Design & People

Design & People identify how design can intervene to make a contribution to the ongoing efforts to improve the lives of people disadvantaged by war, disability, and political and environmental conditions. We unite and encourage graphic, industrial and architectural designers to use their experience and skills towards social and humanitarian projects. Mission: Design For People In Need.

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 PROJECTS:  1 | 2 | 3

Beneficiary: Global Gandhian Movement for Swaraj (GGMS)
'SWARAJ' VISUAL THESAURUS (JULY 2010)

A Visual Thesaurus for the word 'Swaraj' with synonyms associated with it in a visual representational form - developed by Design & People and Global Gandhian Movement for Swaraj. The keyword is connected to direct meanings with solid lines and is further connected with related meanings. The proximity of synonyms is structured to indicate their significance and relationship with the keyword. Synonyms, connected meanings and Antonyms are demarcated using colour codes - Green, Blue and Red respectively.

In the process of working together, Global Gandhian Movement for Swaraj (GGMS) and Design & People developed the idea of 'Swaraj in Design'. It seemed so much in place and relevant to the work Design & People doing so far — bringing Design to the idea of Swaraj. Once the most used in India, the word Swaraj is more or less disappeared from our everyday vocabulary. While the word 'Swaraj' was added to the recent edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), it seems to be difficult to see the word and the right meaning associated with it in our own dictionaries including the Sanskrit dictionary. Both GGMS and Design & People felt the need to develop a Visual Thesaurus for 'Swaraj' which could illuminate the sacred word once again with much more clarity on synonyms associated with it.

Mahatma Gandhi said: "Swaraj is a sacred word, a Vedic word, meaning self-rule and self-restraint, and not freedom from all restraint which 'independence' often means." After a long research and discussion on various synonyms associated, a Visual Thesaurus for the word 'Swaraj' with synonyms associated with was developed in a visual representational form. The keyword is connected to direct meanings with solid lines and is further connected with related meanings. The proximity of synonyms is structured to indicate their significance and relationship with the keyword. Synonyms, connected meanings and Antonyms are demarcated using colour codes — Green, Blue and Red respectively. Those who develop this diagram further are requested to share the same with Design & People. Please write to us.

'Swaraj Visual Thesaurus': Download

Beneficiary: Eloor Ferry Resident's Association (EFRA)
'ELOOR' CAMPAIGN POSTER (JUNE 2010)

Eloor Ferry Resident's Association (EFRA) poster for an Emergency Exit

The residents of Eloor Udyogamandal industrial town in Kerala is under constant threat of 25 odd polluting factories situated near the River Periyar. More than 20,000 people living in the island town are caught between the polluting industries and the river as there is no escape route for them in case of a gas leakage or in an emergency situation. The Eloor Ferry Resident's Association (EFRA) is now in the preparation of forming a human chain across the River Periyar on Saturday, July 10, 2010 at Eloor Ferry. This action is to remind the authorities about their last demand — an emergency exit route. The organisation requires publicity materials to invite public participation in this unique protest.

Many people have given their blood and sweat in their struggle for a permanent solution to the on-going pollution of River Periyar. The State Government, industries and the trade unions remain silent on the issue of pollution while highlighting the progress these polluting industries have brought to Eloor Island. A poster is being developed with the image of an ordinary man's footprint in blood, which will serve as a logo for the Eloor People's Struggle for a cleaner and safer environment.

'Eloor Emergecy Exit' Poster: Download

Beneficiary: Abhilasha India Society, Uttrakhand
VISUAL IDENTITY FOR ABHILASHA (MAY 2010)

Abhilasha: Voluntary Action for Sustainability

Abhilasha India Society, an Uttrakhand-based non-profit organisation consisting of young and enthusiastic youths from different scientific, research, management, rural, social and professional backgrounds to provide a platform for all to share their thoughts, monetary, emotional values for uplifting the needful individuals, social projects, socially deprived community to make them able and to step with the main stream of the society. The organisation requires an identity that communicates its core activity of promoting social change in the society.

'Abhilasha' means desire and what can be a better metaphor than the desire of a bud to bloom and spread fragrance and love. The new Abhilasha identity is a simplified form of a Lotus with the central area of the flower modified to give the feel of radiance and energy. The vibrancy of colours and multiplicity of petals pointing towards various directions depict the intent and aim behind the endeavor while the dot represents the bud from where it all started.

Beneficiary: Abhilasha India Society
'SAVE WATER' POSTER (JUNE 2010)

Save Water Poster of Abhilasha: Voluntary Action for Sustainability

Abhilasha India Society, an Uttrakhand-based non-profit organisation consisting of enthusiastic youths from different walks of life work voluntarily for the socially deprived community to make them able and to step with the main stream of the society. The organisation has its own local campaigns to develop a sense of unity and vision towards various needs which are crucial to the existence of the society. One of their main campaigns in Uttrakhand region is a campaign to create awareness among visiting tourists to save water. Abhilasha needs a poster to start their campaign.

