Sunday, 26 February 2012


- Nicolai Nazareth

During the Galatin course, we brushed upon and delved into several concepts and terms, some new and some not so much. Glocal, globalization, cultural heritage and identity, local and sustainability are just a few. The Jugaad beyond jargon course was a smooth transition  since sustainability was a key point stressed upon on several occasions during the galatin course. My mind was set in a particular mold which facilitated easier understanding of this new one.

The term Jugaad was new to me, though I was familiar with the concept. The extent and feasibility with which Aravind Gupta executed it was simply inspirational. Its beauty lies in its simplicity, and I would love to actually have a chance to work with him.

Thus having a previous learning of sustainability and then being duly inspired I was ready to work. looking back, however, I feel I started off with my head in the clouds. I was dreaming of big change and I was expecting it fast. I was put in place in time, during extensive research, where I found out how radical change was not really a sustainable solution. Modification of systems and slow implementation was a more practical approach, specially since it involved changing the behavioural patterns of people. I had to work around the people and not make them work around me.

The most concrete learning experience I had was learning about different human mentalities (mainly those involved in the process of designing for a specific client) and how to constantly keep them in mind. It was a pillar that would keep any project proposal standing. It involved understanding how I had to make the changes personally profitable (not necessarily on monetary terms, even though one of the ideas my group presented did provide an economic benefit). No one was going to use anything I had to suggest unless it made them feel good about themselves. Guilt trips about saving the environment would only go so far.

Even though I regret not being able to execute my ideas, and I was stuck at the proposal level, I feel I learnt a lot that would be involved at the corporate level. The work we did was detailed and extensive. It provided a fresh outlook on what to expect, and it was a big learning. It was a big jump from doing college projects to meet the expectations of what is entailed in the real world. I thoroughly appreciated it even if didn't enjoy doing it as much. It was an experiential learning that I felt I really needed to go through.

The icing on the cake was the feedback we received when we presented our ideas to our peers. The affirmation to its implementation still makes me believe that the idea has potential to bringing about change, however small it may be. As I have always believed, the way to change the world is with one small change at a time.

Sunday, 12 February 2012


At the end of four intense weeks of looking beyond jargon, I realize now that I have come full circle. I am a little more informed and a little more conscious, but the levels of requirement for these have also increased two-fold.

At the beginning of this class, I was fascinated by jugaad. Now, not only does it fascinate me, it also gives me a real complex about my thinking process, given that I have a tough time taking things apart and putting it back together differently.

I would like to exemplify what the last four weeks looked like with a viral-on-Facebook approach.

     Expectation: Food. How hard can that be? We should break down transportation too, so we can ride the bus to school.

     Reality: No matter how much you try, everything has it's own problems and loopholes.

Another thing I realized is that I don't have any real idea how to even approach a problem. After a lot of trial and error, I think we finally managed to get most of the steps done, even if not chronologically.

Thunk in India represented by Suren, was a refreshing perspective on sustainability, where it was based less on preaching to people to cut down on their consumption and was a more realistic approach with how their waste could be reused. On some level, we tried to accommodate that in our approach to our food crisis.

In a lot of ways, our project was something were we got the ball rolling and it took on a life of its own. The Jhoota Hi Sahi campaign was supposed to be for awareness and slightly for intervention, but we managed to create a new, slightly more efficient model out of it. It also pushed people to be more conscious, to the point where I was sought out at dinner so I could see how someone had (almost) licked his plate clean.

Aayushi and I roamed around the cafeteria, feeling a little like monitors to that space, and many people were not as laid back as they would have been if we weren't taking rounds, but all in all, it made people think about their food, and that's really all we could ask for.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Reflections? Learnings? More like Change in Mindset

I didn’t even realize how much I’d grown out-of-touch with my passion for sustainability till this course happened. I’ve always tried to be environment-conscious, probably because of the values I picked up in my School, where being an environment-aiding, self-sustaining community was given a huge importance. But for whatever reasons, I’d stopped being that conscious of my actions and their consequences. Until a week back that is!

That, I feel is the biggest learning I can take from this, or any course, because that realization of the loss of my consciousness and my subsequent attempt at amending the same is something that shall stay with me for life. Not that that means I’m doing big, huge things, but the little, little actions that may just be a drop in the ocean but are also the building blocks of the same ocean.

