From London to New Delhi

by Teal Triggs

This is what I saw today when I walked outside my door in London - the Common.

This is what I saw today when I walked outside my door in South London – the Common.

I am coming to New Delhi in a few weeks’ time.

Although this will be my second trip to India (my first was to Ahmedabad to conduct interviews with design colleagues at NID),  I am still filled with the same excitement and anticipation afforded by my first journey. I admit, I am looking at India through Western eyes and bring to this visit certain preconceived perceptions about the social, political, economic and environmental contexts of this physically massive country.  I am fascinated by India’s approach to craft, design, architecture, music, etc., and want to learn more – especially from the ‘makers’ and those emerging voices who are writing about the arts. It is the nuances that we find in the bridges between tradition, culture, modernization and design – which is of particular interest to me. Is there a truly ‘Indian’ way of design?

This is what excites me about the invitation to be involved with Zine Press at UnBox. As a design writer and educator (I teach at the Royal College of Art in London), I am interested in facilitating with my students, an understanding of the different ways in which we might consider the role of designers and makers in the present, but also for the future. What can we learn from design history, social contexts, craft traditions and new innovative ways of design thinking which are embedded in a sense of ‘place’? But also, how do we write about, for and into design? How do we encourage emerging voices to engage with critical practice? How might we make this accessible and relevant to others outside of the design discipline?

I am looking forward to working with participants at the UnBox Festival and with the amazing Zine Team! We will be producing a fanzine – collaboratively! It will be such an opportunity for sharing knowledge and exploring new possibilities of documenting, writing, visualising and critically engaging with ‘UnBox: action at the intersections’.