Friday, October 26, 2007

Scenarios for sustainability from NID Paldi batch 1

Scenarios for sustainability from NID Paldi batch 1
Students of the Furniture Design and Textile Design programmes at NID Paldi campus formed the first batch of the DCC course at Paldi this semester. They were assigned three areas to investigate and develop concepts after building shared perspectives through a process of brainstorming, categorisation, modeling and metaphor building. All the groups looked at the issues dealing with the Future of the Retail sector in India that are being transformed rapidly by the entry of big players and corporate entities and soon to be made open to multinationals as well. They had to make sense of what they saw was happening and build a shared understanding of these developments through a process of making sense of the data that was available.

The first group looked at Fresh food and organic food was the area addressed by them through the process described above.

The second group looked at issues of sustainability in Home Electronic products and opportunities for the retail sector.

The third group looked at the area of Provisions for the home through local shops and examined the sustainability issues that could be explored and envisaged as viable scenarios that could be taken forward.

In many cities and metros the small scale retailers are getting agitated by these rapid changes and are asking for a review of government policies in these sectors. Some very contentious issues and political opportunism has resulted in a lot of protest but few ideas have emerged as to what alternatives we have at hand and if we had these alternatives shown as visible scenarios these could inform some of the policy changes and gat political acceptance from the affected people as well. Can design thinking and action help show some of these alternatives which can then be debated and used to inform the decision making process and this too after we examine the issues of sustainability and social equity which are at stake in this area.

Shown above are some of the scenarios prepared by the individual students who worked in teams in the early stages (as described earlier see link here) and in the final stage of this two week course they explored five design opportunities which they personally felt had value and merit. One of these design opportunities was then taken forward as a scenario visualisation exercise in the process of learning design thinking and action as part of this course in Design Concepts and Concerns at NID. Some selected scenarios from each of these groups are shown here. In all this batch was composed on 30 students, all at the post Graduate level and coming from very different backgrounds.

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