Dream Feat – Write Leela Write – Rheea & Kalabati

This is our first ‘Dream Feat’ in 2015! We hope you enjoy, appreciate and benefit from hearing the inspiring stories of other local entrepreneurs who are working hard for the success of their venture. Our intention is to bring light to their path, to present how they started out, overcame obstacles, handled marketing & branding techniques, used design-thinking strategies, and more, ultimately leading to inspiring you and your venture.

Our first featured entrepreneurs of the new year are Rheea Mukherjee & Kalabati Majumdar, founders of the website ‘Write Leela Write’ (WLW).
website: http://www.writeleelawrite.com
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/writeleelawrite

symbol in dot

Dream:IN: Hi guys. Thanks to both of you for coming down to the DREAM:IN office today and spending some time with us. So to get things started, can you give us the overall idea of ‘Write Leela Write’?
RheeaWrite Leela Write is a design and content Laboratory, which might sound vague, but intentional. We started WLW to build a platform that would contribute and experiment with content,  visual narratives and creative conceptualisation.

Dream:IN: How did you get the idea for this? What inspired you to start this?
Kala: A few things; both of us weren’t cut out for jobs that didn’t  allow us to walk down our own creative path.  It was a good time to take a small risk and see if we could create and build a company of our own. I think it took some solid thought, and decent portion of passion to make the decision. Rheea and I worked well together and our creative vision and intent were aligned, so it made sense.

Dream:IN: How long have you guys been doing this?
RheeaWe just finished 8 months.

Dream:IN: Do you have a website?
Kala: 
Yes, We have a website and a Facebook page that keeps up with our latest adventures. We also have a community page, it’s called ‘Write Leela Write: Engage. Support. Be Curious.’ where we talk about local heroes in Bangalore. We do that  because we think local businesses need to be engaged with the community we live in, it sustains us and our business. We should be invested in it.

Dream:IN: So what kind of writing and design work do you do?
Rheea: 
Well, I am a fiction writer and Kala is a textile designer by soul and education, but at WLW, we do graphic design, Illustration, and all sorts of content creation. So far we have been very lucky to have had our hands in a diverse pool of projects. We worked with a couple experimental projects centred around education, archiving and interviewing. We also have done  more traditional work like website design, brochures, campaign copy, and editing, and logo identities.

527567_10151850190265434_524288393_n

Dream:IN:  What has been recent on the Community Page you guys feature?
Rheea: The most recent organisation we featured was ‘compassionate clowns’. Compassionate Clowns is a group of performative actors that actually dress up and go to hospitals and play and entertain the kids completely pro-bono. We also featured Sinu Joseph, who was doing some amazing work around waste management solutions.

Dream:IN: How often do you come up and release with new posts?
Kala: We try and do one every month. There is no dearth of people who are working hard to make our city better, you just have to keep your eyes and ears out. I think that’s an important think to remember that a bunch of goodness exists in our world.

Dream:IN: Currently, how many followers do you have or users that come to your website?
Rheea: Uh. We might not be the hottest page on FB yet. I think we are a few under 600. Crossing fingers to hit a 1000 soon.
Editors Note: In case you want to help them become the hottest page on FB, go to https://www.facebook.com/writeleelawrite and press ‘like’.

Dream:IN: How did you come up with the name? Who’s Leela?
Kala: 
Leela is a fictional character and a name both of us enjoyed. We have a page on our website that’ll tell you more about this mysterious lady who drives our business.

Dream:IN: What’s next? Anything up coming? Any new posts?
Rheea: Yeah. Something that we are doing completely separate from the business angle, is working on community videos with the help of Satyavrat who works with us at WLW.  So far, We have only been text based.  It is an initiative from our company, but it’s super difficult to fund, since we are not doing it for money. So far we have help from video editors, and a friend who generously lent us his camera but we invite fellow entrepreneurs to offer their skills/time too. Our first video idea is about chaiwalas in IndiraNagar. That’s the first step.

Dream:IN: How does ‘Write Leela Write’ make money?
Kala: Simply put, we offer content and design. To be more specific, our work includes brand identity, content strategy, design layouts, website copy, logo creation, brochures and creative conceptualising. We don’t really want to pigeon hole ourselves, we are open to almost anything that needs quality thought, content, and design.

