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milan maria isabel

milan maria isabel

Tuesday, 02 April 2019 08:36

The Future is Frugal

The Frugal Design Studio at Srishti has been working for the last 8 years to explore the future of design through the
lens of frugality. In a consumerist world where resources are being recklessly used up, the natural environment is being
degraded daily, it seems that there is not much choice – one definite path to the future is going to be frugal. This
position paper explores and unpacks frugality as it can be applied to design. The paper attempts to understand frugality
in the context of history of craft and design, everyday practices in India that are slowly disappearing, reasons
why it is not subscribed to, projects done by the Frugal Design Studio and how it could be applied in the future.

Authors: Naga Nandini Dasgupta and Sudipto Dasgupta

Artists, designers and educators of today and the future have the particular challenge to create for a fragile world
where politics, economics and ecosystems are placed at the tipping point of culture, ethics and the tradition of the
artisan. The sustainability crisis is not merely one of the biophysical environment and its extreme degradation but
also a severe crisis of the social, cultural and individual environment. These crises are not just outcomes of global
demands in technology, production and volume but rather complex behavioural issues and the paradigms that sustain
them. With all these existential and philosophical issues at stake today, Universities offering Design education
programmes have the challenge of creating programs that embrace sustainability through transdisciplinary viewpoints.
In this paper, we are offering two transdisciplinary units - ‘Sustainable Institute’ and ‘All of a sudden!- Time
as paradox’ as case studies to exemplify Sustainability curriculum design and its outcomes.

Authors: Srisrividhiya Kalyanasundaram, Sandhiya Kalyanasundaram

By reflecting on my experience as a Masters degree graduate, a university lecturer and a design mentor on a youth
training programme in South Africa, I will provide evidence of how different pedagogical methods can either nurture
or hinder a student’s personal growth, therefore directly impacting their approach and ability as designers. I will
discuss the importance of creating awareness among students about how their values, opinions and goals can affect
their design decisions and influence what impact they make on the world around them. Moreover, this paper calls
for a global teaching philosophy that recognises empathy and respect as devices for sustainable world making.

Authors: Laskarina Yiannakaris

Can design be used as a pedagogical approach: as tools of observation, conversation, analysis, reflection, interpretation
and storytelling, in order to foster and strengthen a critical understanding of sustainability? This paper explores
critical questions around the relationship between processes in design education and a contextual holistic examination
of ‘sustainability’ using narratives. This is done by inquiring and reflecting upon case-studies of students of design,
through a pedagogical lens. Mediated by orality, the design of learning in these cases, delved into the socio-cultural-
historical-ecological dimensions of a context. How did one question one’s own ways of seeing a place and its
people, while unpacking multiple forms and structures of narratives to understand aspects of sustainability? How
did they learn how to connect the practices of communities with personal and collective histories, identify the many
relationships and interactions that bind lives together in a place and therefore understand the changing role and
state of communities and their practices in order to create a regenerative culture? This paper argues on how a critical
understanding and examination of the notion of ‘sustainability’ can be achieved, through almost any course in ‘design’
irrespective of whether the objectives consciously articulate sustainability as a desired outcome or not.

Authors: Sudebi Thakurata

Design thinking based on problem-based learning is believed to promote reflective thinking in students. Students
need to develop their reflective thinking habits to be lifelong learners and technical professionals. For this to happen,
facilitators may first provide opportunities for getting students to reflect critically on their practice (for example
through reflection journals) and secondly, guide reflective dialogue both between the facilitator and students, and
also among students (Stein, 2000). In this paper, a framework is proposed to apply reflective design practice to
nurture critical thinking, to go from the outside to the inside and influence changes in personal design decisions in
Product-Service System (PSS) Design for Sustainability for undergraduate design students. The method is transferable
to other disciplines as well.

Authors: Ravi Mani

Professional design has become a forceful, persuasive and omnipresent reality of contemporary world by influencing
patterns of human consumption and aspirations. This influence is not limited to the clients or the consumers, but
impacts the society and environment at large—local as well as global levels. A professional designer plays a pivotal
role in creating the ‘world by design’, and, hence, shares the social responsibility of the larger consequences of the
process/act of design. Therefore, it becomes important to examine the values imparted to design students, the future
design professionals.
Design education programmes generally claim to impart values of sustainability as social responsibility of designers.
Does this intent get manifested in their course curriculums and actualised in the pedagogies? The paper addresses
this question by examining the role of design education programmes and the challenges in imparting the
values of sustainability as social responsibility of designers.

Authors: Sanjeev Bothra

With the growing importance of resonating products with human behaviour, the upcoming field of Design for
Sustainability (DfS) is reorienting itself from a ‘technical and product-centric focus towards more socio-technical
systems’ wherein people, their interactions and behaviour play a crucial role. Scholarships in DfS have introduced a
multitude of frameworks for sustainability-orienting design such as Methodology for System Design for Sustainability,
Circles of Sustainability and LEED. However, during our experience of teaching these methodologies to Design
undergraduate students, we observed that the frameworks, often fell short in fostering a “designerly way” of thinking
and doing amongst novice designers. They struggled to see open space within these guidelines to explore, experiment
and tinker. Hence, we designed a method, LaMPS (Locally available Materials, Practices and Skills), which
could be used as a precursor to the more system oriented DfS course and can be introduced to students during their
1st Design Methodology course at the undergraduate level. LaMPS integrates observational studies and material exploration
and characterisation using the Material Driven Design method, and translation of the same into products.
LaMPS stresses on identification and incorporation of local materials, local skills and local practices, the three keystones
of Distributed Economy (DE), in the designed system. Hence it serves as an introduction to the DfS course
in the lines of DE.

Authors: Prarthana Majumdar, Sharmistha Banerjee, Purvish Mahendra Shah, Vidushi Singh Pundir,  Ankit Chowdhury, Simran Agarwal, Suneet Shukla, Jan-Carel Diehl, J.M.L.van Engelen

The paper discusses a new approach to eliminate Cut and Sew Waste (CSW), at the construction stage of garment-
making called DPDC, a synthesis of designing, pattern-making, draping and cutting & incorporating zero-
waste techniques using one-piece fabric. The objective is to create an open source of templates for the design
community to integrate in their pattern-making frameworks. Taking reference from step-by-step origami, using only
a rectangle or a square paper as the starting point, the translation of folds from paper onto fabric led to interesting
discoveries in terms of construction and wearability. Since the construction of the garment follows a very simplistic
approach, it moulds in accordance with the wearer’s body. In addition to effective fabric management, this technique
offers production and financial incentives in terms of fabric utilisation.

Authors: Pragya Sharma

Plastic is synonymous with the industrial revolution of the 20th century. However, it has earned a reputation as being
hazardous to the environment. It is not the material that is truly a hazard but the way we choose to use it.
An alternative ideology to the utilization of plastics is that of the former Communist German Democratic Republic
(GDR). Plastics and design were interlinked with the political discourse and helped shape a breed of frugally
innovative designers. Plastic came to be viewed as a valuable commodity for producing products built for durability.
Socialist ideology on design overlaps with the current ideology on sustainable design.
The main question addressed is; with the imminent spread of the internet, knowledge is more accessible and
less commodified. Infrastructure complementary to socialist design ideologies is now available to a much larger part
of the population. Hence, are socialist design ideologies of the past viable choices for sustainable design solutions for
a post-capitalist future?

Authors: Aniruddha Gupte