Identifying Avenues for Design Intervention within the campus


  1. Improper desk height with respect to the widely available plastic chairs

I’ve found that several people find the desk height within their hostel rooms to be extremely uncomfortable from an ergonomic perspective. The ideal hand position to use a mouse is for the wrist to be aligned with the rest of the fore-arm. However, the low height of the plastic chair causes an angle between the wrist and the fore-arm.

As someone who uses his keyboard/mouse a lot from his hostel room, I find this extremely inconvenient. Initially, I partially made the situation better by using an unused pillow as a cushion but when the cushion eventually got pressed due to my weight and separated, I was back to square one. I solve this problem currently by stacking two chairs (one broken) upon the other. However, considering most hostels only allow one chair per room with consequences otherwise, this is not a feasible solution for everyone.

I’ve briefly thought of having a wooden plank of a suitable height which would elevate the four legs of the chair with the legs fitting comfortably into grooves made on the plank. The design I have in mind is like a plus with circles on the four corners and the entire thing, extruded.

I know I’d pay for one if it worked.

<Envisioned Prototype to be added soon>


  1. Signboards signifying walking/cycling time from hostels to the academic complex

Most students reach the academic complex from their hostels by either walking or cycling from the same route, the one beside the lake. No signboards exist currently because the route is rather straightforward for most people. However, I wonder if we had signboards that depicted the exact time it took for an average person to walk/cycle from the location of the signboard to the entrance, it would cause an increase in the number of people arriving to class on time. The Sign-board can also have a digital clock signifying the current time.

I think it would be an interesting experiment to see if the sign-board causes any change in the people’s pace of walking/cycling. The results should also be fairly measurable. Take a 50 metre distance before the signboard is visible, log the time it takes to traverse that distance. Then take the 50-metres after the signboard is visible and log that time.

I would expect more people to walk faster than people to walk slower.

One possible/likely loop-hole I can think of is how the signboard would only mention the time it takes to arrive at the entrance of the academic complex. The time it takes to go to the respective classroom and sitdown would not be factored in and thus end up causing more people to arrive late than to arrive on time because they would inadvertently time themselves to arrive at the entrance in time and not the classroom.

<Envisioned Prototype to be added soon>


Adarsh Rao