10703728_10101100325950024_6270821219453412779_n

Dream:IN: Do you have any tips or suggestions for other people considering entrepreneurship?
Rheea:
 If you have a good idea, you have to know how to execute it. That’s where sauce is. Sometimes people think a great idea is an easy path to entrepreneurship. For us, it has been easier because we took care of the hardest part of building our idea into a brand: the part where we decide what we sound and look like. Our website was made quickly because, essentially it’s what we do everyday: set a tone, write, copy, and create a visual story about a brand. With other companies, it can be a larger problem, especially product-based companies, you have to be able to create a uniquely consistent tone and visual narrative to allow your customer base to understand your brand, product or even a service.

Dream:IN: Who is your biggest inspiration when it comes to design and communication?
Rheea:Haruki Murakami has been an odd but consistent inspiration to me. He has  indulged my bizarre-creative side.
Kala: I was raised in Calcutta, and have read a lot of regional children’s Bengali books that have really informed my aesthetic style.

Dream:IN: Would you consider yourselves socially conscience?
Rheea: In a way we try to be socially conscience. I think that it can be an overused word. It’s more interesting when what you do allows you to engage in your community more intimately. I think that automatically makes us better people, or at least gives us opportunities to see things from multiple perspectives.

Dream:IN: Where do you want to see yourselves as a venture in five years?
Kala: I would hope we would have a diverse and meaningful portfolio.I would like us to explore government-commissioned community work in design and content, I hope that’s one part of it. We would like to make a name in branding and communication intelligence  and work with local start ups.

To learn more about Leela, and read some of their great stories, head to their pages:
website: http://www.writeleelawrite.com
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/writeleelawrite

WLW Founders:  Kalabati Majumdar (L),  Rheea Mukherjee (R)

WLW Founders: Kalabati Majumdar (L), Rheea Mukherjee (R)


NASSCOM Product Conclave / First Ever Design Summit #NPC2014 At Idiom on 29 Oct 2014

24e538b

NASSCOM Product Conclave / First ever Design Summit #NPC2014 @Design_Idiom on 29 Oct 2014
By Sonia Manchanda

When design meets technology, that’s when the magic begins…

Nasscom’s 1st Design Summit was hosted in India’s Tech Capital, Bangalore at the campus of the interdisciplinary design firm – Idiom.

The ever-enthusiastic Ravi Gururaj, Chairman of Frictional Ventures, opened the design summit by introducing the organizers of the event, Sonia Manchanda, Co-Founder of Idiom, Deepa Bachu, Director of Product Management and Experience Design at Intuit, and MC of the event, Sunil Gopinath and Muki Ragunathan.

The design summit at Idiom consisted of an engaging mix of speakers and workshops that stressed the importance of integrating design and technology. Nick Talbot, Global Head of Design and Innovation at Tata Elxsi, was the first speaker of the day. Nick holds a degree in Transportation Design and his company designed the world’s first hydrogenated-fuel bike. Nick spoke about how his approach to delivering an intelligent product is by putting anthropology before technology. He also touched upon opportunities in India where technology can be used such as healthcare, and how the ‘new consumer’ has an increasing diversity of tastes, styles and functional requirements. Nick believes we need real insights to create great technology and that there are great opportunities in India where an increasing number of people such as farmers, etc. are demanding useful technology.

Using Design-Thinking in Our Everyday Lives, was a panel moderated by Deepa Bachu, and consisted of Sachin Kelkar, Head of APAC Scale Program at Intel, Jay Dutta, Head of Experience Design, Adobe India, Narendra Ghatge, Chief Designer, Tata Elxsi and Sneha Lakshman, Co-Founder, Dig Design Studio. The panel discussed how design thinking should be introduced in schools, and how it could make an impact across our personal and professional decisions. All speakers felt customer insights are an extremely important factor for great design.

