Ever wondered what happens to all the flex used in billboards that litter the cityscapes today? You see, flex, for all its intents and purposes can sustain a life of 4-5 years without discolouration.
However on an average, these massive advertisement bearing, non-biodegradable, sheets are brought down and discarded within 6 months of use. Only a mere 30% is then resold to farmers, truck drivers or shack owners. The rest is burnt down, adding colossal amounts of toxic fumes to the already polluted air.
Just to give you a fair idea, about 9000 square metres of flex is printed every day in the city of Pune itself, which is equivalent to the size of 1.2 average football fields! One more major pollution-causing element is rubber, especially the discarded tubes from tires.
Combining both, I came up with a solution wherein I designed a shoe, which has been constructed entirely with discarded flex and rubber tubes. As a part of one of my courses, which concentrates on environmental design, I took up the challenge to work on flex. The inherent benefits of such footwear will be durability, water resistance and funk. Who am I? I’m Pragya Chajjer.
I believe that design is not only about innovation, but an aid to improve society, and bring in a positive change. I was born and brought up in Kolkata. And as the saying goes every one from the city has an inclination towards some form of art.
My early love for colours and paper was a direct inheritance from my family which consist of numerous artists ranging from dancers and painters to sculptors. Also doodling in class was my all time favourite activity in school, and I always looked forward to the art class.
The interest for space came with an interest in travel. It planted the seed of curiosity that how similar things are interpreted differently in different cultures. I am grateful to the MIT Institute of Design for offering a course in Retail and Exhibition Design that allows me to explore both commercial and industrial design.
Other projects that are covered in my course structure include tensile structures. Different grids and patterns were projected onto the tensile surface to understand the variation of surfaces. The inspiration for this project was derived from the Indian spicebox.
A hypothetical project required me to redesign a store for the brand Noritake, a high end Japanese crockery brand. The idea was to create a space that is well organised, decluttered and inviting.
I designed a display system that is cheap and easy to install but at the same time highlights the brand’s high quality by focusing on the end product. The racks are made up of bent and polished ash wood; the frame is made from mild steel square and ‘C’ sections. The entire setup is easy to dismantle, stack and transport.
Knoware, a retail store in Kolkata for all IT related solutions and sound and security systems is a brand that believes in being approachable, modern and is also known for availability for all variety of products. Though the display and shelving that followed, doesn’t compliment the products and looks very bulky for modern technology and solutions.
So it was but ideal to design a shelving system that would be easy to clean and maintain; the shelving would be easy to assemble, accomodate various sizes of merchandise and encourage customer interaction.In achieving all these parameters I utilised glass with orange vinyl sticker, a hidden t-section made out of mild steel painted black and stainless steel face-outs with acrylic panels. There is a possibility for the client to run LED light cables from behind the acrylic panels giving a glow effect to the products.
My design journey in the professional sense has just begun and I believe there are many more milestones which I wish to uncover along the way.