TEN pavilions, 1,000 companies and delegates from around 60 countries — the government’s Make in India Week in Mumbai will have more than its share of action from February 13. But what has design enthusiasts excited is the day-long conference being planned by feisty businesswoman and India Design Forum’s (IDF) founder, Rajshree Pathy. Having set the bar with design icons as speakers at the first two editions in 2012 and 2013, Pathy has a solid line-up this time as well. It doesn’t matter that she had just eight weeks to put it together. The Coimbatore-based sugar industrialist is a known multi-tasker, racing between meetings for her company, with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and with IDF. “There are workshops, dialogues and a Mumbai design trail, and we are thrilled that policy makers will be a part of it, giving design the attention it needs,” she begins.
Mystic and founder of Isha Founda-tion,Jaggi Vasudev will explore the theme of architecture in the sacred space, while Uli Gwinner, who heads Steelcase, the largest office furniture company in the world, will talk about spaces that engage employees. Amsterdam-based industrial designer, Satyendra Pakhale, will bring his brand of craft-meets-technology and industrial design to the table. Another rockstar industrial designer, Matali Crasset, will showcase how one can work with ease on projects in set design, furniture and graphics. Shobu Yarlagadda, from the movie production house that created the epic, Bahubali, will describe how traditional craft and new technology came together on the sets — at one point, he had 1,000 skilled labourers and 600 visual artists creating the movie’s fictitious world. “Our previous editions were buzzing with designers and activities, so keep track of Mumbai’s design story on social media,” insists Pathy.
IDF is on February 17 at the MMRDA Grounds, BKC, Mumbai. Details: indiadesignforum.com
Lola Padgaonkar, whose latest project is Travel Photo Jaipur (begins today), is also behind the four-day Mumbai Design Trail. “It’s about mapping the city from the perspective of design, in areas like furniture, food, fashion, even farming,” explains Padgaonkar. Beside an olfactory session, there are workshops with Bengaluru’s co-working brand, Workbench Projects, that “democratise the design experience.” Edgy milliner, Little Shilpa, and Chennai’s ‘furniture artist’ Lekha Washington, are also on this map of Mumbai’s hot design addresses. Farm to plate meals and nomadic exhibitions are included. Most events are free.Details: indiadesignforum.com
— Rosella Stephen