Students of Xplora Design Skool, as part of their foundation program, were given the challenge to find & solve pressing social issues from their local environment. The challenge was of 2 weeks duration in which they had to understand and run a Design Thinking project involving – broadly 3 stages: Exploration stage, Experimentation stage & Expression stage, these 3 stages cover the Problem finding & defining the domain, and, problem-solving domain. Whereby sensitizing students with steps in each of these stages i.e. Empathy, observation skills, scouting for problems and defining the problem they want to solve, idea generation & finally prototyping & testing the solution with a thematic exhibition.
With this objective, the “Young innovative minds” could address two of the pressing challenge of our city, Ahmedabad (July 2017) – “The Social Media –A boon or a curse” and “The Water concerns – Drainage systems, water pollution, and the water diseases.”
Which Social problems to take-up as the Design Project?
The project started with the Explore Stage, where the first step is observing,
Observation of the world around:
- spaces i.e. locations, objects, time
- people i.e. their actions and reactions, objectives
- activities i.e. events & feelings
To observe and find a problem/ challenge, the students went to field area “the city of Ahmadabad, the aim was to see if they could observe and notice problems faced by their fellow citizen. it was found that there was water logging in the city at several places, concerns related to flow of traffic, broken roads, lack of cleanliness, mosquitoes breeding, foul smell from garbage, concerns of municipality workers, activities undertaken by Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation and so on. Also, other observations around issues i.e. begging, stray cows on streets, child labor, traffic regulation etc.
The students then discussed for which broader domain to choose for these.
Brain Storming Brainstorming was a great help to zero down on one out of many Social issues observed. And that was “THE WATER CONCERNS” which was carried out to sort out the major components of the topic-WATER POLLUTION (STAGNANT WATER & DRAINAGE PROBLEMS).
Students define the problem narrowly – so as to be more effective followed by next empathizing with citizens to know their stories and experiences.
The team of students divided themselves for different activities of making questionnaires and how to develop well with rapport to building talked to the citizens, & documented the interview.
Interview Excerpt: While talking to one of a cleaning worker Gopilal an AMC WORKER, He said, A LOT OF DISEASES ARE SPREADING DUE TO WATER POLLUTION. Further, he said “People don’t use water carefully, wasting water and especially the cleanliness is a major issue as the gutters have been jammed due to dumping the wrappers and packets as most of the things are sold in packets nowadays, which ultimately chock the gutters up when rainwater flows into gutters. This results in an unwanted gathering of water all around and finally, diseases spread such as malaria, dengue cholera, typhoid and so on.”
He further said “We have to work without any protection during cleaning work. Work is difficult without proper equipment and support to protect ourselves. We need safety gloves when we enter areas which pose a threat to our lives. We risk our lives when we clean gutters and other polluted areas, which people hardly have an idea or care about. Water is an important entity to human life and, we will not have enough of clean water if we keep abusing it.
The students gathered information related to the topic from different sources like Wikipedia, google scholar, etc. Some of the team members talked to experts and noted their views. Different articles were collected from renowned newspapers, magazines, etc. Taking pictures and videos were also a major part of the research.
The students then went documenting the findings & learning and presenting it in a digital format.
Experiment stage, (The Problem Solving Domain)
Ideation: The main Idea that emerged was to project the reasons behind health issues or the culprits that spread diseases, found in the surroundings that are, Mosquitoes, cockroaches and House flies. The students then debated on various areas & they realized that the best would be to create a communication campaign for the people i.e. ‘An Awareness Campaign’. The team zeroed on creating a large-scale model that would shock the citizens simply by its size.
The Message: Keep Clean, Stay safe, stay healthy
Making of the mood board from research material was the next stage.
Experimenting & Expressing stage
Students then made Prototype, creating a tangible experience y making A 3D Larger than Life Model was made out of waste
The Project Idea of making the installation was a result of intensive research and the design process which completed successfully in 14 days of hard work and dedication. The project was greatly appreciated when it was kept open to the parents, student’s friends, and the general public. The student team invited media persons to cover the same so that citizens of the city could be made aware and spread the message.
The Team: The students’ team of Xplora Design Skool -Milan Viramgama, Raivat Joshi, Jaitri Kansara, Zeel Shah, Ashutosh Pandey and Mimi Chhangte,
Appreciation by Local Newspapers of Ahmedabad,
Xplora Design Skool is India’s Premier Digital Design & Media education i.e. Animation, Graphics & Web Company present at numerous Campuses in India & China. Xplora received the prestigious ‘Shiksha Bharti Puraskar’ for training and providing employment to 1,00,0000+ students over the last 18+ years, and, ‘Indian Leadership Award for Education Excellence’ by Indian Economic Development & Research Association for excellent curriculum and courses. Xplora offers the only International pathway program (with Canada) in Digital Media Design in India, a BCA DESIGN program with Dr. BabaSaheb Ambedkar Open University & 51+ Vocational Job oriented programs. Collaborations with Red River College Canada, Chitrakatha – National Institute of Design, and BAOU enrich the offerings. Xplora program is also running in Guiyang, Nanjing & Beijing in China.
Xplora pioneered the Design Thinking, Lean & Agile methods in India and over the last decade has not only developed inherent capabilities in the digital, media & design domain but also helped organizations in developing innovation capabilities using these through its sister concern Innovation & Research Foundation.