A recent report says by 2020, both China and India will start importing water. The Blue Gold crisis is everywhere. Even states like Assam, Himachal Pradesh and Kerala in India, known for receiving the maximum rainfall a year during monsoon seem to have very few buildings or houses with the water harvesting facilities. Saving or harvesting water seems to be the only answer to our water crisis in the country. Design & People decides to focus on the simple, yet the strong two-word message of 'Save Water' in which even the alphabets are participating in the simple activity of collecting water to educate the masses about the importance of the saving water.

'Save Water' Poster: Download

Beneficiary: Periyar Riverkeeper
RIVERKEEPER PRESENTATION (APRIL 2010)

Periyar Riverkeeper Presentation

VJ Jose, is known as 'Periyar Riverkeeper' because of his continuous efforts to protect the river from pollution for the last three decades. He protects, patrols, speaks, fights, trains and inspires people around though his activities. Through the programme 'Interact with Riverkeeper', he is been able to conduct more than 3,000 interactive sessions with students across Kerala state. The session is usually done in Malayalam and with the help of a Powerpoint Presentation Jose developed. The Riverkeeper needs a presentation to be used during interactive sessions in schools and colleges across the state.

Because Design & People started its activities in 2003 with the active involvement of VJ Jose, the Periyar Riverkeeper, it was not difficult for us to gather information about the activities of the organisation. The key to a good and simple Powerpoint Presentation (Design & People love the pirated version of Microsoft Powerpoint!) for Periyar Riverkeeper was the right information and the availability of right images. 22-slide PPT developed by Design & People for Periyar Riverkeeper talks about Periyar River, history of Periyar Riverkeeper, present toxic pollution level, and what individuals could do for the dying river. The new presentation was used for the first time during 'Understanding Swaraj' workshop in Dharamshala organised by Swarajpeeth.

Beneficiary: Global Gandhian Movement for Swaraj
ONLINE PRESENCE FOR GGMS (APRIL 2010)

Global Gandhian Movement for Swaraj Homepage

The Global Gandhian Movement for Swaraj (GGMS) is a network of individuals, organisations, campaigns and movements, subscribes to the vision of 'Swaraj' — Self-Rule or Home Rule — as explained by Mahatma Gandhi in Hind Swaraj. It was created on the occasion of Hind Swaraj Centenary International Conference, November 2009, in Delhi by more than a hundred eminent thinkers and activists wanted a portal which was easy to use. The organisation wants to vertical and horizontal integration of its members and visitors. The end objective was to communicate the message to as much people as possible.

Design and People deployed a popular blogging software as the content management system. Members of GGMS with limited technical knowledge can manage the content of the website with ease. Popular social networking tools like Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo & OpenID were embedded to take the discussion beyond the website, but still keeping them connected to the movement. Tweet messages were embedded to broadcast live messages from any place at anytime to the website. The entire website utilises 'free-to-use' kind of services. None of the services were actually paid-for.

Beneficiary: Global Gandhian Movement for Swaraj
VISUAL IDENTITY FOR GGMS (APRIL 2010)

Global Gandhian Movement for Swaraj

The Global Gandhian Movement for Swaraj (GGMS) is a network of individuals, organisations, campaigns and movements, subscribes to the vision of 'Swaraj' — Self-Rule or Home Rule — as explained by Mahatma Gandhi in Hind Swaraj. It was created on the occasion of Hind Swaraj Centenary International Conference, November 2009, in Delhi by more than a hundred eminent thinkers and activists from all over the world. The organisation wants an identity which captures the spirit of the Gandhian movement while highlighting the vedic word Swaraj.

Swaraj, the sacred word of India is slowly disappearing. India has achieved its political freedom but not the Swaraj Mahatma Gandhi once dreamed. Developing a new identity for Global Gandhian Movement for Swaraj (GGMS) without an image of Gandhi in it was a bit out of context for both designers and the members of GGMS. After several discussions and debates with GGMS Core Group members on various logo options developed by Design & People team members, the new identity showing Gandhi as the vision and guidance for the future Swarajits was finalised.

Beneficiary: Friends of Tibet
'WORLD WITH TIBET' POLITICAL MAP (DEC 2007)

'World With Tibet' from Design & People for Friends of Tibet

Noted Tibetan poet-activist and General Secretary of Friends of Tibet, Tenzin Tsundue introduces 'World With Tibet' Education Campaign to a large gathering of Tibetan monks at the Drepung Loseling Monastery in Karnataka, India in May 2009.

Noted Tibetan poet-activist and General Secretary of Friends of Tibet, Tenzin Tsundue introduces 'World With Tibet' Education Campaign to a large gathering of Tibetan monks at the Drepung Loseling Monastery in Karnataka, India in May 2009.

Friends of Tibet is a people's movement to keep alive the issue of Tibet through direct action and its activities are aimed at ending China's occupation of Tibet and the suffering of the Tibetan people. Tibet was an independent country till China occupied and diminished it from face of World Atlas. The organisation wants to launch a worldwide campaign to educate people about the position of Tibet in the world map as an independent country and other occupied countries by People's Republic of China.

