Designs are an integral part of a culture. From stone age to current times, man has always been associated with products, features required to fulfill the need & latter on upgrade the design.
Weapons of Stone Age were made from stones & shapes made to help achieve the object of the weapon, to kill an animal, to dig a hole to hunt/ hit a flying bird etc. Greeks were the pioneers in designing the weapons of metal age; Americans are pioneers to design the weapons of present times, Germans are masters to design the automobiles, followed by Japanese to design comfort with aesthetics.
India has been traditional on designs from the ancient times . Temples in India bear a common design in all the variants. Temples are built in by cutting the caves or have been built on hills with large boundary walls & high rise structures were predominant – the Madurai, Kerala, Kanyakumari Temples are a vivid example. In all the temples the sanctum having the statue of the deity is mostly square, over it a pyramid structure rises which symbolizes the mountain- this is the holiest part of the temple & all rituals are performed there. Opposite to the central tower is a hall open from three sides- this hall is held on beautiful pillars having carvings of the Deities. In the hall the devotees gather to perform the rituals & chant bhajans. Surrounding the hall sometimes a courtyard is made with a boundary wall . The levels in the temple are in descending order, the main Deity at the top, followed by the hall & then the gateway & the boundary wall.
From ancient times till date the design of the temples have been same. The latest Akshardham Temple, Hare Krishna temples are in no way different in concept except for more brighter stones, lightings, electronics.
The Mughal period in India gave the salwar kameez as dress for women & men, till date the concept of the dress is same. British era in India introduced garments for ladies in Victorian style & for men in typical Englishmen trouser, for decades after independence the dress sense of the countrymen remained the same.
The fashion trend till the early seventy’s was dominated by bollywood where few designers experimented changes & the country men followed The jewelers designs too were more traditional than contemporary. Come 1991 the floodgates of Indian economy opened, the per capita income increased & came in the DESIGN trend. The Ambassadors were thrown out from the market by trendy Maruti (not to mention the government compulsion for Ambassador car as the official allotted vehicle to the Government departments ) followed by Hyundai, Honda city & flood of designer cars.
The clothing lines were changed from regular to various fits ,the color combinations were replaced with bold colors, embroidery considered exclusively a feminine fashion identity , entered the male domain, shirts, jeans, suits got the best of motifs & embroidery.
Footwear which was traditional since British India got upgraded by brands & designs in vogue to western counterparts, the traditional & ethnic female jewellery got upgraded by sleek & soft designs.
The design train started in seventy’s has gone through an evolution. What was followed for decades has become obsolete in hours. Today the design centers across the world introduce the design & in split seconds the copycats reproduce in all parts of the world. The expiry of a design is faster than the blink of eye. The Design is a big industry today but India still has very few institutes to teach the art & science of design; the career designs of Doctors ,engineers has expanded to ITES ,Insurance ,telecom ,music, sports.
The trajectory of designs which were stagnant for decades are also seen in our daily routine. The offices of all companies had closed chambers, red carpets, idol of God at the entrance, secretary sitting outside of the boss office, piles of files, typewriter. With the next gen taking command of the business, closed chambers became open office, carpets lost to wooden floorings, open seating got replaced with cubicles, typewriters by lap tops, the single land lines with multiple numbers got replaced with individual mobile telephones. The rapid change in design concept which was followed by decades got changed as an outcome of globalization.
Work attitude has also seen change in design. Our fingers & hands do more typing of words onto screens, carrying shopping bags, raising toasts, holding I pads. The ritual work for hands like digging mud to sow a seed, excavating soil for building foundations , threading a needle to darn a torn fabric, sewing a button, switching an Ac, television etc, are now work of technology design than for hands & fingers.
DESIGNS which were stagnant for decades have taken the driver’s seat today. Still there are not much design academies in the country , only few like fashion designing, textile designing , jewelery, interior design, shoes, cars, even grooming are just few which are picking up. But the GENERATION of the present day, 25 years & below will be the change agents & show creative thinking with designs in all fields, from morning yoga to night theme design parties, the coming age will be known as DESIGN AGE.