DesignAware featured on Startup Hyderabad // September 2014

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DesignAware, an all-woman start-up, is a multi-disciplinary experimental design studio that was born of a desire to create awareness through liveable, wearable, usable, accessible design.

Takbir Fatima started DesignAware while still in grad school in London, in 2010. Intrigued by digital fabrication techniques, such as laser-cutting and 3D printing, which was used to make physical 3D models of architectural course work, she applied these techniques to create accessories, fabricating them in fiberglass using the laser cutter, which was the very first germination of DesignAware.

This Hyderabad-based start up considers itself as a movement and not a business.

design aware: everything design

Design is an essential component of many overlapping fields, ranging from art and product design, to furniture and interiors, to architecture and urbanism. They don’t discriminate: they design everything, be it architecture or accessories. They aim to address pressing issues in the world of design by embracing all kinds of projects and delivering unique and unusual design solutions.

At DesignAware, the focus is on an approach that is process-oriented rather than profit-oriented. Every design is a version, which can undergo tweaks and improvements during the process, and afterward. Recognising this allows them to see each project as an exploratory design research. All their methods are open-source: they like to share techniques and concepts that allow users and other designers to understand the work process.

design aware: designer objects

On one hand, DesignAware provides custom-designed solutions to specific design issues for individual clients. On the other hand, they also delve into self-generated initiatives as part of the research, which is  designed and built at the studio. Some projects call for low-tech materials and processes, using recycled or reimagined objects, while others call for a computational design methods and digital fabrication techniques.

DesignAware wishes to free design of the confines of any single field. Principles used in structures apply to accessory design, methodology from apparel design informs and molds architecture and interior design. The boundaries between disciplines blur and only design quality remains.

Every product and accessory is unique and designer-made. There is no mass-production, so no two creations are alike.

 designaware: awareness + pedagogy

DesignAware focuses on a community-oriented approach to teaching. They conduct workshops not only for design and architecture students, but also aim to bring design thinking to the school level, as well as to professionals from other fields. They believe in collaboration and pluralizingthe studio by creating a virtual network between individuals with different areas of expertise, no matter where they are located, rather than physical growth through accumulation of professionals concentrated in one place.

Their core motivation is, and will remain architecture, which is a very slow process with high stakes. Currently working on their online shop, to sell products and accessories designed in-house, they are set to go live on October 10. In the near future, they aim is to collaborate with design colleges and institutions across the country and abroad. They also hope to bring design education to the school level, and work with students and teacher to generate 3D thinking.

DesignAware aims to create awareness by making well-designed spaces and objects accessible to all , so that it no longer remains the forte of a selected few.