Hello, today we come bearing presents: a New York night in a lamp, lit up with wattage proportional to the city’s energy consumption. A hand bag that depicts the failing Indian education system, pictorially of course; and a psychedelic accounting flow chart to hang above your bed.
You know what they say about gifts. It’s the thought that counts.
The deep thoughts behind these products belong to the Infonauts, a team that specialises in Information Design and Cognitive Art. It was started by “Infomen” Aman Khanna and Carlos Coelho, who decided to embark upon an India chapter a few years after setting up their design practice in the UK. Here, they were joined by Infowoman Nitasha Thapar, promptly needing therefore, another baptism from which they emerged The Infonauts.
At first, the words seem made up; we hear that’s easy enough to do. That is, until they tell you about some of their info graphic projects, commissioned by organisations like the World Health Organisation and British Airways. Buried under all of this research, the trained information distillers recently decided to put their data findings on a bunch of cool products including hand bags, picture frames and lamps. Currently, these can be booked over the phone and shipped to your address, but in three weeks, you’ll be able to buy it from their online store.
In-fo a Treat
Swing by their Hauz Khas Village studio and you’ll find cushions with grid patterns and canvas bags with key findings on farmer suicides, dowry deaths, health care and other pertinent issues that make India “easier to understand”. And you thought pillows were dense. Our favourite installation is called City Lights, an exhibit of city maps masquerading as lanterns. With wattage bulbs linked to each city’s energy consumption patterns, these demonstrate how much electricity a city consumes, what they look like by night, or from outer space.
Also lovely are the framed posters of South East Asian countries that reflect on their own economies. India is a tricolor surrounded by icons for advances in industry, medicine and a space programme, while the Japanese rising sun illuminates technological advances in communications, automobiles and electronics.
So can your cushion really start a heated debate in bed? Can your bag make air heads think? Aman certainly hopes so. “I see people sometimes, walking their miniature dogs, carrying a Louis Vuitton, talking about trivial things and I think: there’s got to be a way to change the direction of these conversations.”
Getting there: The Infonauts, 24 Hauz Khas Village, First Floor, call 64546562 or view the Facebook page here, they also retail at The Lovebirds, 24/2 Hauz Khas Village and the online store goes up in three weeks with shipping across India, Silk Screen on Canvas Cushions in various sizes priced between Rs 500 and Rs 1800, visit http://www.infonauts.in.