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Writer: Priyanka Mehra - Tuesday, Nov 27,2012 8:16 PM

Bringing design to the boardroom

Bringing design to the boardroom

Designomics, a forum to promote the use of design as a discipline to generate profits, held the second edition of its annual awards in Mumbai on November 24, 2012.

The initiative is the brain child of Preeti Vyas, Chairperson, VGC. The winners of Designomics Awards 2012 were shortlisted through a rigorous process, wherein industry professionals were involved in evaluating entries on the basis of strategic thinking, creative execution and resulting effectiveness.

The award categories were Strategic Brand Identity; Print category, which included Annual Reports, Publication Design, Environment & Spatial Design, Brand Space; Retail category, which included Concept Store, Environment Graphics & Way Finding Systems, Restaurants/ Cafes/ Bars/ Lounges and Visual Merchandising; Digital category, which included Digital Innovation using Technology, Website, Packaging and Product Design and Integrated Design Project. There was also a Merit Award, which was nominated by the jury members.

Some of the winners for the popular awards included Maruti Suzuki India, which got an award in the Print category for their annual report. Jewellery brand Tanishq dominated in the Visual Merchandising category. Mirchi Music Housie from Radio Mirchi won an award for digital innovation and technology in the design area. The highlight of the evening was the Jury nominated Merit Award given to the makers of the Jaipur Foot, which has enabled over 3 lakh people to get back on their feet.

The jury comprised celebrated names from both the design and business fraternity, including Abhijit Bansod, Founder, Studio ABD; Pooja Tandon, Design Head, Pidilite Industries Ltd; Prof Dhimant Panchal, Director – Design Center, HOD – Foundation Programme, MIT Institute of Design; Lulu Raghavan, Country Director (India), Landor Associates; Shalini Degan, Category Director, Britannia; and Aparna Piramal Raje, Design Writer, among others.

Commenting on the Awards this year, Preeti Vyas said, “Last year, we had a lot of broad nominations, this year we made sure we had an eminent jury panel and our processes were in place. This time there were more project entries as compared to institutional entries last year. We got a fantastic response from the business community; for a business house to feel proud of their design is a big step forward. ”

The awards ceremony was preceded by a panel discussion moderated by Preeti Vyas on ‘Design being a change agent’. The panellists included Aishwarya Pathy, Co-founder, India Design Forum; Aparna Piramal Raje, Design Writer; Lulu Raghavan, Country Director, Landor Associates; Moin Mir, Business Development Director, Fitch; and  Prof Dhimant Panchal, Director and HOD, Pre Design Foundation, MIT Institute of Design.

The discussion touched upon diverse topics such as lack of design education in India, the concept of design thinking, giving consumers a design experience which takes the brand experience into a higher level and design for diversity, among others.

To elucidate design experience further, Moin Mir from Fitch spoke about how his agency had plotted three mind states that consumers experience on a shopping expedition. These are “dreaming, exploring and locating”.

Lulu Rahgavan stressed on the need for CFOs to become brand evangelists and view design as an investment and not as a cost. She cited the example of Landor which has developed a customer experience mapping to tool to measure the effectiveness of the distinct experience provided by design.

“People are increasingly able to tie back design effectiveness to business results; they are enabled influencers within organisations who are seeing the value and making the importance of design felt. Designers need to be in the boardroom engaging with CFOs and marketing heads; when designers are empowered, they give intelligent solutions as well,” concluded Vyas.

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