• Dwaipayan Chakravarty

    I come from a design community of Architects. While we do call ourselves designers, I have come to see varying points of views in how we design for clients for projects that span huge amounts of time and cost tremendously. We are also regulated as a profession and as a body by various legislations and guidelines, something that graphic designs are bereft of… For better or for worse. In architecture, we earnestly feel that design competitions, properly envisaged and executed with a reputable set of jurors, are the only true way to award architectural design projects, especially public projects. The reasons for this are many fold. The award of multi crore design contracts for projects that cost a huge sum of public money, taking up precious public land and impacting the lives of countless citizens, present and of the future, should not be subjectively adjudicated or awarded by some influencial decision maker to some architect whom he / she feels is the best. While open completions bring about public interest and awards equal opportunities to young designers and stalwarts alike, closed competitions pit the best design minds together towards the achievement of something great. The subjective awarding of a design project to a great established designer brought about the controversial calamity that is Chandigarh, when Nehru told Le Corbusier to masterplan the city. As studied as it is reviled, Chandigarh brings about the perfect example of how non-competitive design awards can impact the future of society. Competitions are public, and as such a democratic process of appraisal. We can all critique the results in both praise and scorn. While NID has indeed provided wonderful examples of commissioned branding results and logos, who is to say that it still can? Why can’t another enjoy the opportunity to be a part of a historic design recreation? I think the graphic design community can also study how architectural competitions are both popular and effective, and actively participate in it, to raise the bar of the competition itself. With multiple young designs rejecting the competition process in the notion of looking forward to the paying, perfect client, I think the future of the design profession is at loss.