The India Design Forum (IDF) was founded by well known known business woman, art collector and design aficionado Rajshree Pathy and her daughter Aishwarya Pathy in 2012. It is one of the most prominent and influential design platforms in India.
he first edition of the India design Forum held last year in New Delhi served as an international design platform bringing top architects, interior designers, product designers from India and the world over, in an exchange of ideas and design solutions for urban living. Star speakers at the debut edition included Karim Rashid, Paola Antonelli and Lidewig Edelkoort & this year they’re bringing it to Mumbai!
The IDF is an interdisciplinary platform on design which promotes a dialog on the core issues impacting our society and how they can be tackled with good design examples and solutions. IDF is a celebration of India’s distinctive design aesthetic and the ways in which it continues its conversation with the international design world. 
I think we can all admit that India is many, many years behind when it comes to design. I’m a literature student & I think I first learned about design just a couple of years ago. People often confuse art & design but they are two very different things… while art just has to look good, design needs to also be functional. The theme of this year’s forum is Design Matters. I recently had a talk with the two founders / organisers, Rajshree & Aishwarya. Here’s a little about them:
Art connoisseur, businesswoman, design aficionado and philanthropist: Rajshree Pathy wears several hats with aplomb. Born and raised in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, Rajshree’s lineage is steeped in the industrial history of South India. As founder and director of CoCCA, she strives to create an awareness for contemporary art, design and architecture, through forums, workshops and partnerships. She hopes that CoCCA will be an inclusive space which will allow freedom in creative expression. She lives between New Delhi and Coimbatore.  
Born in Coimbatore, Aishwarya Pathy has a BA in Theatre and Dramatic Literature from Wheaton College. An accomplished graphic designer and artist, Aishwarya’s work has showed at Gallery Nature Morte in New Delhi and Gallery BMB in Mumbai. She is a director at CoCCA and co-founder of Contemplate, an art initiative which hosts art exhibitions in various Indian cities and collaborates with artists to organize outreach programs for underprivileged children in Coimbatore. She lives and works in Mumbai, India.

Snob is a term commonly associated with art & I thought it would be the same with design, but no. These two ladies don’t believe design has to be elitist or expensive (& now you’ll probably ask me Then why is it expensive? That’s mostly because India lacks the facilities to mass-produce good design’) They’re both so passionate about design & inspiring to be around.
  • Speakers Include Celebrated Designers Thomas Heatherwick, Christan Louboutin, Rahul Mehrohtra, Anouska Hempel, Ross Lovegrove and Renny Ramaker and Devan Sudji 
  • The First IDF Awards 2013 Announced in (collaboration with Designboom) with a panel of renowned Jurors 
  • Week Long Design Trail leads upto IDF 2013 
  • Italian Trade Commission & Altagamma: Round table discussion on Italian Design in India. 
  • THNK, School for Creative Leadership (Netherlands), Out Of Office (Netherlands), and Design42day (Milan, Italy) to Conduct Workshops 
  • “IDF Happy Hr” A Special Capsule being introduced for the first time wherein Ten Young Indian Designers will Talk for Six Minutes Each in a Pecha-Kucha style discussion 
  • Discussions on Design Open to Public 
  • Session on Food Design by Marije Vozelgang 
  • Vintage Car Rally to Conclude the IDF 2013 
  • Panel Discussion on the design element of Indian film with leading names from the film industry. 

The India Design Forum has two components a Design Week and The Conference. The forum is preceded by Design Week – a week long schedule of cutting edge design exhibitions, workshops and curated events in venues across Mumbai. From March 6th onwards across various Design centric locations in Mumbai, followed by the main Design Conference.
You can find out all about IDF 2013 on their website. Read all about the speakers & register here. See you there!