Sonia Manchanda moderated the Design Culture Workshop where participants were made to realize out-of-the-box insights, and were taught design-thinking tools and techniques they could use in their workplaces or at home. Participants were asked to role-play a teacher and a student, where they recognized key insights such as students needing immediate gratification and constant engagement for effective and interesting education. Idiom’s design-thinking tools allowed participants to understand the design-thinking process and realize how it is essential to solve any problem mindfully. Sonia stressed the importance of designing effective solutions by having several opinions, insights, learning’s’ in the process.

The Leading by Design Workshop was moderated by two design leaders (and brothers) who differentiated between UI, UX, CX and discussed how to unleash the power of CX (Customer Experience) in an organization. Prasad Kantamneni, CEO of UX Reactor and Satyam Kantamneni, Group Director, User Experience & Design at Citrix Systems spoke to a diverse group of participants from business, design, managers and engineers about the process of harnessing the power of CX in their organization.

Both brothers believe that Customer Experience (CX) must be integral to all aspects of the organization, and that this is where an organization can differentiate itself and build a competitive advantage. A culture of experimentation, hiring strategies, importance of the different types of research – formative, validation and sensorial – at different stages in the business, and a core message of “ITERATE, ITERATE, ITERATE UNTIL AWESOME” were some of the key takeaways.

Design Transforms Business was a session moderated by Sonia Manchanda that consisted of speakers – Pallavi Gupta, Co-Founder of Mast Kalandar, Kaushal Sarda, CEO of Kuliza, and Sudhir Tiwari, President and COO of Thoughtworks. This session covered the experiences of the speakers, and how they believe design interventions transformed their businesses.

Bridging Gaps Between Founding Philosophies and Final Design was a session where two top executives, Rajesh Bysani, Assistant VP Product at FreeCharge.in and Harish Sivaramakrishnan, VP Front End Engineering & UX, FreeCharge.in, took the participants through the journey of their revolutionary service – Freecharge – specifically focusing on the power of harnessing the Customer Experience and the capability of design and design thinking to demonstrate that while detours may have to be taken, you needn’t compromise to ensure a successful translation of your vision. The key message of the talk was to ‘set up your customers for absolute success’ and ensure that the customer’s pain points are central to every aspect of the design experience itself.

The Design for Delight Workshop was conducted by Apparna Ramadoss, Group Development Manager at Intuit India. The workshop used tools and templates such as the NEXT tool, and participants were coached by Intuit coaches on designing experiments. The experiments were then performed on real life scenarios.

Intuit’s main aim for this experiment is to change lives with easier and innovative methods.

Organizer of the Design Summit and Director of Product Management & User Experience Design, eBay, Sunil Gopinath, moderated the ‘Designing World Class Consumer Experiences – UX Process, Methods & Learnings’ session. The session consisted of speakers, Sree Unnikrishnan, Founder & CEO, Design Ventures, Deepak Menon, Head – UX Practice Hyderabad IDC, Microsoft Corp and Pradeep Joseph, Director of User Experience, Robert Bosch Engineering. The panel focused on identifying patterns, deliverables and key stakeholders essential for a successful and effective team.

Co-Founders of Peepal Design Aurobinda Pradhan and Durga Prasad Vemula led the Fueling Innovation through Research led Design session. The co-founders of Peepal Design spoke about what UX Research is, and how it can be best utilized to maximize the success of a product. The speakers covered the importance of research, the different types of research – Market Research, UX Research and Design Research – and when to best use each of them in the product development process. They believe that while market research is a great tool to understand the market and to verify insights with large samples, it is best geared to answer “what” questions and is not the best tool to understand the needs and priorities of customer. UX research on the other hand, focuses on answering the “why” questions through observing real world user behavior. In short, Market Research is best for exploration and understanding opportunities, UX Research is best for gaining insight and evaluating behavior, and Design Research should be used for the actual process and creation of the design. The speakers listed various ways in which this can be ensued from Stories and Personas to User Diaries and Private Blogs, User Journey Maps to User Scenarios, and Interactive mockups to Discovery Design and Finding workshops. The speakers stressed that ‘down and dirty methods’ and quick iterations were much more important than a polished solution.

