Urban Indian market streets are a visual riot. There are so many layers, languages and signs. Every surface is screaming for prominence to advertise a local mom and pop shop, a western brand retailer, a medical specialist or a spiritual service. Amongst the mayhem are carefully crafted, hand-painted sign boards of all sizes. Each stretch of street has its own sign painter who defines the visual character of the block with his particular typography and illustration experiments.
The Indian automobile industry is set to become the sixth largest passenger vehicle producer in the world, growing 16-18 percent to sell around three million units in the course of 2011-12. The passenger vehicles sales trend has shown an exponential growth in past few years and it is expected to grow further in coming years.
Although the concept of social networking on the web has been steadily active for only the last decade, the phenomenon of social networking is ancient. Social networking thrives on an inherent need of people to know about each other’s lives. As stated by Danah Boyd a social media researcher at Microsoft Research “We all poo-poo the reunion, but secretly, we really want to know what happened to Bobbi Sue.” People are curious about other people and social networking gives them a dynamic platform to see what is happening in everyone’s lives. Current technology is playing a role of an enabler to suffice this basic need. Many physical and virtual arenas have played the role of social enabler and facilitated people to interact with each other. For example, a job portal where one can recommend a colleague’s work, a coffee table for sharing pictures of graduation with friends and family and an MMORPG where flirting with other avatars is made safe.
While the internet and the buzz of social networking sites have helped like-minded people find each other and build online communities, there still is an extended arm to these social communities. It involves live interaction with multiple viewpoints, ardent discussions and debates with an eye open towards creative innovations.
Over the last 4 years I have had the intriguing experience of witnessing many of my close friends entering marital bliss. These unique moments have been captured, documented and stir fond memories of some wonderful stories.
Healthcare is one of the most critical needs for the human race. In India, as elsewhere, a few are fortunate to have access to the best facilities while many others don’t have access to even the basic healthcare needs. Today there are not only medical professionals that are contributing to bridging this gap, but also a multitude of technology, business and design professionals contributing in the form of new and innovative ideas, products and services. In India, where there are only six physicians for every 10,000 people, the conjunction of different disciplines in healthcare services is important in order to augment the human reach with scalable technological and service interventions.
The tea stall has always been a favorite to know about the surroundings.
(Image courtesy of Happy Horizon Studios)
Growing up in a small city, I came to know about my immediate world mostly through family, friends and neighbors. I learned from my parents the regular fare for an auto-rickshaw from home to school and back. A neighbor recommended a grocery store, known for selling unadulterated foods at reasonable prices, and over time we became loyal customers and family friends to the store owners. When we inquired about good tailors, our family friends mentioned they all had different favorites to suit their styles. We sought references from close friends when we needed to consult specialist doctors.
Truck painting and decorating has emerged as a vibrant form of folk art in India. Thought to have started in Pakistan, the practice has spread to all corners of India. These “painted ladies” of the Indian highways have captured the imagination of many photographers and have even inspired a Monopoly spinoff called Truckopoly.
My job at frog has taken me to India three or four times a year since 2005. On each visit, I’ve been struck by an almost tangible optimism that something big is just about to happen—and for good reason.
Do you ever feel irritated with something in your neighborhood? …when you are in transit? …on a street near your workplace that you frequent often? We come across many things that annoy us and make us wish things were different. Taking a cue from Gaurav's thoughts on street side religious art, small steps to ensure civic well being can go a long way.