Non-verbal communication codes at Banni Grasslands

Part 1 : The seed (5.34 min)

Inspired by Ken Garland’s First Things First manifesto, a visual communicator decides to work with a grassroots organization. She leaves Mumbai and lands at Banni Grasslands of Gujarat, western India. She faces several challenges making her wonder whether as a visual communicator she is equipped with skills, necessary in the real world and if not, what skills are needed. She finds that there exists a classroom out in the field and a thorough investigation of the design context is a necessity. Finding her way around unfamiliar geography and culture of Banni she stumbles upon interesting audio and visual 'codes' of communication and encounters some rather unfortunates codes of communication in form of animal husbandry malpractices. In reaction to this, she revisits her act of designing packaging labels for a local sweet. All this unlearning and relearning in the field makes her question about the potential role that design education and visual communication could play in today’s time and age.

Part 2: (10.15 min)

A visual designer may be commissioned for promotional design, but what if few days into the field experience you stumble upon realities that you can't ignore? What if you learn that there are issues that need to be tackled on priority but no one is willing to fund such interventions? Should the designer simply stick to the brief or should she engage holistically with the socio-economic context she is embedded in? What exactly is the role of a communication designer? Part 2 of the video explores these issues...