Photo by Iain Soumitri


The impossible solution is the infinite unguaranteed patience to learn to learn from below how to teach the subaltern. – From “What’s Left of Theory?” now in An Aesthetic Education in the Era of Globalization

Now you know why people call me impossible… and sometimes even have the nerve to ridicule my hard-to-read writing style. But the joke’s on those fools in the end, if you ask me. Because if they learned to learn the patience to read me, they’d be sharper thinkers for it—and better, more ethical, people, I might add! (Spivak)

This blog is maintained by Soumitri Varadarajan, a design academic who lives and works in Melbourne, Australia.

DISCLAIMER: This is a personal weblog. All opinions expressed in this blog are those of Soumitri Varadarajan only and do not express the views of his employer.

Of course he is never quite sure where he stands on any issue. So he resorts to emotional appeals. Like every good Indian he holds two or more contradictory positions on any and possibly every issue. This effectively allows him to say things at one point and then to change his position on this very same issue soon after or over time.

Soumitri starts life in India in the same year as Barack Obama, George Clooney and Eddie Murphy -who don’t start life in India. Also unlike them he was a good Indian so he went to Engineering School. He emerges five years later, after ten semesters of maths and mechanical engineering, clear that he wants to be something else. Some years later he is an Industrial Designer. He wants to teach and write too so for the next five years he runs a design consultancy (with Whirlpool, Hero and Intron as some of his clients), a furniture making company, teaches students and writes for magazines in India and abroad. He then goes off to Japan and works at Hitachi for a bit – nihon was subarashi desu ne! Which cures him of the desire to design expensive things for rich people, he is again clear he wants to do something else. Back in India he quits his firm, does freelance work and teaches. Sometime later he runs a recycling project and changes 2 tonnes of waste a day into money, which gets him this award and a voice at UNEP. Along the way he does a PhD, which argues that design has lost its mind, and soon after moves to Australia. These days he runs a blog and tells his students to be idealistic, take risks and do something for the forgotten – in a faint voice.

Correct Pronunciation of his name:

Soumitri – [sou as in (Thou)][mi as in my(th)][tri ad in three(3)]
Varadarajan – vuh-ruh-duh-raa-jun

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