“Gandhi & Design”

Celebrating the wisdom of wholeness



Seventy-one years ago, Gandhian thoughts played a crucial role in stimulating the people of a nation to come together and effect an unprecedented change—the Indian Independence movement. As we celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who has been immortalized in our national psyche as the Mahatma and the Father of the Nation, the National Institute of Design (NID) seeks to dedicate the International Open Electives 2019 as an avenue for exploring Gandhian thoughts and the ideas of holistic development espoused by these thoughts through inclusivity, sustainability, and social harmony

Today the world is actively discovering ways to recalibrate what humans can do to save ecology, culture, and human interaction. We are looking at design to illustrate and shape the future of the nation’s socio-economic growth that will help build a stronger identify for India in the 21st century world.

The International Open Electives 2019 is looking at developing design frameworks based on Gandhian principles and philosophy. The International Open Elective 2019 solicits contributions in the form of workshop proposals that will address various themes and tracks mentioned below.

Workshop Tracks:


Track l: Diffusing the Differences
We do not live in an equal world. The differences are quite widespread in terms of economy, gender, race, ethnicity, age, health, food, technology and so on. The impact of inequalities is very much visible through our daily acts of how we use things, treat each other, behave in public, build relationships, consume food, and access healthcare. The inequalities ruthlessly keep dividing our society and create differences at many levels. Can design inspired by Gandhian thoughts explore how design methods and thinking can make a difference and bring social harmony & inclusive growth with community ?


Track ll: Strengthen the Roots
The rapid rush for development has moved us away from our socio-cultural setting and weakened the coexistence between human beings, environment, and material culture. The knowledge of India’s indigenous heritage has always shown the path of sustainable living. In today’s times, what are those elements of our rich indigenous heritage in terms of art, craft, literature, philosophy, and the Indian way of life that design can use for bringing back the sustainable change and strengthen the material culture and the way of living?


Track lll: Portrait of the Earth
“Some is good, more is better, too much is just right”, this extreme desire is harmful to the society since it has concentrated too many resources in too few hands. Greed will never let a society live up to its best potential. How do we build our society in such a way that it helps the individual realise the importance of the earth’s natural resources and inspire them to use these resources respectably. Can design work towards achieving sustainability by working on the Gandhian principles of perseverance and determination to tackle human greed?


Track lV: Gandhi and Timelessness
Gandhian principles of simplicity and humility have always inspired universality and timelessness. How can design build a framework inspired by Gandhian principles became a national brand identity that may lead to a design intervention that will empower an individual and then society in general into living an integrated and harmonious life with a sense of belonging?


Track V: Self-sustainability
One’s self-sustainability is one’s existence. Everyone strives hard to gain happiness, contentment, and peaceful living. How can design help in this struggle for inner peace and wellbeing? How can design walk on the Gandhian path of self-piety and belief in one’s inner voice and further direct the user/viewer towards peace and spiritual freedom in personal endeavours?