Good Design of Products in Resource-Constrained Environments
Supervisor: Prof. Ravi Mokashi Punekar
Abstract: The aim of the thesis is to develop a support (Methodology and tool) for the design of Products and Systems for the Resource constrained environment.
Development of low-cost products for the emerging economies is a subject that has been widely studied in the context of innovation. This literature mostly describes and theorizes the conditions that lead to innovation. it also prescribes the mindset that innovators should have to tackle the challenges in the context. Most of this literature is grouped under the topics such as: 'Jugaad Innovation’, ‘Grassroots Innovation’, ‘Frugal Innovation’, ‘Reverse Innovation’ etc. Although there are significant distinctions in the concept that each of these terms define, the central actor that remains constant, is the product. A design process that imbibes all the learning from the existing knowledge is essential to develop this product.
The existing literature is a good source for understanding the success criteria for innovation in the context, but it is difficult to decipher what changes must be made to the design process itself. To design the products which will be successful in the context, all knowledge must be incorporated into a systematic design process and translated into actionable methodologies and tools. Although many attempts have been made to develop such tools and methodologies, most tend to concentrate towards a single stage of the design process (typically the problem understanding phase).
Through this thesis, we wish to develop and test a more holistic methodology that the designer could use to develop successful products for the resource constrained environment.
Developing farming accessory for Power Tiller for small and marginal farmers of Assam - A Design for Sustainability (DfS) approach for enhanced product acceptance.
Supervisor: Prof. Ravi Mokashi Punekar
Abstract: Assam lags behind the national average in agricultural productivity and post-harvest losses are very high. This is caused due to a plethora of factors like lack of appropriate mechanisation, heavy dependence on rain, recurrent floods and underdeveloped market opportunities and allied infrastructure for the produce. The Green Revolution has not penetrated much in this state.
This thesis aims to develop scale and technologically appropriate farm machinery for small and marginal farmers of Assam. A Design for Sustainability approach is adopted so as to be able to reap the benefits of Green Revolution while by-passing the well studied and documented socio-economic and environmental ill-effects of Green Revolution. Also an emphasis is on creating a gender-neutral agri-machinery considering the agricultural labour demographics trend which predicts dominance of women in few years time. A case example of ginger and turmeric has been selected. A soil bed preparation (ploughing, organic manure addition) cum planting (ginger and turmeric alongwith legumes like arhar or castor) will be designed.
Validation of Sustainability Frameworks - a Cross- Comparison of Sustainability Assessment Methods, Tools & Techniques in Context of Architectural Built - Environments.
Supervisor: Professor Ravi Mokashi Punekar
Abstract: Sustainable buildings which have different and distinct definition than a green building have the potential towards minimizing energy consumption of 30-40% and over 30% of green house gas emissions of this sector at world level. Researchers have conducted studies and observed performance of institutional buildings on parameters of lighting and thermal comfort in their design, material selection, construction, operation, and after life, etc., and have found a good potential of 6-29% saving possibility in terms of energy consumption. The climatic, social and economic structure of north-east India is entirely different from the rest of Indian states. It has warm humid sub-tropical climate and has rich ground water level and above national average precipitation and falls under zone-V of earthquake zones. It has typical vernacular architecture that has evolved over centuries guided by its above mentioned climatic conditions, local materials and vegetation etc. Reports suggest that the current spurt of tremendous growth in urban/rural developments has given rise to unchecked designs and construction and is directly contributing to the overall estimates of global emissions and material consumptions. My research focuses on comparative analysis of sustainability assessment methods of GRIHA, LEED, CASBEE, BREAM and their applicability towards lighting and thermal comfort optimization in institutional building in north-east India and as deliverable would evolve a framework for the sustainable development in this context. This needs to be incorporated in design guidelines and a framework needs to be evolved, which has possibility of solving drawbacks of currently prevailing green building assessment methods, tools and techniques. The prevailing methods lack in solving context based situations which a designer/contractor faces on site depending upon local governing conditions vis-a-vis micro-climate of regions, sourcing of materials, life span and performance of materials in given climatic and contextual conditions, local social parameters, and a visible cost benefit optimizable system which a stakeholders can associate himself with for direct and indirect gains by adopting that framework. Eyeing NE India’s infrastructure growth presently & the importance of introducing a framework for sustainable building design. The idea behind my research is to develop the NE context of growth of infrastructure and sustainable development; as it's the region of next big change.
prarthana.majumdar [at] iitg.ac.in
Design for Do-It-Yourself in Emerging Countries for the Rural and Semi-Urban Context.
Supervisor: Prof. Ravi Mokashi Punekar.
Abstract: The coming of the Maker Movement brought in a new wave in human history. From mass production and passive consumerism, the production systems of the society moved to more personalized and identity creating forms. Hence, the Maker Movement and Do-It-Yourself (DIY) have been widely studied by scholars to either understand its repercussions on conventional production-consumption systems or the motivations behind it. However, not much research has been conducted on understanding what DIY is in the context of the Emerging countries, a segment which consists of more than half of the global population. Though MIT opened FabLabs around the world, the question persists whether a deeper contextual understanding of DIY in these communities is necessary to give meaning to these physical spaces. In our research, we focus on rural and semi-urban India and study the DIY motivations and behaviorism of young subjects who are in their early teens.We seek to understand how a DIY product can be developed for them such that holds it motivational meaning for the subjects and facilitates adoption of the DIY practice. We further contemplate on how the practice can be diffused in the community of young subjects. Toward this end, we seek to understand how the social network structure of the community of young teens can be tapped and dissemination material can be designed such that knowledge of the practice diffuses naturally in the network.
Imparting a Maker Culture is as much about understanding what making means to a makers as it is to impart skills and provide tools.