The Indian Automobile Industry manufactures over 11 million vehicles. This level of production has given the companies a very big war chest to go shopping for brands. What is hidden from view is the fact that these companies invest very heavily in new product development. Young designers working in these companies often have the opportunity to develop a whole new product from scratch and see it in production within a decade. What this has in turn done is produced a cadre of designers in India who have a skill set quite unlike that of designers in the west, who may have spent their entire career incrementally modifying a particular model of car.
A Green Bus, a project run in 2012, by The Car Design Research Network at RMIT University brought designers from key Indian-owned vehicle manufacturing companies to Melbourne as a first step in what is imagined to be a strategic alliance between the Creative Industries sector in Melbourne and the manufacturing Industry in India. The important question for the project was - can the Indian manufacturers be stimulated into investing in the creative industries sector in Melbourne?
About the Speaker:
Soumitri Varadarajan is Deputy Dean, Industrial and Interior Design, at RMIT University, Melbourne. He approaches design from a range of social, aesthetic and material culture perspectives. In health his practice focuses upon de-medicalising and re-contextualizing everyday practices of 'patients' by developing new traditions and artefacts in the areas of mental health, end of life, diabetes, maternal health and hearing loss. In sustainability his practice focuses upon directing projects within the context of design for mass manufacture and in prototyping product service solutions. He co-heads the Car Design Research Network focussed upon engaging industry in sustainable transportation.