Category Archives: Events

MIT team visits DIC

Delegates from Comprehensive Initiative on Technology Evaluation (CITE), MIT, visited DIC on April 13, 2017.  The team included Bishwapriya Sanyal, CITE’s Director and Principal Investigator; Joanne Mathias, Associate Director; , Strategy and Strategic Partnerships Lead. CITE is dedicated to developing methods for product evaluation. The team presented their work and discussed opportunities to collaborate with DIC.

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Design Innovation Center – IITB Showcases students’/collaborative Projects during E-Summit @ IITB:

Design Innovation Center (DIC) has exhibited its innovative projects during E-Cell’s annual flagship event, The Entrepreneurship Summit, held at IITB from 28th – 29th January 2017.  Shri Amitabh Kant (CEO, NITI Aayog) has inaugurated the same on 28th January 2017.

20170128_123440design-innovation-center-inaugurationShri Amitabh Kant, Prof Devang Khakhar, Director; Prof Milind Atrey, Prof B K Chakravarthy and DIC team.

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Osmanabad Field Visit

How is agriculture really taking place in rural India? What are the real areas where design interventions are needed? This has been the focus of our many field visits. This time it was Osmanabad, Marathwada region, Maharashtra. Osmanabad is exactly midway between Mumbai and Hyderabad. 2017 began with a 3-day field visit to Osmanabad, Tuljapur and Bhum districts. We visited Sarola, Padoli, Barul, Nandora and Hadongri Village.

osmanabad-visit-35Hadongri Village, Osmanabad Taluka

We were lucky enough to visit dairy, poultry and crop farms. We saw harvests and hybrid hens; Gerberas in polytunnels, modern goat farms and dal milling units. We met grassroot innovators, gritty entrepreneurs and visited Krishi Vigyan Kendras, learning of various research, innovations and important problems they still face.

osmanabad-visit-43Toor Dal Harvest in progress, Osmanabad

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Nale Goat Farm

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Gerbera Polyhouse, Padoli

Most pertinently, we’ve listed our first level of observations. We saw many stages from harvesting to processing where design interventions are critical. These innovations need to be sensitive to local conditions and leverage local skills.

Now, we will put together our observations, brainstorm and build collaborations for projects that really impact these areas. Watch this space for more.

The Design Innovation Display at Techfest, 2016.

IIT Bombay’s Annual TechFest took place between 16th-18th December, 2016. We displayed Design Innovation Center projects at our stall here:

TechFest is Asia’s largest Science and Technology Festival. So understandably, we  had really large crowds thronging our display. We were surprised, a bit exhausted but very encouraged by the high enthusiasm levels and curiosity.

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A quick group photo at our display, before the crowds flow in.

 

The DIC teams explaining various projects to the enthusiastic crowds.

The Vaishno Devi Palkhi, Ajanta Palkhi and India Post Postal Trolley on display.

 

One of TechFest 2016’s highlights for us, was a visit by renowned American Physicist Bruce Allen. Bruce Allen, Physics Professor at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, is also Director, Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Hanover, Germany. He has most recently been in the news for leading the research on discovery of gravitational waves.

 

The crowds that flooded our stall.

Designing in Context: A visit to Lakudpada Village

Effective innovation demands a thorough understanding of Context. Professor B.K Chakravarthy of the Industrial Design Center, School of Design at IIT-Bombay— defines Context as the second “C” in his “7C’s of Design”. So naturally, with him as our principal investigator and guide, we are often coaxed to get out of those office chairs and immerse ourselves in the context before designing—meeting users in their homes and workplaces before designing for them.

We have 3 design projects exclusively focused on the rural sector: The water cart, the smokeless biomass stove and the drumstick plucker. But besides this, all our projects are designed with this large, untapped sector in mind. So on 29th September, all of us went en masse to visit the Lakudpada Village near Murbad, in the Thane District. 11:00 a.m, we started with a short group meeting of sorts, all the villagers gathered together for a discussion with us. Then, we spent the day meeting the villagers, visiting their water sources—two wells, a hand pump and the Shahi river; their homes and their village school.

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dsc_0478_1 meeting with Gram Shevak

We trekked the slippery, rocky 300ft stretch to the river with our inexperienced feet safely tucked in sneakers—no easy feat. The village women do this trek bare feet or with thin soled slippers, completing the uphill journey with 2- 3 water laden pots balanced on their head during summers.

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Aniket can be seen here at the hand pump, 400 to 500 meters away, speaking to the locals who informed him about summer queues so long that people often had to wait up to 2 hours for their turn.

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And then we visited their kitchens to see their traditional stoves or chulhas at work, we listened carefully as they enumerated the negatives and a few surprising positives too (the smoke even though it stings and burn their eyes, tends to keep insects away) and calculated the efficiency of their fuel (each of 30 sticks last about a week-see photo).

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Back to the city now, we are putting down our conclusions into reports, brainstorming on our insights and working hard at the drawing board, allowing the all-important C for “context “ to refine and redesign our Water cart and Stove.