Full Title: Design opportunity mapping for the small scale sector - bringing real life scenario into classroom education
Although the semi organized sector consisting of a large number of small scale industries and craft clusters in India together comprise a huge section in terms of both human resource and economy, it has been largely neglected. They face typical issues and problems not traditionally dealt with by industrial designers.
What role can designers play in such set-ups? How can design intervention strategies and innovation models help them? How is it possible to bring this learning and experience into design education in the classrooms? These are some of the issues dealt with in this paper Real life projects were taken up as classroom projects for industrial design students with small scale industries and craft clusters in the sectors of toy, ceramic and glass. Design methodology with a strong emphasis on systems approach and creative practices was used. Systems thinking helped in understanding the complex relationships between the various social-cultural-economic parameters within each of the sectors. Contextual inquiry led to scenario mapping and helped in coming up with strategies for each of the sectors. These strategies were taken forward to be realized in the form of tangible designs.
The class room case studies show how bringing real life experiences into classroom education helped the design students to understand the ground reality and face the multiple challenges of working in this sector. The industries and craft clusters got an exposure to design practices as well as some concrete results in terms of tangible designs. Design could be a powerful tool for change not only for the well established industries with huge turnovers but also for enterprises within the small semi organised sector.
These case studies helped in developing design methods to integrate systems approaches and creative practises effectively in order to come up with design strategies and products. The methods establish the important role of design in coming up with design briefs within ‘problem/opportunity’ spaces. It also helped in evolving teaching-guiding practices for bringing real life scenarios into classroom education