idid / February 22, 2018
After a packed VIP preview party, India Design ID, the biggest design event in the country, began its 2018 edition on a high note. Minister of Textiles Smriti Irani was the chief guest at the opening ceremony, where she revealed that it was her dream to see India Design ID expand to more Indian cities — especially those in the North-East, where myriad indigenous handicrafts are just waiting to be explored.
The first speaker on the Symposium line-up was the unflappable Ron Arad, who recalled how his illustrious career in design began with a happy accident. “”It didnt take very long for me to realise I’m not cut out to work for somebody else. Especially after lunch,” he admitted, revealing how he wandered over to a scrapyard during his lunchbreak one day, where he discovered the car seat that would become the base of his famous Rover chair.
Next up on the marquee was Alain Passard, the colour-loving French chef with three Michelin stars to his name. Interviewed by entrepreneur Priya Paul, Alain enthralled the audience with his animated descriptions of treating food as art, and it was a pleasant surprise to hear him wax eloquent about Indian cuisine, which he called “sophisticated, subtle and chic.” For those who fret that no Indian restaurant has been honoured yet with the coveted title, Alain kindly offered to pass on the message to the team over at the Michelin guide.
The final presentation of the evening was a heavy hitter — featuring Amit Syngle in conversation with the world’s first cyborg, Neil Harbisson; the head of the Godrej Culture Lab, Parmesh Shahani; modern Renaissance man Javier Mariscal and the man who designed Mimosa, the wallpaper of the year, Sabyasachi Mukherjee.
Each speaker brought his own special energy to the presentation, with Parmesh focusing on the importance of colour within the context of gender and his extensive work with the LGBTQ community.
Neil decided to use the platform to educate the audience about his unique way of processing colour and visual information, via the antenna implanted in his skull.
Javier Mariscal’s animated film on the history of colour — accompanied by live vocals from the highly animated creator himself — was a treat to experience.
Sabyasachi rounded off the evening with a dissertation on how his childhood in Kolkata impacted his current obsession with colour and the emotions it evokes.
It was the perfect segue for the announcement of the Asian Paints Colour of the Year: Passion Flower, symbolic of sunshine, warmth and boundless creativity, which led a fulfilled audience — as any day well spent might — to an evening of live music, livelier conversation and uninhibited revelry.