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Design Sense

The swarm of humanity feeds on ideas - aware collectively moving forward independently shaping the human experience. Design must become it’s natural adaptive sense.

I am a designer, designpreneur and a design dreamer. My indie open innovation and design thinking project Dream:in became a global movement funded and led by youth and academics in India, Brazil and China.

My firm Spread is a transdiciplinary firm on a farm with a unique design, build, spread, model. To bridge the design gap and to push the next generation of our country to dream big, I have set up an independent design center.

For a generation of school children, entrepreneurs, and professionals I want to make design a natural way of making sense. Every moment is new, exciting and uncertain. We know it because we feed on it coming at us through multiple devices. But we have neither the physical or pyschological capacity to fully understand anything let alone respond to it.

Our brains are not designed to make sense of exponential change, but we have to move forward relying on cognitive shortcuts or heuristics. Playing safe is risky. We have to disrupt or be disrupted. Design then has to become our natural adaptive sense, a way to feel, think and do–a way to respond with authentic intent and creative action, while honing these own 7 senses.


Catching, innovating and adopting technologies early


A way to understand aspirations and create fresh opportunities


Nourishing the soul with art—with beauty, simplicity and truth


Reducing the cognitive load, synthesising data


Making society as a whole far richer—inclusive


Harness, renew, replenish, and nurture natural resources for future generations to live as naturally as possible


A higher state of humanism

Design is then our 8th sense—to create new paradigms of growth, nurture and spread ideas that are Inclusive, Imaginative and Innovative.

Design as a way of thinking is a good start, but leaders need design sense if they want to change the world.

Sonia Manchanda

Sonia Manchanda is a Design Strategist and Graphic Designer, with 20+ years experience, building creative organisations of repute and leading trans disciplinary project teams on massive transformational projects nationally and globally. Her Open Innovation and Design Strategy Project Dream:in has been awarded as a global gamechanger by Metropolis Magazine, USA.

Sonia is a Founding Partner at Spread Design + Learning, where her mission is to spread design as a way of thinking and doing things by expanding possibilities and creating systems, brands, campaigns and experiences. She has set up a Design Center to bridge the design gap in India and make design accessible to everyone.

Sonia is a graduate of the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad and an appointed member of the India Design Council, is on the CII Design Council, and is a Governing Council Member of Forge, an incubator in Coimbatore. She is also a trustee at Nrityagram, the only ‘dance village’ in the world.

In my spare time, I am a naturalist and an urban farmer, growing and cooking up yummy stuff in the design farm where the Spread studio is also based.

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