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Conversations on the Contrary

STIR presents a series of unboxed conversations from the Kyoorius Designyatra 2019, discussing contrarian thinking in design, its challenges and potential rewards.

by Zohra KhanPublished on : Oct 03, 2019

When we say, ‘think outside the box’, somewhere we know that the box exists – the box of predefined rules and manners that tell you to draw within the lines, write in a certain way, and design as per the dominant narrative. But there are some who paddle against the currents, question legacy, and eventually demolish the box to seek a voice of their own. It is to those contrarians that design owns its biggest successes.

STIRring this spirit of contrarian thinking, the 14th edition of Kyoorius Designyatra recently concluded at the Grand Hyatt Goa, with a riot of ideas and inspirations around the themes of architecture, graphic design, product design, art, animation and many other allied fields. The three-day conference hosted polarising visionaries from these disciplines, who presented recipes that make their practices unique, their style unmatched, and their voices heard. Among these mavericks were graphic designers David Carson, Timothy Goodman, Paul Sahre; visual artists James Jirat Patradoon, Marian Bantjes, Saiman Chow; product designers Ayaz Basrai, Tej Chauhan, and architect Nikoline Dyrup Carlsen. With a host of presentations tracing their creative journey, each speaker signed off with a compelling question put to the audience that left them tweeting their minds.

STIR got in conversation with seven design rebels who gave us a peek into their idea of the 'box', the ingredients that make its walls, and their antidote to power through.

“Don't mistake legibility for communication.”
David Carson | Graphic Designer, David Carson Design

“Dumbfidence: The confidence to ask dumb questions and present dumb ideas.”
Nikoline Dyrup Carlsen | Architect MAA & Founding Partner, Spacon & X

“You have to make a lot of things before you make things like yourself.”
Timothy Goodman | Designer, Illustrator, Muralist, Author

“It’s OK to be polarising.”
Tej Chauhan | Industrial Designer, Tej Chauhan Ltd.

“Get the sensory overload.”
Harsh Purohit | Founder, Director, Cognito India

“It’s not about thinking outside the box, but about demolishing the box.”
Madhav Lavakare | Social Entrepreneur, Innovator

Watch out for this video series to be released soon on

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