Design by Urban Matter, Inc.
All content © 2013 by Designwala
India Future of Change is a five year initiative that focuses on getting students and professionals to compete, collaborate and co-create a better future for India. The initiative is made possible by the collaboration of IDC, IIT Bombay, CIIE, IIM-A and Financial Times and is supported by the Govt of India.
India Future of Change Design Contest was launched last year and culminated at the ‘Indialogues 2011′ conference held from Nov 19th to 20th this year. The design contest was initiated to foster design innovations to tackle some of the pressing problems plaguing India. Young minds from across the world participated in the contest and 20 finalists were chosen to showcase their work at the conference. Two grand prizes of $35,000 were given to innovations that promised massive social impact and had the best business plans.
The theme of the design contest included innovation in the following categories:
Public Space Environment
The jurors included:
Abhimanyu Kulkarni, Design Director, Philips Design India
Collin Cole, Senior Vice President Frog Design, USA
John Thackara, Director, Doors of Perception, The Netherlands
Satish Gokhale, Managing Director, Design Directions India
Valerie Casey, Founder, The Designers Accord, USA
Banny Banerjee, Director, Stanford Design Program, Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford, USA
The six finalists and designs that made it to the closed door jury:
Oliver Blanchard from the University of Plymouth, UK. His idea was a lost cost sachet syringe – An innovative ‘safe syringe’. The syringe works by transforming the needle cap into a tool which administers drugs from a pre-filled medicine sachet. Once it has been used it is then locked in place over the needle. ensuring that it cannot be reused nor cause injury when is being disposed off. (Overseas grand prize winner)
Pragya Singh from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad designed a chair-like structure which would assist those with mild or moderate cerebral palsy to change their postures comfortably.“All cerebral palsy patients have unique complaints. So, this design has to be customized for every patient,” explains Singh. (National grand prize winner)
Michael O’Brien from the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia designed a low cost solar surgical lamp. This lamp can be used in hospitals in places that are off the grid and don’t have access to continuous electricity.
Nektar Solomon from the University of Eindhoven, the Netherlands created the DIY manual bucket washing machine which can be used by low income households to wash clothes efficiently without investing in an expensive washing machine that needs electricity to run.
Prasun Chokshi from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India created the water saving blue washing machine that filters and treats grey-water to produce dramatic water and cost savings.
Rakesh Sinha from MIT Institute of Design in Pune created a battery assisted bicycle. The bike components like the battery, flywheel and the dynamo can be sold separately as an add on kit to existing bicycles.
The design space is ripe for young individuals to create culturally aware solutions for India. One of the judges remarked that ‘You cant design for India from a distance’. That stands true for designing for anyplace. Design research is an integrated part of problem solving. All the finalists had prototypes that displayed in depth understanding of the user and the problem. Such contests and collaborations promise to bring about better solutions for the end user and better possibilities for design communities across the globe. I cannot wait for another such initiative to address yet another set of human problems.
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