Last week when I bought groceries, I realised that I had no immediate use for the cardboard boxes, which is why I’d throw them away, rendering them utterly useless and adding to the waste. Then, when I needed them for projects, I’d end up buying fresh cardboard. So, this time I decided to hoard those boxes and hopefully, will be able to put them to use before I run out of room space! I’ve stopped overcharging my laptop and make it a point to switch off all plug points when I leave class, if I’m the last one to leave. Also, I got my mother interested in getting a bio-conversion chamber constructed at home and switching to the eco-friendlier “soap nuts” from detergent. If nothing else, I have convinced her to at least start by not dumping organic waste, but rather decomposing it, even if the manure is not used.

On a different but related note, I was extremely inspired by the products of “Thunk in India” both as a designer and as a customer because of the amazing balance of aesthetics and sustainability in their products. I remember having seen products made of tetra packs etc. before and lamenting that no one would buy them because they were just too darn ugly for people to actually be comfortable using them. At that point, I’d felt really bad about the fact that despite the designer’s intentions being honorable, the products wouldn’t do well, at which point I lost hope for sustainability at some level. I think “Thunk in India” managed to resurrect that hope of mine and how!

Monday, 23 January 2012

Magnitude and direction

Projects and Members




Logo attempt 2


This is meant to be a quality check stamp to be put on the bottom right corner of all the documents as a mark of certification citing that it meets the criteria stated.

                         - First Version

                           - Basic Iteration
These is the basic iteration and the first version

I would appreciate feedback so I can change it accordingly

Day 2 class discussion

GreeneRRRRy Part 2

This is the modified version of the logo, according to the feedback received. Please critique it!

Iterations: Logo

Give me feedback so I can modify it. :)

Refuse-Reduce-Reuse-Recycle the philosophy of jugaad

As an essential prerequisite to human existence, India since time immemorial has been discoursing about sanctity of the “being”-the conscious awareness. It identifies an individual among a greater cosmic existence as an interdependent liberty. It does not separate individual from nature and vice versa as it is evident from the four Mahavakyas; the foundations of Indian schools of philosophy


In broader terms it says that creator at any point is not separate from the consequences of the created and what presumably separates one from the other is only the ignorance. This highlights the responsibility of a creator for his creation and its consequence.

This also simplifies to a great extend the social construct of Indian society who tries to find a sane connection to anything and everything surround their life.  It seeks permission from the tree, and the birds live in its branch before it being cut. It does not glaze the pottery for the fear of not going back to nature.  It does not consider single possibility for an outcome or a product; it tries to find alternate use to extend its life span.  It finds creative ways of recycling things and thinking in “ jugad ways” to re-contextualize things and thinking where coffee powder and Horlicks is marketed in storage containers!

 It certainly doesn’t discount the profit and production but as we have no other space other than our limited earth to sustain our life and for the generations to come, it calls for an approach that is more realistically practical –upholding the sanctity of interdependence and values to sustain it.

At the onset of 21st century, when the world is trying to come in terms with climatic changes, exhausting resources, mounding solid, chemical and other wastes, depleting energy sources, it slowly but steadily is opening up to this realization- the need for a decisive approach, an holistic understanding of systems.  Today the leaders of the world is not talking about the improved speed of our computing or rockets that dominate outer space, but they are talking about the approach that we have to develop to address the sustenance of essential life systems undone by our deeds – the indiscriminating consumption and greed. They are now talking about the need for an  holistic approach to handle these issues, "the approaches" that are more bound with values and collective systems, things oriental cultures had been championing since long.

There are many approaches in India that are in line with this awareness and one of the prominent among them is recycling.  It is an intervention to consumerist world’s action and its disastrous consequences.  The more we consume more will be the waste and more will be the depletion of our precious resources and at the same time it is also impractical to ask people to stop consumption in capitalistic world.  Here, India acts more pragmatically by suggesting the longevity of the journey that an idea/material/object becoming waste by finding alternate use (jugaad) or converting to another idea/material/object  (recycling) so that less resource is exploited, less waste is created and still it severs the purpose.  This is the philosophy the world now talks about – the recycling/ reusing approach, the essential approach for any designer.

