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‘Design is at the deepest level of problem-solving’ – Top 60 quotes of 2022 on the importance and impact of design

Along with technology and business, design is a key success factor for startups and large firms, as these experts affirm. Here are 60 quotes of the year to get you on your way!

‘Design is at the deepest level of problem-solving’ – Top 60 quotes of 2022 on the importance and impact of design

Tuesday December 27, 2022 , 10 min Read

Launched in 2014, StoryBites is a regular feature from YourStory, featuring notable quotable quotes in our past articles. Share these gems and insights with your colleagues and networks, and check back to the original articles for more insights.

Drawn from our comprehensive coverage of India’s creative ecosystem, we present 60 quotes on the growing importance of design in the way we work, live and play (see our earlier compilations from 2021, 2020 and 2019). See also YourStory’s d-Zen (‘Design Zen’) section for more design resources.

We have divided the 60 quotes into 10 categories: Foundations, Creative confidence, Pandemic resilience, The India story, Sectoral impacts, Digital media, Design thinking, Habitat and environment, Inclusion, and The road ahead.

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 350 titles on innovation, entrepreneurship, design and digital transformation.

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



The idea is the soul of the work, and design serves as a pair of abled legs to take it forward. - Bianca D’sa Vincent, Sharpener

Like technology, design is a key differentiator for any product, service, or experience. - Ajay Jain, Tata Motors

Design is a mode of communication where you can narrate stories. - Aarushi Kilawat, The Loom Art

Designers can make visible what without them can never be seen. - Ashish Goel, 'Drawing on Courage'

The so called ‘voice of the customer’ is only as good as customer’s self-awareness of what is indeed desirable and possible and is severely restricted by the vocabulary at hand. - Pavan Soni, 'Design Your Thinking'

Design - branding, packaging or tech platforms - is at the deepest level of problem-solving. - Niraali Parekh, Bokaap Design

You need to spend at least 60% of your design time to understand the problem you are trying to solve. Only then would you be able to understand the challenges, pain points, motivations, frustrations, and behaviours of users. - Prasadd Bartakke, YUJ Designs

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Creative confidence

Every once in a while, you must be deaf to the external chatter and listen to your internal voice, for the real genius lies within. - Pavan Soni, 'Design Your Thinking'

Failure is one of the most powerful parts of the human experience, the fact that we all have the capacity to learn, to commit to doing it differently, to move on, and to let ourselves grow. - Lauren Celenza, DesignUp 2022

Accepting that one doesn't know everything, and need not either, is a good beginning to learn from mistakes and failures. Being open to being wrong about things is another dimension of that humility. - Karthik Srinivasan, DesignUp 2022

Let uncertainty fuel your creativity. Your time and attention, and where you place it, matters. - Lauren Celenza, DesignUp 2022

Never fall in love with your prototype. - Michael Lewrick, Patrick Link and Larry Leifer, 'The Design Thinking Playbook'

Be sure to move quickly between prototypes to avoid getting too emotionally attached to it. - Nathan Baird, 'Innovator's Playbook'

The younger you are, you may perhaps bring fresher ideas but the older you are, you may have more dots to connect from your exposure and experience. Both can be valuable. - Karthik Srinivasan, DesignUp 2022

Imagination, inspiration, impact–these are the ways in which cartoonists became successful through their wit and humour. - V. G. Narendra, Indian Institute of Cartoonists

‘COVID is here to stay for a while, but we cannot let it rule our lives’ – 50 pandemic quotes of 2022

Pandemic resilience

Creating design systems that are resilient to change that can rotate between remote and live contexts has been the primordial responsibility. - Dhilip Kumar, BYJU'S

Designers were motivated to push technology further during the pandemic out of necessity, but this has moved technology further and we can now use the results for exciting purposes. - Emma Roberts, Liverpool John Moores University

With people now spending a significant portion of their time at home, they are looking at revamping their home spaces. This holds very true even for Tier II and III cities. - Shezan Bhojani, Design Cafe

We observed that after staying at home for long, many people started redesigning their houses and floors were their priority. The sentiments towards ‘made in India’ also led people to choose from homegrown brands. - Firdaus Variava, Bharat Floorings and Tiles

Today, we are witnessing the [design thinking] approach successfully adopted in milieus—ranging from improving sanitation standards to encouraging employees to return to offices post the COVID-19 pandemic. - Pavan Soni, 'Design Your Thinking'


The India story

It’s just a matter of time before India emerges as a global design leader. - Samir Chabukswar, YUJ Designs

The [fantasy sports] industry will clock about 36% CAGR over the next two years. So very clearly, the talent pool for tech, products and design is going to be ballistic. - Kevin Freitas, Dream 11

We have known Kolhapuri chappals for ages. The making technique of these chappals remains the same as it was centuries ago. However, given the lifestyle changes, the design and comfort of these sandals also need an upgrade. - Harshwardhan Patwardhan, Chappers

It was surprising to see how people spend money on jewellery online in India. If the quality is good, and the design is trending in the market, they don’t mind paying its worth. - Sunaina Ramisetty, Paksha

Earlier, silver jewellery was more associated with heavy ethnic pieces, but in the last few years, we have seen minimalistic designs being made in silver, making it affordable for daily wear. - Chinu Kala, Rubans

