What would a Design Museum in India be like?

Sangraha: Design Museum India

Classroom Project
M.Des 2019
Graphic Design

student portfolio︎︎︎

This project inquired into graphic design as a system spanning across two or more media for information dissemination. I explored the notion of 'Design in India' through the proposal for a virtual museum, its printed collaterals and design for an event. I began by asking what it means for design to be ‘Indian’ to understand the cultural contexts of design's national identity, build on historical and contemporary sources by creating a framework, and a visual identity, and resources that reflect the identity in multiple contexts.

Design in India has a long and illustrious history, and we must look at it through an inclusive and holistic lens to understand our heritage and local contexts. ‘Indian’ is a large and complex label to define, and now more than ever, we need to be mindful of how we define labels. This project happened remotely and all research inputs came from different parts of the country. It made me conscious of how this project not only looked at design, but also at national identity, and that both of them mean different things to different people.

A key shift was in defining the ‘virtual’ as not just a digital replica of the physical, but as something that exists on its own. This informed the framework of the virtual museum. Before the pandemic, I frequently visited museums; during this time, I was deprived of the inspiration and that connection with history. This project was partly done in response to this deprivation. The other push was from the constant influx of references from alienating Western contexts through academia and social media, design blogs and mood boards, and the disconnect that had professors and clients asking for work that ‘looks more Indian’.

I am fascinated by the idea of the designer as a cultural worker and of bridging theory and history with design practice. Real-life projects could help actualise these modes of practice. To approach this inquiry more holistically, I would like to make the process more participatory to include design historians and anthropologists. We could partner with design archives and display their content in the proposed framework, and materialise these intentions. Almost all the aspects of the project are viable and achievable, provided that the right content, resources and collaborators are accessible.


  • Sar: The Essence of Indian Design, by Rashmi Verma
  • The India Report 
  • Kevin Angelus' instagram archive @EphemeraIndia