Why Design Led Innovation was a session moderated by Rakesh Mishra, Director of Marketing at Target. Rakesh provided the example of the Burberry Kisses ad, which transformed the nature and popularity of the business as it inbuilt design and technology. Rakesh believes that we live in a world of equals, and innovation is needed to stand out.

In the evening, the summit hosted a superfast, interactive and engaging track with short talks on Design Explorations. Speakers such as Boris Gomes, Project Lead at Dream:In, Puneet Gupta, Entrepreneur in Residence, SAP Labs India, Muddasir Hussain, Marketing Head, Dirty Hands, Ragini Lall and Ashis Pandey from Quest Alliance and Delmo Oliveira, an Idiom Design Intern from Brazil quickly covered their experiments with design. Boris had the audience shaking their hips to Shakira while Muddasir passed around an extremely realistic silicon-hand.

The Nasscom design summit concluded with a unique session on Lean Experimentation with speakers Abhijit Bansod, Founder and Principal Designer, Studio ABD and Kedar Nayak, Music Entrepreneur and founder of Octavium. The session was moderated by Muki Ragunathan, Founder of Peppersquare.

Abhijit strongly advocates for Products Made in India, and took the audience through watches he has designed for Titan, inspired by Indian architecture, amongst many other eclectic products.

Kedar engaged the audience by playing famous soundtracks that allowed the audience to realize the impact of well-designed music. Kedar showed us how music and design are subjective experiences, but together can trigger objective emotions.

The organizers of the summit Sonia, Deepa, Sunil and Muki concluded the conference by explaining that they organized this conference in pursuit of really great people who could talk and think design.

Idiom Design and Consulting volunteered its space for the Nasscom Product Conclave’s design summit to stress the importance of integrated design and technology.


DREAM:IN/IDIOM at the Construkt Festival

Between 20th and 23rd March, Bangalore played host to Construkt Festival organized by Unstoppable.in and TIE. The festival was designed to bring together people from various backgrounds to create new opportunities and share their expertise. The festival was especially for entrepreneurs and creators from the tech, design, culinary and social communities.

_MG_5921gyg

As a part of the festival we participated in the ‘Crawl‘, which was a chance for us to open our doors and invite people to both DREAM:In and Idiom. The crawl was held on March 20th between 5 and 6 PM. Participants were introduced to Idiom and DREAM:IN by Sonia, Pooja and Liz. After a short discussion on the definition of design, the participants took part in an exercise using a design thinking tool in a live example.

_MG_5918gyg (1)

The session saw the participants engage in conversations with our team and even hang their dreams on the Dream Tree.

 

_MG_4701

 

On 22nd and 23rd, the Construkt Festival was held at Jayamahal Palace. DREAM:IN had a stall at the venue which featured the Dream tree. We had many inquiries and several dreams were captured by our DreamCatchers. Sonia, our founder was a part of a panel on Sunday which showcased some great examples of how design is being used in various areas like retail, products, sustainability and especially the social space.

The festival had a great bunch of people in attendance and we even managed to meet Aruj, one of our Dreamers who had set up a food stall at the venue.

To find out more about the festival you can log on here: http://construkt.me/

1185496_624380017635952_739367860_n

 

 

 

 

 

 


Creya Ignited Minds challenge 2013

Creya, in association with DREAM:IN, presents the  ‘Creya Ignited Minds Challenge’, a unique event for school children.
The challenge is not a paper and pencil exam. In this 2 day challenge, participants will be working on projects to design, develop and build solutions to real world problems. Winning the challenge is about bringing together and applying their science, math, creative, photographic, artistic, planning, thinking and problem solving skills.
The CIMC will also include a special design thinking workshop by DREAM:IN, hosted by Nidhi Isaac and Sonia Manchanda. We’re dying to give away some more details but for that you will have to watch this space over the next few days.
Here’s the schedule for both days –
Friday, November 15

9 am registration
9:30 – 12:30 Creya Boot camps start
12:30 -­‐ 1:15 lunch
1:15 – 3:15 Creya Boot camp continues
3:15 – 3:45 breaks (15 min for each stream)
3:45 – 4:15 brief for challenge (all in main hall)
4:15 – 6:00 Design thinking Workshop (Dream:In)

