Design driving change, from NYT to Dubai

Design driving change, from NYT to Dubai

The last decade had Design shape social media, chissel its interface in ways so interactive that the world of communication changed forever. Today, in a far more digitised world, relatively stagnant sectors such as insurance and healthcare are about to see a disruptive, collective push by design and technology.

Forecasting this is Khoi Vinh, principal designer at Adobe, who pitchforked The New York Time's digital avatar as design director at the iconic American newspaper. In Bengaluru for the 'DesignUp' conference, Vinh is however, quick to clarify that design cannot alter the fundamental shift in newspaper consumption. But it can help present news in more relevant, understandable ways.

His task at NYT was to effect a decisive shift in the way its digital avatar was experienced. That did mean tweaking the portal's accessibility by design to fit the screen demands of the first iPhone and the first iPad. But it was also about creating an alternative revenue stream, a hitherto unexplored subscription model, a decisive shift from 'free access.'

Aesthetics of a city

Talk urban design aesthetics and talk Sajith Ansar, CEO of the Dubai-based Idea Spice Design. Creating a brand image for Dubai's new Bollywood theme park from scratch, spearheading the Dubai Ministry of Happiness designs, Ansar was part of that city's scripted makeover.

It was a process that proactively engaged with Dubai's past, its culture and heritage to fashion a future linked to experiential tourism. Could Bengaluru, long chided for its lack of tourist potential, mimick that model? Ansar sees an opportunity. "There are a lot of inspiration points here. This city's green aspects, its early architecture, its weather and a bit of that old British lifestyle," he explains.

Mixing culture with cuisine, heritage with signage clarity, the Kempegowda International Airport has made a beginning, observes Ansar. But the city's aesthetics could go much beyond. "You need standardised signages, fonts and numbering. Take inspiration from the local script, the Kannada typography, evolve new styles."

Ranked among Forbes' Top 100 Indian business leaders in the Arab World for two years in a row, he had shown how to imaginatively blend Arabic and English to redefine Dubai's logos, its icons. Bengaluru could do the same, and even better it.

DH News Service

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