Well, truly speaking, time spent in reading and understanding the document was worth it. It involves a very different view of teaching and learning design. The report starts off with the story of a Lota.
“First one would have to shut out all preconceived ideas on the subject and then begin to consider factor after factor”.
Giving so much thought into designing a Lota was never expected. We never pay attention to the design of everyday objects, taking them for granted. The thought process behind the design of Lota was really interesting.
The objective was to “create an alert and impatient national conscience”. The various aspects like students, trainees, staff, methods, etc were discussed. The report describes effectiveness of the program as “square of the caliber of the staff” and “cube of the degree to which the staff and students become personally involved”. Specific aspects that were taken care of:
First – The Students or Trainees
Because if we know the objectives we may do well to look around for the available raw material.
Second – The Faculty or Staff
Because if we know the objectives and have the raw material we can select the appropriate tools.
Third – The Projects or Methods
With objectives, raw material and tools we can begin to plan the operation. Refinement of operation will of course call for refining the selection of tools.
Fourth – Aspects of Service
Method of channelling results of the operation so as to affect the original objectives.
Fifth – The Physical Plant
Housing and equipping the entire process.
The report tours through these five aspects and explains how these need to be reformed in order to make design training better in India. For the students – “They should be trained not only to solve problems – but what is more important, they should be trained to help others solve their own problems”. In selecting the staff, anyone who would look upon the work in the institute as his “chance to be creative”. The program focuses on bringing various disciplines together to solve a problem. In one of the projects – design for an occasion, it mentions “before the act relive the act before and evaluate many possible courses of action“.
Throughout the report, the whole idea towards training was re-established through various examples and instances. The report provided various thought-provoking problems of everyday life and made us think of various ways to solve them effectively.