Conceptualised by Rohit Singh, a Friends of Tibet Campaigner based in Mumbai, Design & People took the task of working on one of the most complex design jobs for a small group of ordinary designers — a place for Tibet in the political map of the world. A worldwide campaign for re-establishing Tibet on the World Map and to focus on the aspect of its position, its importance and its existence which China is out to destroy, a group of Design & People started its research in consultation with Tibetan historians, intellectuals of the exile community in India and traditional cartographers from Tibet. After several months of debates, research and laborious execution, Design & People develops the final version of 'World With Tibet' map for Friends of Tibet. On December 10, 2007, Human Rights Day, Venerable Geshe Lhakdor, Official Translator of His Holiness the Dalai Lama released the first copy map in public meeting in Mumbai.

'World With Tibet' Education Campaign: Website

Beneficiary: Swaraj Peeth Trust
HIND SWARAJ CENTENARY CONFERENCE PORTAL (NOV 2009)

Homepage of Hind Swaraj Centenary International Conference

Swaraj Peeth Trust wanted an online solution to communicate with its delegates and participants from all over the world, media, visitors and general public. The main objective was to provide information regarding conference itenary, the papers presented and to facilitate discussion on Swaraj during the three-day Hind Swaraj Centenary International Conference at Suraj Kund, Haryana, India from November 22, 2009.

The entire solution was a mash up of web 2.0 technologies. Multiple technologies were brought together on a popular blogging software to exceed client expectations. Except for a browser (enabled with Java Script & Cookies) no other software is required to view documents, photos or use any other services on the website. The content of the website was made available in 8 international languages, including Chinese. Live feeds including photographs, messages and papers presented were distributed on real-time basis during the International Conference. Web 2.0 Technologies like Disqus, Flickr, Twitter, Google Docs, Google Maps, Google Friend Connect and Google Translation were deployed for the project. The Hind Swaraj event website incorporates the basic rules of Search Engine Optimisation. So even after the conference is over, the site still gets a stream of visitors regularly on daily basis. PDF documents were displayed using Google PDF Viewer for the browser. So even without the PDF viewing software installed, users were able to view the documents. With site-management happening from Mumbai in Maharashtra and the Conference at Suraj Kund in Haryana, Design & People used technology effectively to bridge barriers and made distance a non-issue.

Beneficiary: Shishu Sarothi, Assam
READY RECKONER OF DISABILITY LAWS IN INDIA (DEC 2005)

Shishu Sarothi Ready Reckoner of Disability Laws in India

An 8 page, simple 2 or 3 flat colour booklet, listing out the Laws and Rights of the Disabled people under the Indian Constitution. This was to disseminate information like a Ready Reckoner, for anybody and everybody. It was to be given primarily to government officials and bureaucrats to sensitise and educate them. Shishu Sarothi, Assam did not have funds to do a 4-colour offset product, but they were afraid that a typically 'official looking' piece of work would not engage an already busy official. Shishu Sarothi approaches Design & People to provide a solution that would be attractive, easy to follow, and portrayed disabled people in a positive and inspiring manner, rather than the usual manner of seeking pity and help.

At first it was decided that while the inside pages would be single or double colour, the cover had to be 4-colour offset. Design & People made several cover concepts that portrayed a positive outlook, were bright and cheerful. Somehow, the delivery vehicle: a booklet in this case, was found to be run-of-the-mill (something the officials & bureaucrats receive day in and day out). Besides, once the booklet is opened and read, it would be forgotten. We wanted a delivery vehicle that would engage the reader on a daily basis. So Design & People came up with the idea of a Year/Wall Planner, which had the calendar, enough space for images, space for one to scribble notes, and all the laws neatly placed at the bottom in a very readable format. This way we ensured that the Information stayed on the reader's wall for 365 days. And we got ActionAid! to foot the printing bill!

Shishu Sarothi Ready Reckoner: Download

Beneficiary: Friends of Tibet
A WEBSITE FOR FRIENDS OF TIBET (JAN 2000)

Friends of Tibet Homepage | www.friendsoftibet.org

Since 1998, Friends of Tibet had its online presence in a free site with just one webpage announcing the Festival of Tibet 2000. Organisation had its own difficulties in hosting a mega website with almost no resources and manpower. The final decision was either to have an elaborate website which is updated regularly or not to have one. The Tibet Support Group requires a website which talks about the organisation and its worldwide activities for an independent Tibet.

Friends of Tibet is the first patron of Design & People and the Friends of Tibet website is probably one of the first projects of Design & People. A small team of Design & People Designers with guidance from James Walker, the 'Cyberwallah for Tibet and East Turkistan', developed the website. Many social networking tools are used to make the site for networking with its members and supporters from all over the world, especially those who are living in occupied-Tibet and People's Republic of China. Today the Friends of Tibet website — www.friendsoftibet.org — has more than 9000 html pages and thousands of images hosted with Ibiblio. Design & People considers the Friends of Tibet website one of its most successful projects as it succeeded in getting the website banned in mainland China in the year 2002. The website and the information in it updated almost every day remain closed for millions of Internet users inside Tibet and China.

Friends of Tibet: Website

 PROJECTS:  1 | 2 | 3

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