Kerala’s exceptionally impressive status in literacy, healthcare and sex ratio continues to be “selling story”, but the state requires revolutionary futuristic initiatives in design for sustained development, experts at an international conclave noted today.
Ecological conservation should be focal in the process of socio-economic progress of the state, more so going by the lessons from the August calamity that ravaged Kerala this year, they said at #DESIGN KERALA SUMMIT that kicked off here.
The speakers at the inaugural session of the event at Bolgatty Event Centre, while deliberating on ways to rebuild Kerala after the floods and landslides of this monsoon, stressed the need for prioritising design if the state has to not just return to normalcy but keep up its development graph.
S D Shibulal, Chairman of the High Power IT Committee of Kerala, called for concerted efforts to ensure zero waste, zero carbon emission and zero paper currency for a cleaner state. “We must think about the next 50 years or a century of our surroundings, not the coming few years,” he said after lighting the lamp that symbolised the start of the event.
Greater emphasis on design can also trigger a flurry of intellectual property rights, thus providing a boost to technological and allied devices, pointed out Shibulal, a co-founder of IT giant Infosys. Kerala has its population of 3.3 crore people spread out across the state, thereby invalidating the prospect of centralised development aided by design and technology, he added.
Kerala Startup Mission CEO Dr Saji Gopinath emphasised the need for inventors of new-age machines to conceive them from the point of view of the end consumer. “We have conventionally been taught to design machines from just the technical point of view. Seldom had we gone to imagine how the user would take it,” he said. “That attitude must change in our times now.”
Ana Laura Farias, Head (Summer School) of the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design, gave a brief video presentation of her Danish centre that has a package of 35 workshops. Currently, Farias is leading a month-long workshop in Kochi.
P K Sasidharan, Senior Vice-President (Marketing) of CERA Sanitaryware that is sponsoring the two-day event, stressed the need for industrial houses to contribute to social welfare through innovations that are the need of the hour. “Any viable suggestion on design coming up at this summit will be encouraged,” he added.
In a keynote address that followed, Srini R Srinivasan, President of the World Design Organisation, spoke of the prospect of Kochi being the organisation’s venue for the biennial meet in 2022. The essential Indian philosophy of going with nature and optimal use of resources fits well into the future of mankind, he noted.