What makes a design great – Economic Times Article by Sonia Manchanda

You would not, hopefully, consider strolling through Dharavi in Jimmy Choo stilettos and a neon green Issey Miyake pleats dress. These are iconic designs, but are irrelevant and meaningless in an inappropriate cultural context. Design is only relevant if it adds value to a user’s life, to society, to culture, or to an enterprise.

At a fundamental level, good design is that which allows people to do something well and feel competent, satisfied and happy while doing it. It is about simple, natural, functionality with contextually sensitive aesthetics. But is that all that design does? Can we rethink design’s role for emerging economies?

From good to great, from usability, desirability, affordability to transformation of spaces, experiences, livelihoods and lives at a massive scale. Including all people everywhere. Leading the way in ‘designing’ new ways of thinking and doing things, creating new paradigms and testing them. After all, as Steve Jobs once said, “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”

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