Saturday, November 16

9:15 – 9:45 Introductions to the challenge statement
9:45 to 1:00 Challenge Building Begins
1:00 – 1: 40 lunch
1:40 – 3:45 Challenge Building Continues
3:45 – 4:15 Team preparation for presentation
4:15 – 5:45 Student Presentations to Jury Members
4:15 – 5:00 Break
6:15 – 7:15 Awards ceremony

We’re sure that all the 150 children participating are going to have loads of fun at the DREAM:IN Center, where the event is being hosted. You can read more about the event on the creya website – http://www.creyalearning.com 

See you soon!

IDEX Design Thinking Camp

The IDEX Accelerator is a career launch-pad for aspiring social enterprise practitioners. IDEX’s 6 month program offers intense field experience and leadership training curriculum that equips fellows with the equivalent of 2 years marketable work experience that’s relevant to social enterprise employers.

The IDEX fellows have now been associated with DREAM:IN for nearly 2 years. In 2012, a number of IDEX fellows became DreamCatchers and captured entrepreneurial Dreams for DREAM:IN Next Gen. This year, Daniel Oxenhandler (one of last year’s fellows) took over from his predecessor as the IDEX programme coordinator. He is currently co-coordinating the program with Joe Kent (another former IDEX fellow) and is looking after the group based in Bangalore. Daniel and Joe were very eager to work with DREAM:IN right from the start of their fellowship. They had approached DREAM:IN and asked us to do a design thinking workshop for them. Instead of doing another workshop, we offered to help them develop their ideas* and reframed the initial plan, designing a process and a camp (based on DREAM:IN and Idiom’s earlier experience). Sonia Manchanda and Raji Math took over to create and conceptualise the Idex Design Thinking Camp.

*The fellows were split in to 5 teams and were asked to create social venture ideas/plans of their own, and over the 6 month fellowship, through different programs, they were going to try and create sustainable businesses out of the ideas that they had come up with.

Image

Prior to the IDEX Design Camp, the fellows had a day long workshop at Jaaga where they came up with 5 different ideas (Given below). Meanwhile, Daniel and Joe had met with the DREAM:IN Team to plan a workshop to help the fellows flesh out their ideas and help take them to the next level. Given DREAM:IN’s expertise in events like this, a two day workshop was planned that was to bring design thinking to stage zero of the value creation process by questioning plans and notions and opening up possibilities, combining the facets of big Dreams, visions and scenarios, supporting them with hard facts, plans and prototypes. The goal would be to create a compelling venture argument that blends critical and creative thinking, to help take original ideas to market as projects or ventures. The Camp was planned over the 5th and the 6th of October, 2013. The focus would be on practical work – to bring the idea alive, to make it as believable as possible

PRE CAMP: DREAMCATCHING

Prior to the IDEX Design Camp, Dreams of the fellows were captured. This included some serious questioning about the plan that will help the Dreamers prepare for the camp and make their plans even more actionable. These Dreams were uploaded on to www.dreamin.in for everyone to view and post their feedback on.

CAMP DAY 1

5 OCTOBER 2013

The Day started with an introduction to DREAM:IN followed by a showcase of the Dreams of the fellows that were captured prior to the workshop. Teams were created and each team had the involvement of an external mentor who were invited to guide the fellows and help them shape their ideas as well as designers from Idiom who also contributed to the development of the ideas.

Image

The Mentors that attended were –

Mr. Vijay Ladha, entrepreneur and Director, Make a Wish Foundation, Bangalore

Raahul Khadaliya, Creative Director, Studio ABCD

Ashwini Sashidhar, Designer, Machani Group

Jadeja Dushyant, Innovation expert and tech expert at Intel

Kavita Arora, Design enthusiast and part of the team behind Design Day

Amit Singh, Entrepreneur and part of the team behind Design Day

We also had mentors walk in and help out the fellows during the two days. Sonia Manchanda began with an introduction to the Design Camp and explained the process of Insight/Knowledge mining by using our very own ‘Create Preserve Destroy’ tools and methodology. From a knowledge sharing perspective, the perspectives presented in Bruce Nussbaum’s book Creative Intelligence on Business Design, Roger Martin and some successful entrepreneurial models developed by Idiom were touched upon.

