When the question is asked, What is Design?

It becomes complex to answer, since we can’t explain the term in one definition.

As described by Vilém Flusser, design is both noun and verb. It means ‘planning’ , ‘cunning’, ‘deception’. Every person has their own meaning of design, but when asked if this is a good design? We do have answers and opinions.

When asked for observing things from design point of view, we noticed things critically.

Though we have been living in this same campus for almost 3 years now, we tend to walk by without noticing.

Like the first thing we noticed, Plant Pots. There are different shapes for a Plant Pots but the one we usually see are the frustum-ones, that helps the roots of plants in  tapering triangularly. Also, it is easy to export those pots.

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There are many small things which are essential in daily routine, like Sticky Notes.

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The problem with sticky notes is they gets folded or comes off after a while.

Intervention suggested is that we can apply glue horizontally rather than vertically, taking up the same area, hence quantity of glue staying unaffected.

While talking we started observing ourselves!

Shoe Laces have tiny metal rims to get the laces out. Do we need to tie our laces? Or we can button the shoe, magnetic strip or clipped?

Zip in a hoodie and in a jeans. The uppermost teeth is thicker to allow locking, else the slider would come off. On the other hand, locking mechanism in jeans are an interesting design and the zipper never comes off!

We all use our mobiles almost all the time, Mobile Bodies  cannot be disassembled, and hence replacing/reusing/recycling any part is a problem.The Intervention  suggested is product must be designed for disassembly.

The students in studio become bored after an hour or two, in the same surrounding with nothing of interest, except sitting at laptop. To make classrooms design friendly, we can design windows and tables in a way that they double up as whiteboard. The arrangement of tables and chairs could be circular for more interaction. People can have personalized tables and the workspace should have quotes related to design, the walls, the ceiling, could be made more artistic. The studio can have personalized stationery too.

While roaming around in campus I remembered my first day here, I was lost even after having a map in  my hand. Since this is a digital age and people use google maps everywhere and navigate the way, but many novice users doesn’t know how to navigate map. Then what would they do? The signage system of campus can be improved by putting more signs at landmarks, or at the entrance near Subansiri, with digital display or 3D signs. The signs should let us to the precise location, therefore they can have arrows and marks in slightly curved manner, which would make it easier to understand the way. We can also put signs so that people can go there and ask where to go, like in google voice or Siri, the signs itself can have devices which would take the query and show the way!! 🙂

We observed an interesting ‘jugaad’.

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The gardener has created this four-fenced thing, to protect the plant and also to give it support. Never would he have thought it would prove to be a good design.

People tend to move from pathways that lead to the destinations early and fast, and while doing this they don’t mind moving over lawns and grass. Thus, there is already a marked pathway made for those who tend to choose short ways.

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These were some of the observations and this assignment made me realize how less we see!

-Sajiya Chaudhary

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