Prof. Paresh Choudhury, an internationally acclaimed designer, was the former Head of Department of Communication Design at the National Institute of Design (NID) , along with establishing his presence as a senior Design Educator at some of the most prestigious design institutes in India. He has been continuously straddling the worlds of design, technology, business, education, art and culture over the course of his experiences. Having won ‘India’s Best Design Projects Award’ by ‘Design India’(POOL) magazine for the year 2019, it has joined his recent achievements. Born in Odisha, he has travelled across and beyond and has lived in many places of India and United Kingdom, to name a few. In the last few years he has been extensively dedicating himself to promote Odisha by a unique and distinctive touch with the ‘Design World’ globally. Prof. Paresh Choudhury also happens to be acknowledged as one of the well-known faces in Indian Design Community.
Paresh was the pioneer who propagandized Odia Script along with his research, establishing its mark in numbers of international Typography forums, as one of Indian classical scripts. He re-branded it as ‘The Story of Odia Typography ‘and presented it first in ‘DesignEd Asia International Conference’ at ‘Hong Kong Design Week’ in 2013. Later in same year, he also caught the attention of the entire Typography Design community of India, by advocating about ‘Odia Script’ in Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) at Guwahati for their ‘Typo Day’ international conference organized by Industrial Design Centre (IDC) of IIT Bombay and insightfully he established the indigenous connections of Odia script with Odia culture, having cleared the erroneous myths in history about the origin of the script and its shape. He continued his contribution to highlight the Odia Script and its font design & development possibilities in most prestigious international events like – ATYPI (Associate Typographic International) 2014 in Amsterdam (Netherlands) and Design Principles & Practices (DPP) 2015 in Chicago (US). After these constant efforts to foster this culturally ingrained classical script, there was a widespread revolution seen in the perception outside of the state and outside of the country, even. As of recent, it has garnered a lot of designers and researcher’s attention, who have then come forward to work on the script and its typographic aspects. However, he is still hopeful of a greater initiative to be taken regarding serious Research & Developments(R&D) around the script in the state itself to protect its original shapes as it loses its basic identity in many Odia alphabets due to the lack of basic design sense.
Paresh is now a proud founder of the ‘ODC-Odisha Design Council’ as a unique concept of his dream to give back to his own state of Odisha, the modern design ideologies, principles, practices and Design education pedagogy to make it as one of global design hubs. Good Design evolves through putting people first according to his perspective, using creativity to solve problems, challenge thinking and make lives better. Designers operate across the whole economy, shaping the built environment, the digital world, products as well as services we use on a daily basis. Whether it is through advising the government on design, delivering independent and expert design consultation to professionals in the built environment, City Branding & Development Schemes (CBDS), Product, Industrial, Craft & Cultural service innovation programme , Odisha Design Council’s core mission is to make lives better by design in Odisha. His current work on a research project on the impact of social and climate change, called ‘Design Against Cyclone in Odisha’ has been widely acknowledged, got him an invitation to speak about it, at Pratt Institute, New York (US) in March 2020.
Paresh had actively participated and coordinated with National Institute of Design (NID) earlier to set up one of their new campuses in Vijayawada (AP). Besides, he was named the ‘Founder Professor’ of the campus and was heading the Communication Design Department thereafter. During his tenure at NID he was invited to Sri-Lanka to conduct a significant workshop on Signage Design for Toilets in cultural lines at Moratuwa University of Colombo in the year of 2017. He also served other major Design Institutes in India like – MIT Institute of Design of MIT-ADT University, Pune where
he worked for eight years in cross-disciplined environment and projects as an acclaimed professor and design practitioner. During his time there, he had the opportunity to work with Prof. Kumar Vyas , the recipient of the prestigious Sir Misa Black Award (UK) who has been instrumental in establishing design education in India by founding the two premier design
Institutes - NID and MIT-ID.
