On Going PhD
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 Frugal Design of Products in Base of the Economic Pyramid Contexts.
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.
majumdarprarthana.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.
Research Area / Title: Sustainability-orienting design support for farm machinery design
Supervisor: Prof. Ravi Mokashi Punekar
This thesis focuses on sustainable agricultural mechanization development for small farms in developing countries. Statistics show that developing countries are dominated by farm holdings less than 2 hectares in size. The sustainability of these farms is crucial for the sustainability of agriculture in these countries. Mechanization of these farms is the need of the day considering the rising cost and shortage of labor. Studies show that mechanization increases farm power availability, cropping intensity, and food grain production while saving time, labor, production costs, post-harvest losses, seeds, and fertilizers. Thus, mechanization offers the possibility of increasing farmers' income. Due to the lack of economies of scale, it is not feasible for these farmers to own agricultural machinery (AM). Their AM needs are also very different from that of large, heavily mechanized farms. Thus, these small farms need the development of AM that can be hired as per need, i.e., a product-service combination offering. Also, the context demands that the said AM-based product-service system offer support infrastructure and product-services (for allied processes) so that the farmers can cost-effectively adopt it. Thus, the context calls for AM and its allied service ecosystem's design as a sustainable PSS.
This thesis presents a framework (D-SAM, Design for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization) and a set of guidelines (G-SAM, Guidelines for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization) for the sustainability-oriented design of AM along with its associated service ecosystem following an S.PSS design approach. D-SAM helps in strategic analysis, including a sustainability assessment and priority setting, ideation process, design and engineering of the product, service, and system, and the sustainability improvement or worsening assessment of the redesigned SAM offer. G-SAM helps in the sustainability assessment of the existing scenario, sustainability priority setting for the design, and the ideation process. It puts forward three perspectives for assessment and design in front of the designer: 1. S.PSS design; 2. Design for a sustainable agricultural outcome; and 3. Environmentally sustainable product design. G-SAM provides open-ended ideation cues to guide, educate, and inform a designer during the design process. The assessment is conducted using rapid sustainability assessment (RSA) indicators. G-SAM integrates the analysis and design ideation phase in its construct as designers perform analysis and ideation simultaneously
shivaji [at] des.iith.ac.in
Enhancing sustainability criteria in GRIHA* standards for the built environment in India (*: Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment)
Supervisor: Prof. Ravi Mokashi Punekar
Abstract: In India, the acceptance of the design and development of sustainable building systems is still in its infancy. The guidelines for sustainable practices and standards are always evolving. Some of the current tools and techniques for assessment predominantly focus on environmental and economic parameters overlooking their systemic impact. Considering the tremendous surge in urbanization and the massive push for robust industrial output, infrastructural growth, and rapid growth of the building industry, there is an urgent need for developing proper design guidelines, building norms and practices, and appropriate updated standards for the built environment.
This research, “enhancing sustainability criteria in GRIHA* standards for the built environment in India,” examines the present sustainability assessment (SA) parameters to verify if there is a need to update their parameters on the three dimensions of environmental, social and economic aspects of sustainability.
The research methodology follows a seven-stage framework. These seven stages are detailed out over the different chapters comprising of the following:
Stage 1: Undertakes a Literature Review through secondary research of published literature to study and understands the various parameters, methods, and instruments for assessment of sustainability-related to the built environment.
Stage 2: Identifies leading Indian agency/s and international agencies engaged in the Sustainability assessment of the built environment and examines their methods and instruments for SA to identify the various standard and critical parameters in SA.
Stage 3: Examines case examples of public buildings – national and international - their ranking and their performance parameters for SA.
Stage 4: Reviews GRIHA, the Indian SA method, and assesses the different parameters identified in stage 2 and has defined parameters that are suggested for enhancement, modifications, and additions.
Stage 5: Undertakes field-based study of a select set of public buildings. It examines their sustainability star ranking based on their performance parameters for SA assessments made by experts GRIHA assessors. From the review, it makes a comparison of those additional or missing parameters identified in stage 4.
Stage 6: Expert assessors review the proposed modification/changes to parameters for SA based on insights gained from stage 4 and stage 5 as validation before finalization of the proposed changes to the GRIHA SA framework.
Stage7: Summarizes the overall conclusive observation on the outcome, methodology, and justification to review the aims and objectives of the research, its deliverables, limitations, and scope for further research.
Drawing from the above seven-stage research framework, the research study makes the recommendation that the following specific parameters of sustainability be added/modified to the existing GRIHA standards to enhance the sustainability parameters in their evaluation.
1. Regional vernacular considerations (context)
These have been finalized after validation with certified GRIHA assessors. Case examples of select institutional public buildings have added strength to the recommendations made under this research.