Humanising a metropolis

The 2014 Icsid Interdesign Mumbai workshop, a collaborative initiative of Icsid and Prin. L. N. Welingkar Institute of Management Development & Research‘s WeSchool successfully concluded in an exhibition at WeSchool campus in Mumbai on 18 February 2014 that showcased approximately 25 prototypes created by the participants. Under the overarching theme ‘Humanising a Metropolis’, 30 designers from India and 8 other countries with different design competences came together to address some of the social and infrastructure challenges facing the growing city of Mumbai. The participants worked on 6 sub themes formulated based on the pre-research done by WeSchool faculty. Participants visited various precincts to further understand the design bottlenecks faced by the city focusing on key issues like drainage system, waste management, challenges of creating an educational township, socialising in a metro, improving the outdoor experience for citizens, chaotic shopping experience, lifestyle related health problems etc., and ideated on the probable solutions which can be practically implemented. With sub themes like ‘Visualising Matunga as a University Township’, ‘Living with Rain’, ‘Zero Waste Household’, ‘Redefining the Outdoor Experience’, ‘Health on the Go’ and ‘The Great Indian Bazaar (unorganized and organized retail)’, the exhibition of the prototypes at the open house showcased how many of these solutions could later be applied in other Indian metropolises and emerging international economies.Speaking on the occasion, Prof Dr Uday Salunkhe, Group Director, WeSchool said, “This is the second time an Icsid Interdesign has been held in India and we are happy to be hosting it. For the past two weeks, WeSchool has been an innovation hub with experienced designers from India and abroad devising ways and means to bring about simple design interventions, to tackle some of the critical infrastructural and social challenges in a metropolis like Mumbai. The aim behind this workshop was to try and bring about transformative changes that will improve the living conditions in Mumbai by tackling existing issues through a designer’s holistic and abstract approach. It has been our constant endeavour to give a fresh learning experience to our students and faculty members by contributing to society and hence, our attempt to bring positive reflexes will not stop at the planning level. Apart from creating globally responsible leaders, we at WeSchool understand our social responsibility and will continue doing activities differently to make a maximum impact.”