Editor's note: We offered this blog as a platform to four HDL Global participants who are documenting the event for everyone to get a glimpse of how things went down. This is one such post from Anna-Leena Vasamo, who writes to us from Pune, India where she is currently working.
A couple of weeks after HDL Global, the themes presented at the event are resurfacing on the other side of the world. In India, recent encounters with design professionals have turned out to be reminders of the unique event and have provided a chance to reflect on the ideas of HDL.
A recent discussion with the founder of an established Indian design company revealed that it was the possibility to integrate ideas from fields such as psychology, art, science and philosophy that drew a specialized engineer into the field of design. The role of the designer, as was aptly described by Rory Hyde in his guest blog post as the integrator or “professional generalist”, seems to be an allure that draws experts from a variety of fields to design. Interest in the bigger picture and the desire to understand challenges in a holistic manner looks like a common denominator in the global design community.
With HDL Global fresh in my mind, interacting with a new generation of designers in India has also allowed me to identify some great homegrown, grassroots-level experiments with strategic design. An attempt by two talented local designers to understand and visualize the challenges of sustainable urban development in the Indian context is an example of such activity.
These experiences reinforce the excitement and interest toward the progress of Helsinki Design Lab. The idea of Finland as a global platform for systemic innovation is intriguing: I hope Finland will provide a model that the rest of the world can follow.