In memory of professor M P Ranjan

‘Design is like a potent seed that needs to be nurtured’

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“Innovation for society has design sensibility as part of a three-legged stool where the other two are scientific temper and art ability. Unfortunately this critical input – design sensibility – is under-supported in our society today.” Said Indian designer and educator, professor M P Ranjan, who sadly left this life on 9 August 2015.

It is with warm memories that we remember professor Ranjan, who five years ago opened the very first edition of What Design Can Do with a strong call for design to address the pressing problems of the Indian people and a wonderful observation about the integration of trees in the design of the Amsterdam canals.

The opening quote of this post comes from the book ‘Dekho’, an award-winning collection of inspirational conversations with designers in India, compiled by Rajesh Dahiya, who was a speaker at the second edition of WDCD in 2012. In commemoration of M P Ranjan, Dahiya decided to share the Dekho-interview with the great Indian design thinker online.

Back in 2011 professor Ranjan was kind enough to provide us with an essay he wrote on the benefits of design for India and for society in general, entitled ‘Nature of design: the need for nurture in India today’. In it, Ranjan writes: ‘Design is like a potent seed that can grow if it is nurtured by society and through collaborative processes can produce huge change in the world.’

We couldn’t have said it better and understandably we were very proud to have M P Ranjan in Amsterdam. He will be missed, not only in India, but also in the Netherlands.

Top image: M P Ranjan with Chinese architect Liu Xiaodu and American designer Scott Stowell at the closure of the first edition of WDCD (photo Leo Veger)

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