Thursday, March 13, 2008

Design Opportunity Mapping: Northeast India

Design Opportunity Mapping: Water in Northeast India and Coastal Maharashtra
Image: Northeast group presenting the lists of design opportunities for water

The NER group made a presentation yesterday and their list was broad but lacked visuals This meant that while the possibilities at a general level were listed they missed the representation of the particular form that they saw for each opportunity in their minds eye. In design this is a very important difference and that is why in design there are many answers and not just one way to do things since each designer and their client situation would have different specific constraints and aspirations while deciding the features and the form in which a specific item in their list would be transformed and delivered in the real world.

Even the larger posters done by the groups showed a symbolic treatment while the need when unfolding a design opportunity would be to get as specific as possible so that particular attributes in the possibilities and the limitations are addressed in each representation. There are therefore many possible interpretations possible for each expression and the designer must then make a judgment call while making the thumbnail expression that would capture the image in the minds eye. In order for the students to experience this process we evolved a format on which they could capture these thumbnail sketches along with a very brief caption and key words working as a team that would cooperate in building a large number of design opportunities and these would be categorized and presented to the class for each region that has been selected, namely, Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Himalayas and the Northeast, all villages here so that the macro variables are drawn from this regional constraint by each group.

Image: Coastal Maharashtra group mappong design opportunities for water
The format is yet to be tested and we will know later in the day how the students have been able to use the constraints offered by the format and how they were able to interpret that assignment that has been set for each team. After this presentation we will explore the nature of various design disciplines through a field interaction assignment and also the Business model assignment using local street food vendor models as their source of inspiration. The teams would return to the village economy with the insights gained from these two assignments and continue to work in teams with the assignments that follow.

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