Thinking Design looks at 'design' in its broadest sense and shows how design originates in 'human need' which is not only physical but also psychological, socio-cultural, ecological and spiritual. The book calls for broad-based, socially integrated designs with a large global vision that offer creative solutions to a variety of subjects rather than providing multiplicity of objects. Exploring the course taken by design during the time of Gandhi and in the following era, the author advocates the need for service- or process-oriented designs in contrast to product-oriented designs.
The book explores the history of traditional design and its evolution. On one hand it takes the reader through the cultural-roots of design, and, on the other, it explores new technologies and their applications in design.
A remarkable feature of the book is the way its narrative is enlivened with case studies detailing design inventions, interspersed with tales of Mullah Nasiruddin that provide a tongue-in-cheek take on aspects of design.
This book will be an insightful reference for design professionals, academics and students in institutes conducting research on design and for those in the industrial/technical design departments of Engineering colleges.
S Balaram is an industrial designer, senior faculty and former Chairman of Education at the National Institute of Design (NID) in India. He is presently Dean of D.J. Academy of Design, Coimbatore.
He is recipient of the honorary fellowship of the Society of Industrial Designers of India and an invited member of the advisory board of `Design Issues', USA. Four inventions of Balaram have been patented by NID. The institute also won the first International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID), Philips Award for its outstanding achievement in industrial design. One of the seven projects which won this award was designed by Balaram. A life-saving medical equipment which he and a colleague jointly designed for Sri Chitra Tirunal Institute of Medical Sciences and Technology was awarded India's prestigious National Meritorious Invention Award. He was recipient of Ron Mace international award for Universal Design.
Born into a farmer's family in Gunnathota Valasa, a tiny Agraharam (a village gifted to a scholar by the king) in Andhra Pradesh, South India, Balaram did his post-graduation in Product Design from the NID, Ahmedabad and a research course at the Royal College of Art, London. He holds a diploma in Mechanical Engineering. He started his professional career as a sign-board painter and later became a mechanical engineer, finally settling down to design practice and teaching. His varied pursuits include short story writing, package design and film criticism.
He has held senior positions such as Chairman of Extension Programmes, Co-ordinator, Foundation Programme, Associate Chairman and Industrial Design at the NID. He was Governing Council Member of
The Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology, Vice-President of The Society of Industrial Designers of India and Co-ordinator, Design Foundation Studies, NID. He founded the Craft Development Institute in Kashmir.
His published writings form part of books such as The Idea of Design: Arthaya, Design and Development in South and South-East Asia and Quality through Industrial Design. His article on bullock cart design was prescribed as core course for secondary schools throughout India by the National Council of Educational Research and Training.