Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Vinay Venkatraman: Frugal Digital Design for India

Vinay Venkatraman: Frugal Digital Design for India

I remember Vinay Venkatraman from our DCC class in Foundation as well as from the Product Design classes later at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedaabd. He is now teaching at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design and he has matured to have a very concise idea of design and where it could be used in India in conjunction with innovation resources that are strewn across the country. His experiences and approach could be shared with the Planning Commission in its research to build innovation platforms in India and the Open Design Network that has been proposed by Sam Pitroda and his teams. Design is the keyword in this set of three terms while all of them are important for the whole to work effectively. Openness and Networks are critical since they embed attitudes of sharing and caring that is central to the success of design action here in India. The IPR regimes that the Planning Commission meeting seemed to be harping about is least of our concerns and we should understand why this is the case when we see Vinay Venkatraman's TED Talk at the link here.

He is seen here in this YouTube video interview titled "What's Design mean to you?" and comes through with great clatrity that should be shown to Sam Pitroda and his team at the Planning Commission who seem to miss the point about the integrating nature of design and design thinking. He comes through with three clear qualities and abilities that are needed in design -– Conceptualisation, Visualisation & Prototyping – "Feeling and Thinking" + "Drawing and Modeling" + "Building & Testing" – as the three key capabilities that designers need to innovate new solutions to address the pressing needs at the margin in our society. See this 9 minute YouTube video below for a review of what he has to say.

While teaching at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design he also handles consulting projects that address the needs of the people in the margin and by using research and design he has developed some amazing solutions that address access to education in remote villages as well as healthcare screening in areas that do not have adequate doctors or medical facilities. More about Vinay Venkatraman at these links below.

Vinay Venkatraman has been writing a blog about his journey of discovery of insights into the power of design thinking and cation and you can see these at this link below. However this seems to be a new venture and still work in progress and I hope he fills out the missing pages soon so that we can all see his thoughts and actions through his sharing on the blog. Some links lead to Frugal Digital Products and services that have been developed. Very exciting. Take a look.

We need to collect more such examples and share these with each other as well as online as an example of the Avalanche Effect, people who can bring huge transformations with little  inputs in design and design thinking that I had written about when I submitted my paper to the Design Issues Journal in 2001, but alas they were not listening, and my paper was rejected only to be posted on PhD-Design discussion forum in 1st December 2003 when I got the news from Martha Scotford who had initially invited me to write the paper in the first place for an issue about design in India. More about this is on my blog post at this link below – Evolution-of-dcc-course-at-nid

Planning Commission must take this into account when they make a pitch for investments in design education here in India.

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