[Year in Review 2019] From experience to purpose: top quotes of the year on the importance of design

Design, along with technology and business, is a key success factor for startups and large firms, as these designers affirm.
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Drawn from our comprehensive coverage of India’s startup ecosystem, we present 50 quotes on the growing importance of design in our lives and habitats. See also YourStory’s d.Zen (‘Design Zen’) section for more design resources.

The designers, academics and founders in this compilation share insights on the design potential in India, cultural heritage, digital experiences, ethical considerations, role in the startup journey, and a higher sense of purpose.

The growing popularity of design conferences and festivals in India bodes well for the design community and broader industry. These include Bengaluru byDesign, DesignUp, Pune Design Festival, Design and Engineering Summit, Design4India, and UX India. The Lexus India Design Awards have showcased Indian design talent, and a range of new museums is showcasing the power of design to portray culture, such as the Indian Music Experience.

Make it a habit to check out YourStory’s Daily Capsule, PhotoSparks photo essays on art and design, and quotes compilations StoryBites. Our book review section also shares insights and takeaways from over 240 titles on innovation, entrepreneurship, design and digital transformation.

YourStory wishes all founders, changemakers, and designers a Happy New Year ahead, with much success, scale, and impact!

Design is the ability to see the world through other people’s eyes. - Ashoke Chatterjee, NID

If the last century was about democratisation of consumption, this century is going to be about democratisation of creation. - Surya Vanka, Pune Design Festival

Each country has its own design culture and you realise that the place of design in a society tells you a lot about that society’s values and beliefs. - Giles Colborne, ‘Simple and Usable’

Design is niche, yet it is increasingly seen as a game changer. Design education, design-led creative manufacturing, and design-led startups are the top three opportunities for designers in India. - Ashish Deshpande, ADI

Climate change is the biggest challenge of our time, designers and young people with design-thinking, problem-solving skills and the courage to take big risks to transform entire communities and cities are the only hope we have. - Lisa Heydlauff, Going to School

The Indian economy (particularly the IT industry) is building a huge appetite for design. - Visvapriya Sathiyam, SAP

The global interior design opportunity is huge, with the US being a large market by itself (home furnishing market size is close to $200 billion). - Subrata Mitra, Accel

The interior designing industry of India is expected to grow at a CAGR of around eight percent from $837 million in 2017 to $1,138 million in 2021. - Aniket Ghosh Choudhury, Art Brute

Our arts and crafts are the biggest contributors to design in this country. - Vinay Varanasi, Unbind Education

If you look into the north eastern states, there is an abundance of skilled designers and craftsmen as handloom is a major source of livelihood for them. - Sharda Gautam, Tata Trusts

The key reasons for such a high number of road crash fatalities in India are bad road user behaviour, flawed road design and engineering, weak enforcement of traffic laws, and lack of rapid trauma care. - Piyush Tewari, Savelife Foundation

As a nation, we have advanced communication technologies. However, there also arises a need for last-mile connectivity to reach the masses when the mobile networks and internet services are interrupted during emergencies. - Jayakrishnan AL, HW Design Labs

Design is a great synthesiser, bringing together different disciplines and inspiring change. - Jane Withers

Design is a network builder, driver of collaborative creativity, and voice of the company to the customer. - Kevin Gilboe, 3M

Good design is the perfect glue for the qualitative and the quantitative. - Gurman Bhatia, Reuters

Designers stand at the intersection of human and machine where interfaces are becoming more and more intuitive, even intimate, shifting from screens to voice. - Scott Sorokin, Infosys XD

No software product is developed perfectly the very first time. The chosen tech stack should allow you to fix bugs or tweak features easily without eating up a lot of time. - Prasit Bhattacharya, designs.codes

Great UX can be that distinguishing factor that ensures that an organisation’s product or service isn’t lost to competition. - Sharan Grandigae, Redd Experience Design

With each passing year, UX design is donning a sophisticated persona, and focusing on creating the best in class experience for its users. - Payal Goyal, Enuke Software

Voice-based user experiences can truly democratise digital life and create a whole new wave of digital citizens. - Sharan Grandigae, Redd Experience Design

Only experiences that are seamless and crystal clear will delight the audience; others will fail. - Rufus Deuchler, Adobe Systems

Co-working spaces are a great example of where business meets design. - Robin Chhabra, Dextrus

The 2D and 3D worlds will combine and cohabitate. - Alysha Naples, CXO, Tin Drum

We can design a future with digital equality. - Jack Morgan, DuoLingo

Mindful AI is designed not just with human behaviour in mind but also with human values and aspirations. - Ovetta Sampson, Microsoft

How will we conceive, design, manage, use and govern algorithms so that they serve the good of all humankind? - Kartik Hosanagar, ‘A Human's Guide to Machine Intelligence’

Acceptance of the inability to comprehend a different degree of complexity is definitely one key lesson for any designer or person in general. - Simone Rebaudengo, automato.farm

Create with the heart; build with the mind. - Sameer A M, Bonito Designs

No matter how rational you think your users are, people react emotionally. - Everett McKay, 'Intuitive Design'

The key is not just selling, but also delivering on exceptional customer experience. - Suresh Sambandam, KiSSFLOW

It’s not about solving problems anymore — it’s about delivering value. - Everett McKay, 'Intuitive Design'

A product is not a sales deal, or a contract, or few lines of code, or a design. It’s a journey. - Taruna Manchanda, Swiggy

Design and innovation are the next big thing. - Amitabh Kant, NITI Aayog

Design today is not the traditional norm - aesthetics and cosmetic. It’s catapulted to centre stage today as consulting firms acquire design powerhouses to spearhead their ideology and growth. - Nandita Abraham, Pearl Academy

It is important to think of the smallest things while designing and architecting a system. - Prashant Malik

Treat design like a first-class citizen. - John Kolko, Modernist Studio

Festivals are crucial in providing an open platform for artists and designers around the world. - Liz West

Insights are all around us, we just need to be curious and observant. - Arindam Mukherjee, Flipkart

This is an exciting time to be a designer. - Anupam Taneja, Designit

Design research or design ethnography can help in uncovering the “why” behind the data. - Param Venkataraman, Fractal Analytics

The question of “why” is one of the most important things in the designer's practice. - Vitek Skop, VividBooks

Paternalistic and condescending design will fail. - Payal Arora, 'The Next Billion Users'

There is a need for design professionals and recent design graduates to think beyond traditional (product, building, service) design through an additional lens of purpose. -

Ishita Jain, Autodesk Foundation

Inclusion is the oxygen for participation in design. - Eric Quint, 3M

Look beyond your focused world of practice – into the bigger world of impact, into inclusive change and growth. - Jay Dutta, MakeMyTrip

YourStory has also published the pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups’ as a creative and motivational guide for innovators (downloadable as apps here: Apple, Android).

(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)