There is an anecdote in Jataka tales wherein it narrates the dialogue between Buddha and his disciple exemplifying this argument.  One day one of Buddha’s disciples was lighting a lamp with a wick made out of a torn cloth. On this Buddha asked him “ why is he using a good cloth for making wicks?” The disciple politely replied that he made it from his old dhoti.  But dissatisfied with his answer Buddha countered him saying “ you could have used cloth for much better purpose” the disciple again replied “ sir, but I first used my old dhoti as bed sheet, after long time I used it as towel and pillow cover, again after a long time I used it as foot mats and then only I used it for the wicks…” smiling at him Buddha said “ now you are a Buddha you started living…”

This may be an exaggerated situation but reflects design answer from India for many alarming issues in contemporary living.

Sunday, 22 January 2012


In the centre is Earth and there are two drops on it. One drop in blue is to show water and the other one is green to show greenery. Together they define the environment. The four arrows revolve around it like a cycle to show the 4r's nescessary to preserve the environment. 

Trial 2
The R is formed out of Recycle, Reuse and Reduce. The E is formed out of Refuse. Together it show's all the 4 R's with the focus on RE.

I tried to design the 'Sustainability Gene' any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Infinite Knot (updated)

Infinite knot made out of 4. It doesn't have a definite start or and end. Can be started at any level. The loop is inevitable. 

REminder: Logo

The connotations of 'Re' are a multitude of things that have to do with (re)appropriating
things into newer contexts. 


A functional design approach: How a whole when broken down to it's constituent parts can be free-assembled and reused.

Jugaad beyond Jargon

Course Description:

This course is aimed at building-up awareness on the need for design sensibility to human ecology and arriving at sustainable solutions.
The course will explore the larger connected context for the Jugaad as one of the viable but also an economic, environmental and culture friendly practice.   Therefore, rootedness of it in Indian context, the imperative need for conscious adaptation and development of entrepreneurial models for practice, production, distribution and more importantly, the re-instilling of the Jugaad practice as the cultural attitude.

 In this context, the course will visit the Gandhian / Nehruvian and other ideologies of self-sustenance and examine their relevance in present-day context, as policy practice in the developing economies.  Also contrast Jugaad practice to other models of sustainable design practices for exploring the relative merits & downside of Jugaad in the back drop of economic and cultural impact of Globalization. These are a few angles of argument / pointers that this course engages with the aim of enthusing & enabling the students to develop an approach to channelize their skills towards a practice of 'social design', with sense of responsibility and pride.  

Course Schedule

Day 1 – 19th (Thursday)
AM: Introduction:   

Introduction to the philosophy  of Refuse, Reduce , Reuse and  Recycle with an emphasis on systemic approach with social responsibility. Inspiration and inputs will be drawn from successful oriental practices, Gandhian philosophy,
Socio-economic models and enterprises.

Documentary films/ Ted talks by Arvind Gupta, Anupam Mishra

PM: Assignment/ exercise:  collect junk from immediate environ and design
useful / aesthetic / communicative artifacts.

Intro to the format of Mapping the life cycle of a product / system and expanding the steps into a creative representation / expression  by visiting Ravivari

Day 2- 22nd (Sunday)

Survey of Ravivari.

Map the life cycle of a product / system and expanding the steps into a creative representation / expression

Day 3 – 23rd  (Monday)
Discussion and presentation of their ravivari product cycle maps.
Identification of area of application and project buildup by students
Intro to course project:   ‘Jugaad’ as an ideology & as an Indian argument for ‘sustainable’ sustainability solution to green economy.
      DIY / re/up-cycling system design,
      Exploring seed ideas / areas of applicability for Indian context.
      Poster design & Personal argument as assignment.

Day 4 – 24th (Tuesday)

story of the stuff
Ideas of entrepreneurial models,   – talk by Rustam
course project continues – present final ideas with preliminary research.

Day 5 – 25th (Wednesday)
Classroom discussion on Thunk design and waste management models of kanika etc. 
Project progress review

Day 6 – 30th (Monday)
 Review @ 12
Discussion of display idea.
Day 7 – 31st (Tuesday)
Final Display.
Summery of learning from the course – group presentation & discussion— course documentation with reflective note.

Copyright (c) Srishti School of Art Design & Technology, Bangaluru