Fusion food becomes popular when flavours and textures from two cuisines complement rather than compete. - Krish Ashok, 'Masala Lab'

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Sectoral impacts

It is good to see the announcement of the PLI scheme for design-led manufacturing, this will help in getting ready with Make in India products and solutions. - Sandeep Lodha, Netweb Technologies

Removing the autonomy and agency of a teacher and attempting to centralise content design and delivery will only mask the problem – the need for truly future-ready teachers. - Pradeep Pillai, OrangeSlates

The education system usually does not include hands-on experience on new tech solutions, and the best way to do that is by allowing students as interns to design and build world-class products using state-of-the-art technology. - Akhil Mohan, InstantPost

If you design a demand-led supply chain, you can have both low inventory and wastage and high responsiveness. - Karthik Jayaraman, WayCool Foods

That's a huge market [for quantum computing] in terms of the drug design industry. - Nikhil Malhotra, Tech Mahindra

The men's innerwear and comfortwear industry in India is a $3 billion opportunity in the mid-premium segment. But it has seen limited innovation on fabric, cuts or designs in the last decade or so from the leading incumbents. - Yash Kela, Singularity Growth Opportunities Fund

As crystals can take various shapes and forms, the scope for growth, innovation and experimenting with new designs is tremendous. - Japneet Singh, Indian Crystal Company

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Digital media

Augmented Reality is ready to take the world of communication design by storm. - Prateek Sethi, Trip Creative Services

Security is a mindset which should be by design. - Archie Jackson, Incedo Inc

Where design can play a role is in making these complex [privacy] issues easier to understand. - Rahul Matthan, Trilegal

The most important hires will be in your product or solution space. Focus on the three Gods of your technology team — product manager, industrial designer/user experience leader, and technical architect. - Vivek Mansingh, ‘Achieving Meaningful Success’

In a world where there’s an app for nearly everything, competitors abound, and we’re all facing some level of information fatigue on a daily basis, startups can’t afford to go back and integrate UX later. - Lauren Celenza, DesignUp 2022

Price variation is a huge factor in the web design industry. - Imaran Khan, CSS Founder

Customer-centric acquisition, product designs, in-house optimisation, and efficiency needed at scale are practically impossible without some tech initiatives. - Ankur Tripathi, AU Small Finance Bank

[Big Tech firms] need to invest more in understanding the unintended consequences of their actions and taking rapid steps to mitigate it. - Rahul Matthan, Trilegal

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Design thinking

There are five qualifiers of contexts best suited for the [design thinking] approach: audacity of goal, the ambiguity of context, availability of time, access to customer, and diversity of team. - Pavan Soni, 'Design Your Thinking'

Design thinking helps to diverge and avoid product myopia caused by powerful technologies. - Dhilip Kumar, BYJU'S

The dominant trinity model of desirability-feasibility-viability doesn’t do justice to the pursuit of radical, let alone disruptive innovation. - Pavan Soni, 'Design Your Thinking'

Design cannot be just aesthetics. It has to be a mix of technology, functionality, and delivering something to the user. - Mohal Lalbhai, Matter

Design thinking must entertain false starts, dead ends, about turns, and killing of darlings before a few promising ideas emerge. - Pavan Soni, 'Design Your Thinking'

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Habitat and environment

Well-designed affordable housing projects transform society. They substantially impact the surrounding communities, particularly those residing in urban environments. - Shivam Sinha, Indiassetz

Resilient design requires multidisciplinary collaboration between architects, engineers and other disciplines to plan for structural resilience, strategizing to reduce risks and addressing the impact of hazards to build back. - Prasad Vaidya & Janani Venkatesh, IIHS

We need walkable and liveable cities. - Vijaya Bhargav, Ostraca

Businesses globally are looking at integrating sustainability into their business design and operations. - Avnish Sabharwal, Accenture Ventures

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Startups should jump into diversity and inclusion further by implementing universal design concepts into their product design. - Tanaya Sarma, Speaking Herbs

Overall, women's participation in formal and technical aspects of technology design and innovation is becoming increasingly significant in the energy sector. - Siddhi Desai, Navitas Solar

Whether it’s product design or customer experience, [technology is] a much broader sphere which will hopefully attract more women to the space. - Carmen Vicelich, Valocity

We need to be aware that people with disabilities are the largest minorities in the world and disability is dynamic – one in seven people face disability at some point…so it is just better for us as a society to be universally designed and inclusive. - Devika Malik, Wheeling Happiness Foundation

With wheelchairs, elevators, specially-designed lavatories, navigation signages and reservation assistance, the venerable community can enjoy comfortable and memorable trips through tunnels and terrains. - Dinesh Kotha, ConfirmTkt

Inclusion is not an additional cost that you're adding, although that's what most people think because the processes are very exclusively designed. - Soumita Basu, Zyenika Fashion

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The road ahead

You have to get better at being able to design 12 months ahead. - Saahil Goel, Shiprocket

What’s missing is more spaces (conferences, meetups, publications) for those in the industry to share, and a long-term view for growing design maturity in the society. - Rasagy Sharma, Sundial

As an industry, we don’t seem to value those who want to spend time in honing their [design] craft. - Nav Pawera, Jiva

Designers only get obsolete when they stop learning and absorbing from everything and everyone around them. - Ajay Jain, Tata Motors

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)..