Logos and one of the planned banners for the BE OPEN website, based on a photography by Namita Nathani, winging from here, Rajasthan, 2011, a blur effect in variations, reflecting large water basins and the light installation in the exhibition, designed by Anupama Kundoo.

Each year BE OPEN, the global philanthropic foundation, announces a theme that guides their research. 2012 focused on design and the senses, while the theme for 2014 is North/South – East/West, a worldwide project that looks at the handmade and how to ensure its survival in the future.

Travelling to the four corners of the world, the foundation will involve a new generation of makers and designers, as well as students, academics and retail industry professionals, to develop the subject, exploring where and how our diverse cultures can meet and how to take traditional skills into the future, through innovation and technology.

Dr. Anupama Kundoo is invited as an architect and brand consultant to set up an exhibition in Delhi in 2014. But weeks before, the BE OPEN foundation had decided to call the project “Made in India”, a label that has no specific taste and no charm. Even worse, it’s focus is industry not tradition and craft. For weeks a new logo “Out of India” in a highly elaborate typography in a combination of Minion and Rockwell was favoured by her, but finally it ended up with a strange variation of the first title: “Made in…India” – nobody will understand the ellipsis, the three baseline dots. What’s missing between “in” and “India”? Stupid, language wise. Or is anybody afraid of India?

The design process for banners ended up in sophisticted corrections – my response to the tiny red circle simply was: “…have you (or your creative consultants) ever experienced or considered the fact that a lightly dressed woman (or boy) is more attractive and stimulating than fully naked? When you start reading “Compet…” and have read before “Design Sch…” in an environment where competition is a daily practice (Design School) you easily end up with ”Competition“. This is how communication works. You should hire another designer.”

The information on the website still says

Made in India (without the strange ellipsis)

BE OPEN’s search for the future of creativity starts in India, with a focus on making

11–28 February 2014, New Delhi

10 February official opening, by invitation only

I wonder whether the exciting title of the exhibition, “samskara” in Latin and Devanagari does not show up at all. “samskara” has many meanings that may concentrate on “deep impressions”. Another meaning is “a purificatory ceremony or rite marking a major event in one’s life”. Originally samskara denotes a preparation, an act of making perfect, in Sanskrit. In Hinduism the meaning of sanskaras or samskaras is impressions, the imprints left on the subconscious mind under the impulse of previous lessons/impressions, covering all of an individual’s lives, one’s nature, responses, states of mind, etc. – a wealth of desirable connotations!