I wish that I were

a designer. Recently on seeing the Jugaad logo, MP Ranjan, professor of design at the National Institute of Design, said that it worked. Meaning that it communicated all that it was  meant to communicate – about red tape and bureaucracy, particularly India’s which has hampered her innovation and creativity for so long – that I felt truly gratified that I was finally able to pass my first communication design project successfully 17 years after dropping out of school.

What holds me back is true sketching, which I find I can barely do, and even then, only when I have consciously attempted to stop thinking and just allow the hand to follow along with a pencil what the eye can see. You see, I can describe and recognize the process, even though I cannot do it myself, similar to my relationship with formal product design.

There are two schools of thought on the importance of sketching skills for an industrial designer – one, the majority, which states that yes, a good designer is one with excellent sketching skills. This can often make or break a designer’s career. But this is because the good sketching skills are seen as a cue of possessing a good eye – vital for a designer but that need not necessarily be so. There are those of us few, who can barely draw or sketch, or don’t like to spend hours on the computer twiddling with a feature, who do have the eye and the ability to visualize a product in our mind’s eye. So we learn other tools in order to communicate what we see, words in my case, when we cannot just sketch them or render the concepts to share our vision with others.

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