service economy providers, an
industrial labour force, and urban artisans - including the new artisans
of information technology. India claims the third largest technical force
of engineers and scientists in the world after the United States and Russia.
This diversity fosters a huge range of solutions to everyday practcical and
social needs. Ojects and places, skills and rituals, are combined in
services that meet every conceivable need in every conceivable manner.
Indian consumers appropriate and use products in unique ways, too. Even
products made on assembly line are rendered unique and domesticated during
Who was involved from i3?
John Thackara, director of Doors of Perception (formerly chair of Presence
and Maypoole); Marco Susani, from Domus Academy (Presence, Lime,
and Gillian Crampton Smith from the Royal College of Art (Presence).
What is the National Institute of Design?
The National Institute of Design (NID) is the main design school in India;
its 250 or so undergraduate and graduate students come from all over the
country, are generally very bright, and usually end up in influential
positions.NID has strong international ties: Charles and Ray Eames were
among those involved in developing its programme 20 years ago. NID is also
conected to design centres at the celebrated Institutes of Technology in
Bombay, Delhi and Guwahati.
Other organisations that we expect to have connected with in the project
the Fashion Institutes of Technology (NIFT); the Institute of Craft in
Jaipur; the Indira Ghandi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA)in Delhi.
Doors and NID will also invite their high level contacts from among media
and internet companies,newspapers, companies, non governmental
The workshop is organized by:
D O O R S O F P E R C E P T I O N
Honthorststraat2, 1071-DD Amsterdam
Last modification Jan. 27. 2000