Monthly Archives: December 2013

Design and ‘Riyaaz’

The other day I went with my brother and dad to my dad’s physiotherapist. I decided that I’d also consult her for some muscle pain I had been experiencing. She asked me if I did any exercise. I said, “I run 2-3 times a week.”. She said, “Running is not exercise. It’s like you sing, but that doesn’t mean you don’t do your riyaaz.”

An excerpt from the book Art School by MIT Press, gives the following definition of riyaaz.

In Hindustani music traditions, riyaaz, or the everyday cultivation of one’s musicality is a repertoire of exercises to keep the voice or fingers or one’s ability to play an instrument in good shape. But it is more than this. It is as much about the cultivation of a set of attitudes and sensibilities as it about the honing of a skill. Riyaaz is an attempt to explore the boundaries of what one can do on a regular basis and of pushing these boundaries again and on a regular basis so that the foundations of one’s practice undergo a daily renewal, so that one keeps becoming an adept. Riyaaz is a practitioner’s meditation on his or her practice.

This got me wondering, what would consitute riyaaz for a designer? A design thinker? Riyaaz is different from practice. Whenever I produce something, I am practicing my design skills, but what would be something that would have “the foundations of my practice undergo a daily renewal”?

An aside: The same book also asks,

What would constitute the riyaaz of the kinds of artists who busy themselves with the continuous generation of context for praxis?

Of course, I have idea what the phrase “contexts for praxis” means, and a google search reveals little, but googling praxis revealed a treasure trove of information

 

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