Pushpi Bagchi Research Proposal_Context


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MA Research Proposal by Pushpi Bagchi, Edinburgh College of Art.

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Pushpi Bagchi Research Proposal_Context

  1. 1. INDIAcontemporary Earlier this year, New Delhi hosted the India Design Forum, an International Design Conference to address the future of design and the role India will play in it. One of the big questions at the conference was how can India draw on its traditions to forge a distinct design identity (Justin McGuirk, March 2012). Around the same time I had sent in my Study Proposal for the MA Graphic Design programme at ECA. Part of it reads, “As a communication designer I think it’s important to explore possibilities to make the Indian design aesthetic contemporary and relevant, yet take inspiration from our rich cultural heritage” (Pushpi Bagchi, February 2012). As it appears, most Indian designers appear to be thinking along a common line of thought. However when it comes to India, “The country of a hundred nations and a hundred tongues...” (Mark Twain, 1897); there is so much possibility. How does one create a design identity for a country where there is such a vast cultural pool to draw from? For this semester I want to explore the contemporary Indian aesthetic through the medium of Typography. Personally, I think it’s important to draw inspiration from our cultural roots to avoid a standardized visual language that merely attempts to accommodate modern western aesthetics. To start with, what is contemporary Indian visual culture? I want to research this by doing comparitive studies of projects and visual styles by current designers, artists and typographers who are inspired by their cultural roots. By doing so I want to asses whether I want to supplement current design trends, or create something different. While doing comparitive studies, I want to ensure that I explore a wide variety of projects and not just ones that help me fuel my biases. At the same time I think it’s important to short list projects so that each example distinctly illustrates a certain line of thought. Pushpi Bagchi | MA Graphic Design
  2. 2. 1 2 1. Mixed media postcard glorifying one of the most famous South Indian film actors as one of the icons of Bangalore (Bagchi 2010). 2. Illustrated accordion book expressing my annoyance at adults making their children3 parrot them (Bagchi 2008). 3. Sketch for tea packaging reminiscent of the cheerful, multilingual banter of Mumbai chaiwallas/tea sellers (Bagchi 2010). Pushpi Bagchi | MA Graphic Design
  3. 3. While exploring this idea of a visual identity, I want to have an interactive input from my audience, i.e. everyone! An aspect of typography that is really appealing to me is the fact that it’s for everyone. Even if you don’t understand a script, expressive type can communicate visually. One of my aims is to understand what existing Indian visual styles communicate about India to a foreign audience. I usually attempt to draw from my roots and develop aesthetics that express my cultural influences. However, it’s always interesting to compare how we see ourselves to how other’s see us. I hope to gather this information through means of cultural probes and ethnographic research. Having done interactive projects previously, I know the importance of innovative modes of interaction while gathering information on a first hand basis to get spontaneous answers. This is a challenge I will have to over come but one I am looking forward to as well. With regards to cultural probes and ethnography, it’s important that I keep my personal views out of my method of inquiry. I think it’s also essential to4 evaluate the value of the findings, will it be merely informative? Or perhaps it can help broaden the scope of the final outcome or completely change it? A feasibility issue for me will be to overcome the physical distance from a major Interactive design project, The part of my audience (people in India) to collect useful ethnographic research. Urban Fabric in collaboration with Liz Kueneke (Liz Kueneke As an overall ethical concern, whenever art and design attempts to draw 2009). inspiration from any cultural roots, we have to be wary that we respect cultural contexts and don’t bastardize traditional styles. I want to document my research through a journal, photography, short stop motion animations and chronologically in a blog. I will also set up a Facebook page for an easy access interactive forum. To better understand current Indian visual language, I intend to research how it has developed. I will be gaining knowledge about the history of Indian arts and crafts and its influences over time. To execute the different stages of the project project process, i.e. collecting research and prototyping I want to explore different hand made techniques available at the Print Workshop at ECA. India has an established crafts culture and even today people value hand crafted objects. I want to explore analog modes of execution because hand crafting objects can add personality to my work and perhaps help communicate ideas to my audience in a tactile manner. Pushpi Bagchi | MA Graphic Design
  4. 4. “It’s the joy of what happens with colour, and form and information.” Paula Scher on Type, 2011.5 Rajasthani puppet at a crafts fair in Bangalore. (Bagchi 2011). Pushpi Bagchi | MA Graphic Design
  5. 5. Bibliography • Cargocollective.com (n.d.) • Klanten, R., Hellige, H., & “Welcome”/Display Letters, Uleshka. (2008). Playful type: Major Project at London College ephemeral lettering & illustrative of Communication by Shruti fonts. Berlin, Gestalten Verlag. Ramesh. [online] Available at: http://cargocollective.com/ • PBS Arts (2012) Typography sthuthiramesh/Welcome- | Offbook | PBS. [video Display-Letters [Accessed: 15 online] Available at: http:// Oct 2012]. www.youtube.com/ watch?feature=player_ • Guardian.co.uk (2012) How will embedded&v=eKKDL6lekmA India design its new identity? [Accessed: 15 Oct 2012]. | Art and design | guardian. co.uk. [online] Available at: • Perry, M. (2007) Hand Job: A http://www.guardian.co.uk/ Catalogue of Type. New York: artanddesign/2012/mar/15/ Princeton Architectural Press. india-design-identity-forum- new-delhi [Accessed: 15 Oct • Thehinglishproject.com (2012) 2012]. Welcome to India. To make our country a little more familiar to • Handpaintedtype.com (2012) you, we present ‘The Hinglish HandpaintedType is a project Project’. . [online] Available at: that is dedicated to preserving http://thehinglishproject.com/ the typographic practice of [Accessed: 15 Oct 2012]. street painters around India. . [online] Available at: http:// • Thesis2012.micadesign.org www.handpaintedtype.com/ (2012) Mutable Typography. [Accessed: 15 Oct 2012]. [online] Available at: http:// thesis2012.micadesign.org/ • Indiadesignforum.com (2012) alcantara/index.html [Accessed: [online] Available at: www. 15 Oct 2012]. indiadesignforum.com/. 2012. Home- India Design Forum. • Triggs, T. (2003). The [ONLINE] Available at: http:// typographic experiment: radical www.indiadesignforum.com/. innovation in contemporary [Accessed 18 October 12]. type design. London, Thames & Hudson. • Indiantypefoundry.com (2012) The Indian Type Foundry: • YPMA, H. J. M. (1994). India Original, quality fonts for modern: traditional forms and India and the Global World contemporary design. London, » Indian Type Foundry. Phaidon Press. [online] Available at: http:// www.indiantypefoundry.com/ [Accessed: 15 Oct 2012]. Pushpi Bagchi | MA Graphic Design