Storyboard is in Goa along with over one thousand three hundred design and communication professionals, marketers, and students at the ninth annual Kyoorius DesignYatra. The theme for this year's conference was 'Create Change', aiming to push the envelope and challenge creative professionals to use design as a tool to create change that's beyond the aesthetic. And while all the talk was indeed rich, the bigger picture shows the design function, and hence it's community, has evolved here in the country. Several myths were broken, and design is finally being accepted for what it is, and what it can deliver. One thing that we did notice though was the under-representation of advertising agencies. Even though day one of the conference was sponsored by the IAA, barely a handful of the country's mad men made it for the DesignYatra. But, those who did, experienced a conference that is far cleaner, leaner, and dare we say, intelligent, than the other big industry event held in Goa annually. Yes, we are talking about the GoaFest. We got some of advertising's finest to compare.
This year's conference was also home to inaugural Kyoorius awards. Setup in partnership with D&AD, the awards aim to celebrate the best of Indian design. And just like any D&AD chapter, the bar to win an 'Elephant' - yes, that's what the Kyoorius awards are called - was sky high. Of the 437 shortlisted entries, only 18 went on to bag blue Elephants, with two of them winning Black Elephants, or the Best Of Show awards. Take a look at work that's the best of Indian design. A special section of the awards was dedicated to the works of students as well. The Kyoorius awards marks the official entry of D&AD into the country. I met Laura Bambach, the current Vice President of D&AD and creative director at Dare UK, to understand the relevance of these awards, her design sensibilities, and much more. Here's that conversation.
One of the best things about being here is the chance to meet luminaries from the wide gamut of professions that come together under the design umbrella. From people at the cutting edge of media like Fjord's Andy Goodman to masters of their craft like visual dirctor Karen Fong and sonic designer Ramesh Sathiah, here are some of the people I met. People whose thoughts and ideas shape the future of what design can offer.