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Day 07.30.2012, 12:19pm

Surfacing the Issues : An Interview with Itu Chaudhuri

It was a Sunday night, New Delhi time when Itu and I had a Skype video call while he was slowly sipping a cognac.

While it had been awhile some time since we last communicated, we both had the ability to pick up where we last talked like it was yesterday.We first met in 1990 while I was on a Fulbright to India and believe a host at a social event introduced us. From my memory, what drew me to Itu was his thoughtful intensity, ambition and he seemed like a perfect person to have at a dinner party to introduce delightful polemical conversation.

This is no accident. His father is the late Sankho Chaudhuri and his mother, Ira Chaudhuri, a still practicing potter.India in the 1990′s had a small club of graphic designers that all seemed to know one another and we spent many hours at small events with other designers talking about contemporary issues. Itu represents the best of intelligent graphic design. His many years of immersion in typography and communications systems has transformed him into a very articulate practitioner of design in the widest possible sense.

While Itu has mellowed slightly, it is not due to exhaustion, but rather built up experience that allows him to know his roots and build a more sophisticated model of shaping design as a process of discovery that creates meaningful frameworks for specific actions. His firm ICD with his long- time collaborator Lisa Rath is growing and developing a planning offering. This again is no accident and Itu is methodically creating the foundation by bringing on new skills and ways to connect design to larger business and societal issues. The interview meanders between graphic design, systems design and into planning. We surfaced many things that point to a new type of value creation for clients in the sub-continent.