Image

During this session Francois Xavier, entrepreneur and DREAM:IN Mentor, Michael Hartman, serial entrepreneur, Kush Medhora, Co-founder and CEO, DREAM:IN and Girish Raj, Co-founder, Idiom Design and consulting spent time with each team, gave them feedback and helped them structure their ideas and plans.

We interviewed Michael and Francois separately and asked them what they thought about the Design Camp. Both of them were really impressed with the Camp, the participants and the processes. They were also really happy that design thinking was an integral part of the camp and that all the ventures/ideas being shaped were using design thinking in various aspects of the shaping process.

Post lunch, we then began with the DreamScaping* session that was introduced by Mo Polamar.

*A DreamScape is a creative scenario building tool and methodology that helps sketch out Dreams or ideas in vivid detail.

Image

In this open innovation session, the purpose of the DreamScapes were to map and generate blueprints to co-create new value via sustainable initiatives or business plans for products, services, systems and applications, that could be potentially sustainable enterprises of the future, created by multidisciplinary professionals with different skills, experience and expertise. All the teams worked for over 2 hours on their DreamScapes and were able to put down a clearer map of their ideas.

Soon after this, we had a series of presentations by entrepreneurs that were working in sustainability. Raahul Khadaliya went first. He spoke about the role of design in sustainibility6 and the kind of work he has been doing with Studio ABCD.

One of very own Next Gen entrepreneurs, Ifthikar Javed was next. He spoke about his start up My Eco Day, an online solar product retailer, and about the solar industry in India today. The audience asked him questions like is Solar power practical? What is it is raining, will solar power work then? How can you compete with the government?

Our final speaker for the day was Kamal Raj, another Next Gen Entrepreneur who spoke about his company, Reap Benefit, and organisation that is offering wiser waste management solutions to various stakeholders. Kamal was asked about how waste segregation can be integrated in to daily life? Does he have a program or a plan to engage with individuals and not only institutions? All the speakers answered all these questions

CAMP DAY 2

6 OCTOBER 2013

Day 2 of the IDEX Design Camp began with each team presenting the work that they had done over the previous day in front of a panel consisting of Mr. Bala Warrier, CEO, Manipal Foundation, Francois Xavier, Girish Raj, Sonia Manchanda and Mo Polamar. Every team had been given 10 minutes to present their Dreams and 5 minutes for questions and feedback. The videos of the presentation and the feedback that was given will be posted on the DREAM:IN Portal shortly.

Image

The first team to present was Thirsties (later re-branded as team Ekho) Mr. Warrier asked them why they were planning to use water bottles as there is already so much plastic waste everywhere, the team replied by saying that they were planning to use bio-degradable water bottles for this very reason. Mr. Warrier also explained that there were already several organisations in India that were in to the distribution of clean drinking water and he would be glad to connect the team to them. Francois advised the team to not forget about the Indian side of this engagement. He said that two plans needed to be made, one for the American side of it and the other for India. Girish and Mo mentioned that the working (logistics, operations etc.) of this venture would need to be looked at and planned a little more carefully

 

Image

The second team to present their work was team  Prana. After their presentation, Girish explained to them that they might need to look at a village production center, do a little more research and also work out costs. Sonia and Mo mentioned that there were already existing business that follow similar models like Fab India and Mother Earth and it would good to study them while Francois gave them advice on how they could structure/frame the Prana story

Image

The third team to go up was Kamal Kisan. The founder of Kamal Kisan, Devi Murthy was also present. Francois asked them why they had selected one particular process as an investor might ask them the logic behind that. Devi answered that she had selected rice planting as they were aiming at finding a heavily labour dependant farm process since availability of labour is a concern, therefore, this gap would give her venture an edge.

