Swindia: where differences can also mean similarities

How does one culture look at another — especially, when they seem to be very different from each other?

Is this cultural memory static of changing with time?

Apart from the usual cliches, are there any overlaps or even similarities between these disparate cultures?

What is our expectation from these cultures? Are we surprised of have a new viewpoint after viewing these juxtapositions?

This was part of a summer workshop by Michael Renner, called Inquiry by Design, that Ishan participated in summer 2016 at The Basel School of Design - Institut Visuelle Kommunikation HGK FHNW

The key aspect of the workshop was to create images that relate to some sort of memory. It could be an individual memory of an experience, or "cultural memory" that relates to a specific group of people. Ishan decided to work on the latter as he got fascinated by the number of Indians on the mountains of Switzerland. He started out by thinking what mountains mean to Indians and to the Swiss, and then started thinking about the paradox of two extremely different cultures (on the face of it at least) interacting on this "common" ground of the mountains. It is a common ground since we in India also are used to seeing the Himalayas if not in person, in numerous Bollywood films.


Course Description:
Visual Communication and Media Design are at the center of conceiving images for daily life. They influence our perception of the world by creating emotive imagery for communication, informational design or scientific visualizations.

Especially in today’s world, we need to know more about how images are perceived in order to use them consciously and conscientiously. Design Research focuses on the acquisition of knowledge in the wide field of iconic phenomenon. Academic disciplines such as Art History, Linguistics, Psychology and Computer Sciences have described the need for a scientific approach to images. Most academic centers focus on research questions with a theoretical methodology.

In contrast, the workshop «Inquiry by Design» introduces participants to the relevant issues of iconic research and design research in the areas of Visual Communication and Media Design. At the beginning, the workshop focuses on the formulation of an iconic research question and a practical methodology of exploration and inquiry by design. During the week participants create a portfolio of images, which illustrate a design strategy in finding exemplary visual answers. The workshop is for designers or educators who are involved in visual communication imagery for today’s world.