Thoughts, thus Design

Lately I have come to realize that there are thoughts that float all around us, some of them are recognized and become solutions to various problems in life while some of them are to futuristic to be true considering the present scenario ( and technology) and are thus rejected. They become part of some book in which lies all these ideas and more. These problems could exist in the real world or in the digital world.

The nature of evolution it seems is to solve problems at each step possible in order to help our future generations. Why else does it seem necessary that a mach 3 by Gillet is the ultimate product, that one product we cannot live without. At one point I had started questioning if a particular solution was actually required ? Were there no solutions available to the user in the present market ? Be it technological solutions or a simple pat on the back ( which turns out to be the best solution till date !) were they not  available ?

Surprisingly I was questioning my role in the bigger picture. We as design students have the responsibility to bridge the gap between technology and arts. This is a reason why design is know as a multi disciplinary stream. It is this nature of design that we are trying to understand? Am I  confused about design. Yes. And I love to be confused about design. Every new thing, every new product, a solution, be it the stone that blocked the door from slamming back or the piece of fabric that saved the dining table from having a permanent tattoo, all of it is design. And that’s not all when it comes to design. Wow, what a field. Hence, thoughts thus answers, and thus thoughts thus design.

Recently, while sitting in the cafeteria at NID Bangalore, I noticed that the chair we were sitting on could be placed on  the table by its shoulder and wondered if this would allow the cleaners to sweep and mop the floors better and also kill the noises created while continuously shifting the chairs. As usual ( and always) my idea was targeted and ridiculed. Iv been in a similar situation before and have learnt from them that the moment there is a certain  level of ridicule, the idea could be worthwhile. I smiled and picked up all the chairs in the cafeteria and placed them on the table by their shoulders. After this I forgot about having done this until today.

I got caught up in a meeting with my professor and ended up having my lunch a little late than usual. I went to the cafeteria to see that all the chairs were placed haphazard suggesting the space was recently used.  I saw the cleaning staff ready to mop and sweep the floor and to my amazement I saw them placing the chairs on the tables by their shoulders. I got up and started asking them if this helped them clean the place better. If it helped them save time by not moving the chairs around every time they mop the floor ? Apparently it did help them. One of the ladies told me that she is expected to clean the place in 10 mins and considering the space and the number of chairs, it took her around 20 mins.

Now was that design ?

Whether it is or not, this experiment was a good success  and I am glad It helped the “targeted audience ” in a certain way.

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4 Responses to Thoughts, thus Design

  1. Angie says:

    I suppose the reward is in watching the proposed solution actually working for this ‘target audience’ and making their life easier…which is at the heart of design.

  2. hemang says:

    This is genius! 🙂

  3. Narayan V says:

    Kartik,
    Good…..and keep thinking. Always ask yourself:” Can this be done in a different manner or a better manner ?”
    You will get answers as you go on pondering.
    Often, you will find that there is a lot of ego around and the reply you get is generally “This should be done only this way”
    All the best !

  4. notnarayanshankar says:

    Thanks a lot for all the comments.

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