Critical & Historical Studies

How might India’s modern history have shaped the perception and value of design within its borders today?

A 8,500 word dissertation for the Critical and Historical Studies department at the Royal College of Art took me on an exploratory journey through modern history to answer a simple question: why is design, both as an activity and a practice, not well-regarded as a valuable intellectual pursuit in India?

Growing up in the 1990s in middle class context, my jumping into the world of architecture and design bewildered those around me—and this dissertation was my attempt to uncover the larger forces at play, deepening my own understanding. 

Reviewer’s comments:

Your subject choice of the status and perception of design, both as a profession and an activity, in India, is personally motivated and highly original at the same time. Excellent textal research forms the basis of your writing, having identified a series of highly relevant quotations, which you use with great effectiveness.

The proposed structure is very suitable, thus presenting the reader with very concise and coherent synopses of different factors in the equation. You demonstrate a thorough understanding of the issues involved in the traditional and current position and status of design and its professions.

The only aspect that needed further development, I feel, is the current state of design education and practice towards the end of your writing. Saying that, you have submitted a very intelligently written and very well-informed piece, a highly interesting read.