I set a new record this morning for time taken to get from the bed to shower to the waiting bus outside. Precisely nine minutes. It's not the best way to start your day especially when it includes a long bus ride to Leiden, but when you are in Amsterdam it's legal to break a few rules, I rationalize. The Dutch, by their own admission, are averse to authority and the local air is probably rubbing off on me. I certainly know the cold is.
Wednesday was dedicated to product design, with visits to agencies like NPK Design and to TU delft University's product design cell and Flex International. NPK specializes in product and industrial design while TU delft's Professor Prabhu Kandachar and his team gave an interesting insight into the projects that their students were working towards, for their graduation assignments. These were to create sustainable solutions for the base of the pyramid audience. This particular session was truly inspiring, seeing the different ways in which the professor's team of students have been working towards projects that truly make a difference to people's lives. Some of the products created by them included a portable water filter (the size of a normal torch) that allows people to drink water from it like a straw and suck on even dirty water that will eventually get filtered.
A visit to Dutch agency Fabrique was next. Jeroen van Erp, creative director, Fabrique was of the view that young design agencies should not get stuck in one discipline, they should diversify and explore. He was of the view that many a time designers tended to shy away from projects that involved complexity and that this should not be the case. Flex, the Innovation Lab, is another Dutch agency that hosted the Indian design delegation at their office. They had a great portfolio of products created for the consumer market as well as the business/ professional perspective.
After the impressive product design that I've seen all day, I am tempted to put in a petition for a device that converts voice files to word documents with minimum chances of error, it would save me all the time spent transcribing longer interviews. Any genius reading this have any clues?
The day ended with a visit to the house of Neelam D Sabharwal, the Indian Ambassador to Netherlands, in Wassenaar, where after three days of cheese, meat and bread, everyone finally got to eat some great Indian food. We practically floated into the Ambassador's home trying to map the exact location of some great smelling Tandoori Chicken. There is talk that the finance minister has just landed in the country and may drop in at her house. We, however, have no energy left to investigate the validity of the claim. I can only think of getting back to the hotel and crashing for the night. It's been a long day.