Kyoorius Design Yatra Day1

CR is here in rainy Goa for India’s biggest gathering of designers, the Kyoorius Design Yatra. Today we found out what Tyler Brûlé’s Monocle was originally called, why elephants are like design and that monsoon is the most romantic time of the year…

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CR is here in rainy Goa for India’s biggest gathering of designers, the Kyoorius Design Yatra. Today we found out what Tyler Brûlé’s Monocle was originally called, why elephants are like design and that monsoon is the most romantic time of the year…

Over 1000 Indian designers are gathered here in Goa for this three-day conference. Joining them, and trying to stay out of the torrential downpours, are speakers from around the world.

Kicking things off this morning was Tyler Brûlé who, in a slightly un-nerving pair of shorts, delivered the now familiar tale of his early career BW* (Before Wallpaper*), the launch of the magazine, then Winkcreative and, latterly, Monocle. Originally Monocle was to be called The Edit, he revealed, but the name and URL were already owned by “an Australian doctor who wouldn’t sell”. Monocle was arrived at after a meeting with art director Richard Spencer Powell at which Brûle said he wanted a name that sounded old-fashioned and established enough that, if you called an embassy and said you were from Monocle magazine you might get past the first flunky to pick up the phone.

Next up, This Is Real Art’s Paul Belford applied himself admirably to the theme of the conference – Convergence. Belford talked about the overlap between design and advertising and his frustrations with design’s lack of ideas and advertising’s lack of aesthetic quality. Before a review of some past work which he deconstructed for the audience, Belford showed this film on Paul Rand

Followed by a lovely film on Helmut Krone that, unfortunately isn’t available on the net. His point: designer Rand was a great ideas man while adman Krone was a great designer. Convergence, you see.

Then, as technicians struggled with a recalcitrant laptop, MC Paul Hughes asked the audience why the monsoon is supposed to be the most romantic time of the year in India. “Because it locks you indoors and gives you the chance to discover your companion,” offered a young lady in the audience… so expect a spike in the Goan birth rate come June.

Nic Roope of Poke made eloquent case for the need to understand the digital generation and the wonder of things like this

And that you can harness such net-based stars as this (not the first guy, the second, in red shirt)

as long as you are sensitive to the norms and etiquette of the web, as Poke showed so succesfully in projects such as the Global Rich List, and the Orange Balloon Race and Unlimited website

After attempting a personal record of five curries in 24 hours at lunch, it was back to the convention centre for Elephant Design from Pune. India’s first multidisciplinary design studio, Elephant opened in 1989. Current projects include the identity for Pune’s hosting of the Youth Commonwealth Games

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Why Elephant? Thereby hangs a tale: an elephant arrives in a small village inhabited by six blind people. Asked later to describe the beast by their king, one says it’s like a wall (he’d touched its flank), another says it’s like a spear (she’d only touched the trunk), another says it’s like a fan (the ear) etc etc No, says the king, you’re all wrong, but put everything together and that’s an elephant. Same with design – everybody has a different view of what it is, if you put them altogether you get the whole picture.

Why were there six blind people living in the same village? Who looked after them? Couldn’t the king have offered to help them instead of being such a smart arse? Who knows. It’s a folk tale, alright?

More tomorrow when I attempt three more curries….

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Nic Roope after his talk

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Ancient copies of CR for sale in the bookshop

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Obligatory Indian vernacular design shot

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