Image

The next team to go up was ‘Dream Revolution’. Soon after their presentation, Girish asked them to explain their process a little more in detail. He also explained to them that in theory their idea might work, but when it comes to practically implementing it, they might re look at various aspects of the idea. He told them that there is a technology aspect as well as an on ground aspect that they will need to look at. Francois told the team that following the ‘pen-pal’ system might not be a good idea as the old pen pal system is gone, people are taking to online social networking instead, so why not create a ‘pad-pal’ using tablets and phones.

Image

The final team to present was team ‘Learn by doing’. Nitin from the team answered questions after the presentation that were put forth by the Mentors. They really liked his idea and Francois advised him to carefully look through and identify the kind of schools, students and other stakeholders that they plan to engage with.

Essentially, there were a few gaps in all the various ideas that were addressed. Some of them included, creating a solid revenue model, streamlining the business process, identifying the right kind of partners etc.

Mr. Warrier even extended his support to the team behind Thirsties and Prana and said that he would be glad to connect them to local partners/enablers to help them implement their ideas.

Over the weekend, Jordan Kapowitz, a friend and supporter of DREAM:IN visited us in Bangalore and worked on a film for the DREAM:IN Portal. This film was screened at the session and everyone really appreciated it. It will be live on www.dreamin.in very soon.

We had a surprise planned for our very own Mallikarjuna Swamy, an integral part of Idiom and DREAM:IN and the head of the DREAM:IN Tumkur project. It was his birthday a couple of days earlier and the DREAM:IN Team had him cut a birthday cake along with fellow October birthday babies (Mr. Warrier and Hansa).

Image

Over the past month a group of young design students from Srishti school of Art, Design and had been undertaking a course in branding at Idiom. As a part of this course, they were given the IDEX projects to brand and design collaterals for. Most of these students had never presented before such a big audience ever before, they were a little shy initially, but after warm encouragement from the audience, they really got in to the act. Each team presented 3 or more variations for the brands that they had designed and the feedback from the audience was unanimous. Everyone loved the work, some options were favoured over others, but all the designers were very well appreciated. Interesting feedback was also given, one instance in particular, one of the options that the designers had come up with for the project Kamal Kisan, was a logo that had hands reaching upwards. Mr Ladha, one of the mentors, explained that designers need to be careful when creating brands because in this case, symbols of two major rival political parties were incorporated (not on purpose) in to the brand. Also the name might face registration issues as another major Indian brand shares a similar name.

Soon after lunch, every team was given a camera and a brief to create a pitch film (or at least a draft) with the help of editors at DREAM:IN so that they could incorporate their learnings over the past two days in to this. The session ended with each team presented their pitch videos and over the next few days will have some time to refine their work before publishing it on the DREAM:IN Portal and using it at their final showcase. One pitch video in particular (the Dream Revolution team) was very well received and the team even received a standing ovation from the crowd.

The workshop ended on a promising note with positive feedback from the participants

The tremendous effort which was evidenced in the quality, organization, and thoroughness of the workshop was also appreciated by all present. The fellows we were told, gained a lot from working with their mentors and teams and were all excited to see what shape their ventures would take in the final showcase in November. Some of these ideas could turn in to real ventures (in fact 2 of them – Kamal Kisan and Learn by doing already are!) which will all be showcased in November. Stay tuned for updates.


We are hiring! – Interaction Design Lead

DREAM:IN is looking for an Interaction Design Lead to work on the development of the DREAM:IN Portal on an immediate basis. In case you or anyone you know is interested in applying, please send an e mail, along with your portfolio to dream@dreamin.in 

The Job Description is given below, Do share the same with your network –

Interaction Design Lead

DREAM:IN is looking for a committed and responsible developer / designer with deep empathy and interest in people, skills in interaction design, media and technology to oversee the development of the DREAM:IN Portal on an immediate basis. DREAM:IN is a global movement and an organisation headquartered in Bangalore.

The Interaction Design Lead will be responsible for conceptualizing, developing and prototyping digital channels including portals, social networks, mobile applications, physical installations and other projects where technology plays a key role at DREAM:IN. This will include creating service blueprints, roadmaps and timelines, experience design navigation flows, interaction design and interface design, database and visualisation design etc.

