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The struggle of becoming responsible designers

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

What is our responsibility as members of the design community? As researchers, designers, design strategists, design managers, do we even have a responsibility other than to service the aspirations and objectives of clients?

As entrepreneurs, corporates, designers, marketers, innovators, we see ourselves as change agents — challenging the status quo and defining the zeitgeist — well, at least, that is what a cursory look at your LinkedIn feed would have you believe. …

Photo by Henry & Co. on Unsplash

In an earlier piece I referred to Greta Thunberg’s now famous ‘How dare you?’ speech at the UN Climate Summit in September 2019 where she questioned our insatiable quest for eternal economic growth and progress. Unsurprisingly, the speech and its message prompted a barrage of sharp reactions, rebuttals and op-eds from across the world.

One sharp response came from Russian President Vladimir Putin. He said, (based on this translated version), “People in Africa or in many Asian countries want to be as wealthy as people in Sweden.” He suggested that there are scores of people in the developing world who…

Photo by Mitesh on Unsplash

A few weeks ago, I received a photograph as a message from my partner — that of a water bottle filling station at a suburban railway station in Bombay (Mumbai to the uninitiated). ‘UF (ultrafiltration) Chilled Water’ the sign claimed, for as little as Rs. 2 for 300ml up to Rs. 20 for five litres. It seemed to be the simple and frugal solution that we need in our cities right now, in order to fight the single-use plastic menace. (The counter also seemed to sell packaged water though, but that was not the point). A few hours later that…

Sumeet Iyer

Designer | Researcher | Design Strategist | It’s never too late to ask the right questions

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