We know you must be feeling the tremors of the fiasco that the CoA’s logo design competition has turned out to be. And yes, this letter is about the same. The council of architecture has been called the supreme governing body in the affairs of architecture: education and practice. This is a position of great power and immense responsibility. One of the reasons of establishment of the CoA was the welfare of the architectural fraternity in the Republic of India and in the pursuit of this goal you must have decided to commission a logo for architects and hence the design competition came into the picture.
Sir to begin with, the use of word logo vs. symbol has always been a matter of debate among designers. While the debate may not be settled yet, but the widespread practice is to use the word symbol in cases when the graphic is to be used as a representation of a professional fraternity. Well, let us not sweat the small stuff and come to the primary concerns. In my short experience of having known about the existence of the CoA, this was perhaps the grandest event that the council has pulled off. Congratulations for that.
Coming on to the launch ceremony event page, the less it is said about the graphics and posters used, the better. An organization that represents the finest creative minds of the country, using child like graphics throughout the promotional campaign was unthinkable. But given the state of the CoA website, we shouldn’t have expected at all, we accept our fault.
As details about the competition were released, we got to know about the involvement of 3rd parties like Archipidia and ZIngyhomes. The first thought that would come to a sane mind would be that these people would be sponsors, and contrary to the wildest and most hilarious of imaginations these parties were made advisors and fee collection vehicles on behalf of the Council. And that too an outrageous fee of 1000 rupees per entry, a practice usually adopted in competitions such as Gully Cricket Leagues, where you have to pay a fee per match per player. Though, on receiving complaints this fee was marginally reduced. Thank you for the consideration.
All details and future communications in reference to the competition were to be done on an email ID that didn’t even end on “@coa.gov.in”. What age is the Council living in, if this isn’t a conflict of interest, what is?
Student organized college fests are far better managed in terms of communication, management and execution and exploiting sponsors. If you find this hard to believe do check the promotional material, websites, guidelines and negotiation with sponsors for events like Rendezvous (IIT Delhi’s annual fest) or Oasis (BITS, Pilani).
We are guessing that you must have found these advisors very competitive people to be able to handle such an event. When one of the members of the fraternity raised concerns the nature of the reply by the Honorable advisor was exemplary. “Please take help of someone who understands English and online registrations”.
I would take a break here before I go ahead. “In the meantime, if you are a Shopper and like photography, participate in our #RetailShopDesign”.
If the sole idea of the exercise was to increase traffic on the ZingyHomes website it would have been better to provide discount coupons on the Council page.
All this is, when CoA is a body that formulates policies and guidelines on:
Endorsement and advertisements by architects (almost prohibited)
Nevertheless, people could have forgiven all this including the goof-ups with the dates, but then came out the results. 3 joint winners for a logo competition that has to be adopted as a universal identity of architects in India? This must be a joke that we couldn’t probably follow. Moreover, you don’t call an event a launch ceremony, where there are joint winners and the final logo is yet to be decided.
If these 3 are the finalists, we can only imagine what an ordeal it must have been for the jurors to go through the other entries. Whatever the case may have been council must be happy that this made council trolls trend on social media and WhatsApp (historic event).
Would love to mention some of the adjectives used on social media for the winning entries: “laughable at best’, ‘doctors would be laughing’, ‘cartoonish’, ‘childish’, ‘total disappointment’, ‘demeaning’, ‘pedestrian’ etc.
It would be in the best interest of the fraternity and the council that the logo competition is called off. It may be re-commissioned after deliberation on the very need of the logo. In case you decide not to give up on the quest for a logo, it should be conducted in a manner that is transparent and sensible, under the guidance of people who have in the past managed such events.
Voice of the fraternity through Pulkit Soni