In a pivotal step towards establishing Goa as a design capital, the Creative Community of Goa (CCG) gathered for the 6th edition of First Fridays recently at Sadhana Dell ‘Arte, Merces. This event, organised in partnership with the Startup and IT Promotion Cell (SITPC), the Department of Information Technology, Electronics and Communications (DITE&C), and ADI Goa, marked a significant milestone in Goa’s creative ecosystem.

Deepak Pathania, Chief Design Officer at Seahorse Air Limited (UK ) and Director at Design Intervention (India), as well as a founding member of CCG, shared insights on the importance of a Design Policy to guide government interactions with the design community. He emphasised the importance of comprehending the challenges encountered by Goa’s creative community through an extensive questionnaire aimed at identifying its composition and various subsets.

Participants introduced themselves, sharing their expertise in their respective fields. The agenda of the meetup included presentations to showcase the innovative work being done. Pathania presented his Low Flying Yacht design, demonstrating Seahorse H5, a low-flying yacht developed by SeaHorse Air Limited to offer micro-airline services along coasts and islands. Saurav Roy, Founder of Roy.Studio and Co-Founder of Switch, showcased their studio’s impressive projects, including immersive dance installations and experiential design in Dubai.

Sumukh Kamat, Manager of Projects Cable & Connectivity Solutions at CommScope Goa and a CCG community member, presented on “Goa Design Policy: Design Thinking for a Thriving Future.” He highlighted Goa’s cultural heritage and natural beauty as key pillars of design, encompassing architecture, cuisine, festivals, fashion, rituals, and more. Samraat Sardesai discussed “Approach: Design with Country,” emphasizing the importance of a harmonious relationship between people, knowledge, and the environment to foster innovation and sustainability. This has become crucial due to a global shift in design, recognizing design’s impact, evolving design-conscious traveler preferences, untapped economic potential, empowering Goan youth for future careers from an early age, and promoting sustainable tourism growth.

The vision of CCG is to establish Goa as a globally recognized design powerhouse, where design thinking fosters innovation, sustainability, and an inclusive creative economy. The challenges identified during these First Fridays meetups have led to the development of Design Policy solutions, including creating dedicated co-working spaces, design villages, fabrication labs, a material library, and a resource center. They also plan to establish a one-stop design park for individuals and companies to avail licenses, streamline approvals, seek legal guidance, and resolve funding issues to accelerate design programs. Additionally, they aim to establish a “Designed in Goa” certification program, integrating design thinking across educational institutions, and developing a unified brand strategy for Goan products.

Moreover, the CCG aims to build D-shack, a vibrant co-working space for designers, dreamers, and developers, and to host a Goa Design Week to celebrate creativity and innovation through exhibitions, awards, workshops, seminars, and networking events.

Neville Noronha, OSD to the Minister of Information Technology, Electronics and Communication, Goa, articulated the vision for the state’s creative future:“We want to foster creatives in Goa and encourage them to build their products here. Through initiatives like the Global Opportunities Aggregator (GOA), the Startup and IT Promotion Cell (SITPC) aims to harness the potential of our creative talent by providing access to resources, mentorship, and collaborative opportunities. The Electronic Manufacturing Cluster (EMC) at Tuem holds the potential to mark the establishment of a Design Village, further contributing to the growth and recognition of Goa as a thriving creative center. We are also working on building more co-working spaces and progressing towards the Digital Nomad visa.”

The 6th edition of First Fridays successfully highlighted the importance of networking and collaboration within Goa’s creative community. It set a new benchmark for resource sharing and engagement, paving the way for continued growth and innovation in Goa’s creative ecosystem.


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