We are surrounded by so many patterns. Where most see trash, few see ideas. Everything around us is an inspiration. An inspiration to create and to innovate. Following are some pictures of drawing boards at an architecture institute in India. Amazing to see, what students left behind unknowingly.

Do not walk with me like my shadow.. I am afraid of losing  you, in the shade of tress..

“Tea?” The Professor asked Prof. Devika Sharma, as he saw her entering in the faculty room.

“Yeah, sure. Thanks!” She replied promptly with a gentle smile and kept her belongings on the table before pulling out a chair and seating herself. Her computer was flashing a wallpaper with a quote on sustainability. She glanced at it and then looked at the Professor to say something.

“Looks like you had a tiring day?” He asked her, waiting near the vending machine, for a second cup to be filled and before she could say something,

“Yes, but it was interesting too.” Prof. Devika replied with a joyous smile.

“I talked about Sustainability and Green Design today. You know what? I was shocked…. the students hardly knew anything about it, not even about any Architects who practice Sustainability or any building….” Prof. Devika continued and took her first sip of the tea. By now he also sat, carefully placed a book mark in the book he was reading and closed it. A signal that he was all ears.

The institute had recently reopened after summer vacations. In most of the parts of the country these were like extended summers with no sign of rains, and high humidity.

“And we all know how important the subject is today. We are experiencing drastic climate changes, global warming, but these students, they seem to be very casual about it.” Said Prof. Devika. She was an authority on the subject, or at least she thought so, and, with the increasing demand and popularity of the subject she too was gaining a good recognition in the institute and among her network.

“Absolutely. Students must have enjoyed your talk and gained a lot.” He hinted for Prof. Devika to continue her talk.

“Yes. In fact, many students came to me and asked for more information and some names of Architects and buildings that they could study.” Prof. Devika replied almost instantly.

For the next ten minutes Prof. Devika held forth her talk on Sustainability, her discourse not only included the content, but the presentation skills also. Prof. Devika almost sounded like a God on the subject, ‘sustainability’.

He listened to her patiently throughout but kept waiting for a reasonably good pause…

“Madam, I am sorry, I will have to leave, have a lecture with second year.” He didn’t let go the opportunity and filled the pause as soon as as it appeared. “We will discuss this later, hope you don’t mind?” He smiled and got up from his chair to leave the room after shutting down his computer and picking up the book, he was reading.

“Yeah, sure. Even I have a ‘part II’ of same lecture in some time.” Prof. Devika smiled and gulped the last sip of tea.

She sat there for some time, reading a document on Sustainability on her computer, preparing for her forthcoming lecture with same students. She glanced at her watch and hurriedly closed the document, picked up her belongings and proceeded towards classroom.

Left behind in the empty room, were the tube lights competing fiercely with the broad day light of summer, the squeaking sounds of fans in complete sync with the sound of Air Conditioner and blinking green and red lights of the CPU, and, HER COMPUTER, which sat silently on the table, flaunting a quote by Hervé Kempf

Consume lessshare better.”

Special Credits: Prof. B.S.Keshav, Indranil Chatterjee, Dwaipayan Chakravarty
First Draft

“What is the point in continuing to keep this? I have never seen it being used in last so many years. It is unnecessarily occupying lot of space.” HE continued to clean the newly bought lens for his DSLR camera, on the dining table. While SHE sat reading a book and listening to HIM talking about The Sewing Machine, gifted to her by her parents on her wedding.

“Also, it doesn’t look good any more. We should either sell it off or give it to someone who needs it.” HE continued further.

SHE closed the book and kept it on the dining table, looked at HIM and asked, “Do you even remember, where your Manual SLR Camera is kept?”

My favourite quote on Teaching:

Teaching is like getting paid for learning.

And other, may be little harsh, but true for many teachers:

We (Teachers), generally teach students what we know, instead of teaching them what they should know.

Many times, teaching happens, learning also happens, but, ‘education’ doesn’t happen. For me, everyday, teaching is getting little difficult. May be I am not able to understand students, or not able to innovate sufficiently, as I used to do earlier.

To keep the teacher alive inside, it is must, that I innovate new ways of teaching. Else, I will be doing injustice to the students.

I wish, all my students a very happy teachers day. Why not, they have been my best teachers.

Her phone rings. SHE goes out. I get up and kick the ball hard, very hard. Ball hits the wall, then another wall and then the vase. Vase fall down, makes a sound. SHE returns to the room. I am collecting the broken pieces. The ball is stationary, lying in passage but in a different place, waiting, again.

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In a room, SHE is watching TV and I am working. I see a ball lying in passage. I am tempted to kick it hard. I get up. SHE stares at me. I go back to work. SHE continues with TV. Ball continues to be there. Waiting…

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I was the part of audience today at the conference / seminar / discussion (whatever you call it), which was organised at British Council, New Delhi and focused on Design Education. Poster below,

During the discussion many questions were raised by audience and panel as well. I have tried to pen down as many questions as I could remember and think were worthwhile.

1. What steps design educators take to ensure that they are well-informed and aware always?

2. Every year a different set of students enter design education, with the changed set, do educators also change?

3. ‘Sustainability’ is a big issue and concern for Design Institutes in India. What measures Design Institutes take to ensure that this pressure do not adversely affect the design education?

4. The fact that there is a paucity of Design Educators in India. How do institutes plan to address this issue?

5. Do Designers in profession or practice make better educators? If yes, what are institutes doing to ensure more participation from such in Design Education?

6. With globalization, what steps are institutes or educators taking to ensure International exposure to the students?

Design is highly subjective and it will be injustice to students and education to expect or make it objective by giving all the importance to the ‘end product’. It is also very important for us, educators, that we make students understand ‘subjectivity’ as a term.  Students shall learn to reject their own ideas and look at them from an outsider’s perspective.

To be continued..

 कोहरे से उभरती कारों की पीली बत्तियां
गरम पानी में तैरती जमे तेल की नीली बोतल
लाल स्वेअटर में बाबु लेते चाय की चुस्कियां
फिर आ धमकी, दिल्ली में सर्दियाँ!

Large file sizes and higher loading time of presentations might be due to heavier images in the presentations. Now that most of the teaching and learning, product presentations, idea presentations are happening using Microsoft PowerPoint, it is must that we know how to make these presentations lighter in size. I assume most of us already are aware about compressing images in PowerPoint. Here I will talk about Libre Office, the free and open source productivity suite.

I am using Libre office, which is a free and open – source tool and it let’s me do most of the things that I would do using Microsoft Office.

Libre Office can be downloaded from here.

This post is about making your presentations lighter in Libre Office and thus making them easy to share over Internet.

In Microsoft Powerpoint, there is an option where you can “compress” images in the presentation and save the lighter version. But, Libre Office does the same thing in different way.

In Libre Office they call it “Presentation Minimizer”. This tool can be located under “Tools > Minimize Presentation”. A wizard opens (image below) which does much more than Microsoft PowerPoint’s “Compress” tool. It doesn’t only let you reduce and decide the quality of images, delete cropped areas, but it also provides you a summary where you can compare the size of presentation before and after compression.

Compress images in Libre Office

Presentation Minimizer

Try it. 🙂