Paul Sandip is one of the most promising Industrial Designers from India. He figures in the top 50 list of International Designers. He believes in creating useful art and desirable everyday objects! He also prefers to be known as an Industrial Sculptor instead. In 2005 the then chief minister of Gujarat, Shri Narendra Modi, honored him with the title “Designpreneur”. Paul has been a journalist, socio-cartoonist, set designer and electrical engineer prior to being a practicing product designer. He holds several awards in cartooning and painting.
He is married and lives with his wife, a toy designer, in Noida. He is also on the lookout for manufacturers interested in producing his designs.
1) Can you give me a background on you and what you have been doing to base an introduction?
On a sultry afternoon, some eighteen years ago, I was feeling comforted by the ceiling fan hovering above me while I lay still on my bed. I thanked the unknown, who had devised that machine. Thereafter I started wondering how everyday products came into being and whished; someday I would be a creator of products too.
After graduating as an electrical engineer I have worked as a journalist, been a socio-cartoonist… designed sets for food festivals until I donned the ‘industrial sculptor’ avatar!
2005 saw the beginning of my self initiated project: Useful Art – desirable everyday objects!
I am first trying to build up my identity…philosophy of ‘differential design’ and its application…for that I create my own examples.
Most of what you see as part of my Useful Art project is about manifesting my thoughts.
2) Industrial Designing covers a huge spectrum, do you think designers are compelled or feel it is an added advantage to connect a brand to the concept they design to get mileage?
3) You won the Red Dot for “Who ate my Pencil”, what was it like designing a sharpener…the most mundane of stationary items?
Yes. My pencil eater (read sharpener) has brought me the most coveted international design award, Red Dot Award in 2007. It has also won me the prestigious Jindal Stainless Innovation Award, 2007.
In 1847 Therry des Estwaux invented the pencil sharpener.
Ever since people have build upon the beautification and automation of the product but its basic construction has remained untouched. Today, they are so numerous and ubiquitous with superfluous exterior enhancements.
Peeling down to the heart of the existing sharpeners helped me reveal the essence of its basic working principal – the wrapped cone, thus creating a comprehensible, delightful and character-full product.
ATE is all about voluntary simplicity. It is about unifying form and function.
The design of ATE points towards two notions. One is the idea that the simplicity of the product form will bring a cheerful feeling to people, and the other is the lowering of the production cost. Both are achieved mainly by simplifying the construction of the sharpener. 1.5 inch in size, ATE has no moving parts. One inserts the tip of the pencil into one of the holes, and twists the sharpener or the pencil while holding the other motionless. The inbuilt blade shaves the wood of the pencil, thus sharpening the tip. The problem of sharp tips getting broken in the event of sharpening the pencils is also answered by ATE, as the sharp tip never touches any part of the sharpener. The dual cone serves both the traditional and thick chubby pencils. ATE, when rolled over, moves in a circular fashion due to its uneven cone size. This is quite an interesting sight on the table top! Who ate my pencil?…the answer is simple!
4) I have noticed that you have transformed very ordinary items like a Clothesline peg to a designer status…what is the commercial viability of these designs and what inspires you to do them?
Everyday products, they are so numerous and ubiquitous. They form the material framework of our existence, enabling it to function, not only in practical or utilitarian terms, but also in ways that give pleasure, meaning and significance to our lives.
But why do not we notice them?
Most of us travel by the same route everyday, do similar tasks everyday, go to same places and although we are awake and seeing things around us we are not actually looking at them consciously. Hence, such products are frequently taken for granted.
Design, to my understanding, is all about having an eye for such details and bringing back life to mundane objects. I believe in contextual innovation.
I practice voluntary simplicity. It is about freedom. It is about wanting less. It permits one to spend less time on innovating features (which land up adding clutter) and more time bringing in new experiences, insights, and relationships between the product and the user. It is rather difficult to say much about my approach towards design, but I have a fascination for monolithic, mono-colored ‘organo-mathematic’ forms and whatever needs I have felt and observed I have tried to translate them into products.
The Indian consumers are price sensitive and prefer to buy value for money products. I am inspired by people’s behavior and experience — physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and cultural. I am trying to kill elitism in design and bring the best to the maximum number of people. Raise the quality! Down the price!
5) What is the scope of Indian Designers making a mark in the International Arena?
The world is my stage and it does not matter if India is my green room!
6) If I am not mistaken, your wife is from a similar field, so is the competition coming from home, or is it challenging/inspiring to have a like-minded person around?
Being a toy designer, my wife Suhasini carries a lot of design sensibility with her. She is my best critic.
There is no competition amongst us but we make sure we both together give the rest of the design community a good competition!
You can contact Paul Sandip :-
Via phone on: +91 9899302457
Via mail: [email protected]
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