Stories about design

Making Pakistan proud: In conversation with interdisciplinary designer Wajiha Pervez

Pakistan has an abundance of talent, and young Pakistanis continue to make their homeland proud internationally. One such Pakistani is Wajiha Pervez, a Pakistani artist, interdisciplinary designer, materials enthusiast and traveler. Qatar Foundation (QF), a conglomerate of academic institutions including campuses of many international universities, houses the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Arts (VCUQ). The university hosts a high-profile event, Tasmeem Doha, which hosts renowned artists and speakers from all over the world. Up until now, the board of the event only consisted of either key faculty members from the parent campus in Richmond or top local faculty. However, this year, ...

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Digital Youth Summit 2015: Helping Peshawar become more tech-savvy

Peshawar, the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), is gearing up to host the region’s largest gathering of techies, entrepreneurs and designers – the Digital Youth Summit 2015 (DYS). First organised in 2014, it is a joint venture of Peshawar 2.0, World Bank and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa IT Board. Popularly known for its hospitality, Peshawar is one of the oldest existing cities in Asia. This tells the story of its resilience, and its ability to survive and stand tall even in the most testing of times. However, this is an age where the most likely cities to survive and remain on the global map would ...

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Google, making it sweet with Lollipop

Google unveiled its new 5.0 also known as Lollipop at its I/O in July, this year. The reception was amazing and like many others I could not wait to give it a hands-on trial. Finally on November 2, Google released the source code for Lollipop and so began the race between Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to roll-out updates. As most OEMs would take three months to rollout the update, Nexus and Google Play edition devices have the edge of being first in line and receiving the update within days. I have been using Lollipop for a few days now and it’s amazing. Google has ...

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Paul Smith shoes and cultural appropriation

Paul Smith has come up with a fabulous new design for shoes, check them out. They call them the ‘Robert Sandals’ and you can buy them here online for GBP 300. Source: Paul Smith website Except oops, wait a second, this isn’t an original design by Paul Smith! They are in fact Peshawari chappals (slippers) that have been made and sold in Pakistan for the last, oh, 200 years? Here is a fine example of the Peshawari chappal from Zalmay, a Peshawar shoe store. They make these shoes to sell abroad, given the price in GBP, 27 pounds. Zalmay doesn’t have a monopoly on this design ...

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10 ‘argh’ moments with a Pakistani tailor

You’re a Pakistani and you’ve never made a trip to the tailor? I find that hard to believe. Whether it’s a job interview or a high school farewell party, tailors are the ones who can make every little occasion of a typical Pakistani woman’s life either completely miserable or an absolute fairytale. You stand in front of a full-length mirror and study your newly stitched dress like a hawk. You look at the loose side fittings and feel aghast. The long, loosely dangling sleeves feel out of place. You swear to yourself that the deep neck you see in your reflection ...

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iOS7: What’s all the hype about?

A recent tweet had me in hysterics: “Daddy, why has your phone gone all funny?” – A 6 year old’s reaction to the iOS7.  And that’s the new hype on online sites these days – The new Apple iPhone and iPad software upgrade – the iOS7. There were so many posts and tweets that I actually got confused because I thought Apple had launched the iPhone 6 so soon after the launch of iPhone 5c and 5s! However, after installing the new software and talking to people who have installed it, I realised that it is a major overhaul by Johnny Ives, ...

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Is the iPhone 5 after Jobs doomed to failure?

With the ever increasing trend of smart-phones, Apple’s iPhone has definitely bagged the top position in the list of favourites – and why shouldn’t it? With an amazing set of features coupled with a slim and sleek design, excellent touch system and thousands of apps which you can download from the Apple Apps Store, the iPhone has everything desired to gain mass appeal. Apple was formerly recognised for its computers and MacBooks, until 2007 when our very dear Steve Jobs introduced the exquisite iPhone, which was a combination of the iPod and the internet-enabled smart-phone. It took around a $150million to ...

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Fashion will save Pakistan from terrorism n’ stuff

Fashion is not just what you wear. Sometimes, it’s a statement; sometimes, it’s a call to action. But in Pakistan, fashion is resilience – an ‘in your face’ to the forces that aim to destroy the country. Pakistani fashion is fast evolving into the counter-narrative that will put this nation on the fast-track to progress. Don’t believe me? Below is a selection of just a few of the ground breaking, era-defining, nation-building and instantly wearable designs that are fast eroding the cultural malaise we are experiencing. Behold! Design sense: Po-mo (post modern vs postmodernism)  trash bag chique Inspiration: Neon signs, California beaches, trash bags. The ideal dress for the upcoming ...

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Brighter futures: Kids, and their dream cars

The Dream Car Art Contest is an international event organised by Toyota for children to explore their imagination and design the car of the future. It is the only competition of its type held in Pakistan where children, as well as parents, can learn and realize that cars nowadays are designed by transportation, industrial and automotive designers, rather than engineers. The children, who took part in the 5th Dream Car Art Contest, might have been young, but they were also aware of problems around them. Most entries by Pakistani children revolved around solving their country’s problems. It made me proud ...

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When you run out of words

If you live in Pakistan, news mostly constitutes of bomb blasts, terror attacks, bomb threats, terror threats, threats in general, people dying, trying to die, failing to live and a whole array of soul-crushing unpleasantries. Why, then, the need for design? Why add the superfluous to poker-faced horrors? It’s serious business, news is. A pink coloured report on how many people died in a particular bomb blast trivialises its seriousness. How would you react if your ailing grandmother decided to wear a Hawaiian hula skirt on her deathbed? This is mostly what I get to hear when I tell people ...

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