Satyendra Pakhalé Culture of Creation


Leading-edge new design book explores social cohesion and connects to our challenging times.

Including rich imagery and 12 critical essays by prominent design thinkers placing the oeuvre of the polymath creator Satyendra Pakhalé into a cultural context, plus unpublished projects from industrial design, healthcare, mobility to architectural design and more.




Satyendra Pakhalé Culture of Creation is not a traditional monograph. It is the first comprehensive monograph devoted to the multifaceted designer Satyendra Pakhalé published by nai010 Publishers, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The notion of a ‘Culture of Creation’ refers to the ancient and innate impulse behind human making. It engages with the very roots of the human need to create, to design, to make, to build and bring something into reality.

Over the years, intellectual curiosity has been a constant feature of Pakhalé’s design practice. Besides his own research, he has sustained dialogue with professionals from various fields including architects, writers, curators, academics, and prominent figures in the design industry, several of whom have contributed to this book such as architect and architectural-design thinker Juhani Pallasmaa, Helsinki; Paola Antonelli, Sr., curator MoMA, New York; René Spitz, scholar on HfG Ulm, Cologne; Aric Chen, curator at large of M+ Museum, Hong Kong; Jacques Barsac, director of the Fondation Charlotte Perriand, Paris; Tiziana Proietti, architect and professor, University of Oklahoma, Norman and Stefano Marzano, former CEO Philips Design, Eindhoven, who delve deeply into Pakhalé’s oeuvre, covering a wide range of topics, such as the culture of making, social modernity, social cohesion, poetic analogy, perception and atmosphere, in which his thinking and design practice are rooted. The book sheds a new light on ‘sensorial design’ resulting in social cohesion.

It is a critical book which illustrates the designer’s world view and intellectual position, and the theoretical heritage underpinning the cultivation of a ‘culture of creation’. The 12 essays serve to put Pakhalé’s body of work into a wider, deeper context, offering the kind of food for thought on which he himself thrives. The objective of the book from the outset has been to encourage an intellectual debate and trigger cross- disciplinary conversations on these relevant topics of our time.

“The project of modernity is still a work in progress in most societies, seen from the point of view of social cohesion. Design has to help bring the disintegrating elements together and unite them in a given society. It ought to rebuild society on the foundations of ‘social modernity’.” – Satyendra Pakhalé

The monograph aims to initiate a new debate about design and its plurality and diversity in the contemporary cultural context. It brings new facts and facets of design history to attention for the first time challenging preconceived notions about the legendary Ulm Model, the Aristotelian five senses and the common understanding of traditions and cultural background from India. It subtly challenges the current assumptions and belief system that are taken for granted and hardly ever questioned including Euro-centralism, traditionalism, individualism and more. In doing so, the book sheds a new light on ‘sensorial design’ deeply rooted in contemporary living experience as well as ancient cultures.

The design book Satyendra Pakhalé Culture of Creation is the outcome of three years’ labour of love. It illustrates the designer’s body of works created over more than the last two decades, covering a wide range of topics with a refreshing new perspective exploring the role of design in fostering the common good — a design for social cohesion.

The polymath creator Satyendra Pakhalé sees the world as one place of our common human condition. Why we as human beings do what we do and how the things we create nurture our sensorial and social nature is what the book ‘Culture of Creation’ delves into. The role of design is to further develop the concept of ‘social modernity’ — ‘social’ not in the sense of ‘charitable’, but rather ‘conducive to social cohesion’ as collective welfare and happiness of our entire ecosystem. The ideal thus referenced is also expressed in the concept of the ‘common good’, meaning whatever is best for all sentient beings and for their harmonious co-existence in the long run.

In Pakhalé’s view, ‘Design is a cultural act about justice as much as utility and beauty.’

Pakhalé’s objects and architecture create an atmosphere and framework for everyday social acts as a catalyst of social cohesion. At the heart of his work are two key concerns. The first of these is his conviction that cultural influences without succumbing to either nostalgia or traditionalism, have to be factored in. The second is his perception of the rational, the emotional and the multi-sensory as one. By revisiting and then synthesizing these two aspects, Pakhalé has developed a concept of ‘social modernity’ rooted in social cohesion that is at once contemporary and forward-looking.

With the wide range of relevant topics this monograph creates a ground for a vital debate bringing in Satyendra Pakhalé’s design practice as a seminal example in the current conversations related to plurality, diversity and above all the very nature of design and its contribution to contemporary societies for years to come.

The monograph structure consists of three overlapping layers, namely a project layer, documentary (studio practice) layer and research (critical essays) layer. The essays are interwoven with the project layer and documentary layer that give an insight into Pakhalé’s studio practice, and with accounts from his industrial partners such as Alberto Alessi, Giulio Cappellini, Cristiano Crosetta, and Vittorio Livi. The project layer meanwhile zooms in on specific processes and approaches called ‘project clusters’ that are presented in the monograph with a dense graphical layout. Over the years there have been several topical design explorations carried out at Pakhalé’s studio. Some of the results went into industrial production; some became limited edition gallery pieces and others remained ideas. Theory, practice and production – concepts, words, photos, sketches, watercolours, models, prototypes and more – are linked throughout these pages. Concluding the book is Satyendra Pakhalé’s Chronology of Works, introduced by Ingeborg de Roode, curator of Industrial Design, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, which provides an overview of his body of work.

Satyendra Pakhalé Culture of Creation illustrates the designer’s journey by placing his work in the cultural, artistic and intellectual context to which it belongs, and to which it always returns. At the same time, it anticipates what is yet to come.



“Pakhalé’s work exemplifies how crafts and industrial design can come together in the dimension of human nature.” – Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator, Museum of Modern Art, NY, USA

“His designs suggest a haptic skin-relationship through their sensorial forms, poetic associations and tactile surfaces: they stimulate sensations of intimacy and nearness.” – Juhani Pallasmaa, Professor, Architect, design thinker, Finland

“To look within Satyendra Pakhalé’s body of work is to see an argument for design as a more pluralistic enterprise.” – Aric Chen, Curator at Large,    M+ Museum, HongKong

“He is a designer who has power to make you develop things that were unthinkable at the beginning.” – Cristiano Crosetta, CEO & partner TUBES Radiatori, Italy

“Satyendra Pakhalé is a poet of form and materials. Experiencing his work is a joy.” – Giulio Cappellini, Art Director, Cappellini, Italy


Satyendra Pakhalé Culture of Creation | ISBN 978-94-6208-514-5 | € 49,95

Please contact Satyendra Pakhalé Associates to order a copy of the book.

Contributing Authors: Alberto Alessi, Paola Antonelli, Juhani Pallasmaa, Jacques Barsac, Giulio Cappellini, Gabrielle Ammann, Aric Chen, Cristiano Crosetta, Marva Griffin Wilshire, Ingeborg de Roode, Rene Spitz, Tiziana Proietti, Wera Selenowa, Vittorio Livi and Stefano Marzano

Editor: Jane Szita | Design: Mainstudio Amsterdam, NL | English | hardcover | 22 x 28 cm | 448 pages | illustrated (390 color and b/w) | nai010 Publishers Rotterdam, NL |