Prof. Paresh has also been invited by Coventry University (UK) in 2017 to prepare the groundwork to set up a Graphic Design School in India in collaboration with DSK International Campus in Pune. He has also left his mark at Symbiosis Institute of Design for a short stint. Having had well connected relations with global design communities and institutions in various ways, it plays a significant role in the establishment of this Design Council.
Paresh has successfully mentored and coordinated a huge Way-finding & Signage Project along with a design team for Thermax Babcock & Wilcox Energy Solutions Private Limited (TBWES) site of 103 acres. Later, he along with some faculties and students designed another big Way-finding/ Signage and Information System Design for ITC owned biscuit factory site in Assam.
Prof. Paresh also had the opportunity to study Curation Practice and Environmental Design from University of the Arts London , in the year 2011, on a sabbatical during his academic assignment as a professor with MIT Institute of Design (MITID) . He also did a diploma in Business Management from Wimbledon (UK), in this time period. Prior to that, he had a post-graduation in Graphic Design from the Faculty of Fine Arts, M S University of Baroda in 1993.
Prof. Paresh had begun his professional career with Archie’s and Indian Express as a graphic designer in Delhi, during the start of his career. His creative urge led him to the mad-ad world. From Visualizer to Art Director and Creative Head, his work took him to ad-agencies from TBWA-Anthem, to Mudra and Digitas-India. His work at these agencies brought him recognition and bagged him awards for Creative excellence, including the Advertising Club Award 95 for his design on a promotional campaign for Mother Dairy brand. He also happens to be one of the esteemed participants in the creative team behind the celebrated Discovery Channel launch Ad-campaign in India. He also contributed his significant design inputs for the makeover of Dabur Chyawanprash and Dabur Spice Paste Branding & Packaging. He also designed the event Visual Identities for the giant sports channel Star-Sports of Star TV. He ventured even beyond, to set up and launch his own venture - Lemon-T Design. He soon had projects lined up from some of the best brands through ad agencies like Bates-India, Contract, JWT, Leo Burnett, Lowe-Lintas, McCann, Mudra, O&M and O&M Outreach between 1999 and 2007.
His consultancies also included organizations like UNICEF, National Book Trust of India (NBT) , media houses like IBN-7, and even automobile companies like General Motors (GM). His work for Italian company Perfetti on the Alpenliebe brand promotional campaign, was highly acclaimed during this period. Some of the top brands Prof. Paresh has worked for during this time include Coca Cola, Dabur, Fanta, Discovery Channel, Microsoft, Mother Diary, Maggi, JK Corp, Star Sports, IBN-7, Gillette, Escorts, Nescafe, Mortein, Sprite, Maruti Suzuki, Bacardi, Royal Stag, Sand Piper, LG, Samsung, Santiago, Alpenliebe, Big Babool, Hero- Honda and Kelvinator amongst a list of many. In 2006, Prof Paresh was invited to the Norwich School of Art & Design, UK to spread his vision, further. He remembers this period very fondly as when he felt truly liberated as a design professional.
Prof. Paresh has specialized in Branding, User Experience & User Interface, Way-Finding & Information Design, Typography & Publication, Product & Industrial Design. However, he has been actively involved in multi-disciplinary design activities across all industrial design streams. He feels his interactions with young minds from across the world, has enriched his mind further. He believes that the unfettered young mind is the ideal crucible of ideas. He still remains true to his core idea of being dedicated to nurturing young minds with an affinity for Design. Prof. Paresh has alongside been exploring new areas in Design, such as Installations in Public spaces, Street Graphics and Community-based Design, as a purpose of experimentation, to enhance his experiences.
By setting up the Design Council, he firmly believes that “through the power of design, one can develop better spaces, better products, better processes and in turn, better living standards in the state of Odisha” in this evolving economic scenario. His vision is to put Odisha on the design map of India and the world. It will certainly increase the economy by uplifting tourism, employment, investments, Product innovations, Craft promotion, tribal welfare and of course dealing with climate changes , to create a higher experience for his motherland.