Sonia Manchanda on the other hand is the eternal optimist and a perpetual Dreamer. She sees inspiration as much in the past as she does in the future… as much in culture as in nature, technology and people. It doesn’t stop at inspiration; once conceptualised, it needs to be applied… in real time. That’s when the design thinker in her gives way to the designer. Application takes over from the idea. Execution becomes an obsession.
Sonia Manchanda is a graduate from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad where she majored in graphic design, film making and photography in 1992. Two decades later she has grown to become a seasoned design thinker and practitioner who has successfully made design a tool for socio-economic transformation.
Leading one of India’s largest integrated design practices Idiom as a Principal Designer and Co-founder, she has ensured that design plays a key role in the emergence of sectors like healthcare, education, retail, hospitality, sports, media, entertainment and even the challenges that growth brought to the city of Bangalore, which she is a resident of.
She was a part of the core team and the communication design leader of one of India’s early Public Private Partnership initiatives: a project called Bangalore Forward. An initiative that orchestrated the involvement of various civic stakeholders, the private sector and the citizens of Bangalore in creating an inclusive, transparent system for development.
She also led a team of designers to create the brand identity for the 19th Commonwealth Games and helped design the look of Delhi for this event.
Today she is closely associated with large corporations as a business design/design thinker consultant and spearheads the creation of new concepts and businesses for the Future Group (a retail, education, brands, media and entertainment & financial services group), Manipal Education and Medical Group, People Combine, Royal Orchid Hotels & TVS motors. She also works closely with entrepreneurs to create startups.
Sonia has shared her passion for design thinking, its power to unlock business, her experience and potential to build future scenarios at several prestigious forums, such as The New School of Design at Parsons, NY, EPIC Ethnographers conclave in Tokyo and CII.
She has also conceived and is the project director of the DREAM:IN project which is an attempt to create equal opportunities and the promise of equal futures.
She has showcased DREAM:IN at the International Conference of Innovation Cities, Curitiba, Brazil where DREAM:IN was acknowledged to be the inspiration behind My Green Dreams- a project initiated by Federation of Industries of the State of Paraná (FIEP) and sponsored and supported by Unitar (United Nations Institute for Training and Research).