The responsibility also involves continuously evolving, developing and managing (as nearly 90% of the basic creation is already complete) a state of the art social network product that is in beta stage and adding value to a network and community with fresh ideas and innovations.

He/She should possess a solid understanding of internet technologies, human interaction, user-experience, user-interface, production and website site design. The Interaction Design Lead will also be leading a team consisting of developers and a designer, within the DREAM:IN organisation

Location:

Bangalore, India. (We also welcome talent from any part of the world)

 Requirements:

 

  • Significant experience in Interaction design, and has been involved in developing and designing Portals and Websites
  • Must be well-versed in user centered design methods and techniques
  • Should be able to convert business and user requirements in to highly usable and appealing UI designs (IA/UI architecture, navigation, layout, content etc.). Should also be able to deliver world class interaction designs, from concept through to implementation.
  • Good visual design skills. Should be able to conceptualize and design visual design themes including design of hi-fidelity / finished looking UIs and icons
  • Must have basic programming/coding knowledge (Basic knowledge of HTML5, CSS, JQuery and JS libraries) to successfully integrate design with technology and manage a team of developers
  • Should have Basic understanding of PHP / mySQL integrating dynamic data with the front-end.
  • Basic knowledge of Content Management Systems and Version Control Software required, but not mandatory.
  • Must posses an understanding of the behaviour of web applications and security issues
  • Should have an understanding of web standards, validation and search engine optimization.
  • Ability to multi-task and grow in a fast paced development environment
  • Strong analytical and communication skills.
  • Creative, diplomatic, self-motivated, cool under pressure and fantastic interpersonal skills.
  • Strong project management or organisational skills.
  • In-depth knowledge and understanding of online community platforms and their respective participants (Forums, Blogs, Photo Uploads, Profiling etc.)
  • Team player, with the confidence to take the lead and experience in working with a multifunctional team of designers and developers
  • Must be creative, and positively contribute to other aspects of the DREAM:IN organisation, where required
  • Must possess mastery of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator
  • Must be able to multitask and prioritise work schedules
  • Expert understanding of best practices and implementation strategy for all devices (desktop, smart phone, tablets etc.)

Minimum Qualifications:

 

  • BA/BS or higher degree in Interaction Design or related discipline (i.e. Graphic Design, Industrial Design, Visual Design) preferred
  • 5+ years of professional experience in Interactive Design; Visual Design skills a plus
  • Must possess a portfolio of past projects

ABOUT DREAM:IN:

DREAM:IN is a global network and organization headquartered in Bangalore, India that is at one level, developing on ground and online systems and networks to understand the aspirations of the youth, to create a core of qualitative and quantitative data and at another level, is a super incubator of imaginative new ideas, providing resources and inputs to shape and scale them.

It is already a method, process, system and global network prototyped and active in India, Brazil and the US. DREAM:IN was named one of the 6 Game Changers in the world of innovation and design by Metropolis Magazine, New York and has also been mentioned several times in the book ‘Creative Intelligence’ by Bruce Nussbaum. It has been prototyped as an academic intervention in higher education in India, USA, Brazil and China, besides being used as a consulting tool. DREAM:IN has also been hailed by both national and international press as a unique inside out, open innovation system.

 


Design for Every Dream! | BWAB-GFAL 2011

Sonia Manchanda

A 12 year old boy lives by the side of a busy street. He is wearing a tattered vest and his 2 year old sister sleeps soundly in his lap. This boy (Neville) speaks unexpectedly good English and he wants to be able to support his mom and dad – who take such good care of him. He is already good at repairing electricity boards and his dream is to grow up to an engineer. A modest dream that so many factors, so many systems can come in the way of!

A young able man (Tazhuddin), well dressed and articulate, carries toy drums on his shoulders and sells them. Why does he not have a regular job and roam the streets instead? Perhaps because his dream is to own a shop, be the boss, with the people who pass by in fancy cars coming to shop there!

A barefoot football coach on the hot sands of Marina beach in Chennai steadfastly takes classes. His dream is that he wants to see India win the World Cup!

Dreams tell us a lot about a society and a people. Dreams are personal and are the fuel that drives tomorrow.

Read the rest of this entry »