Design in the School Classrooms : ICoRD 2015 paper presentation

This is the paper that I presented at the International Conference on Research in Design 2015, held at IISc, Bangalore, January 7-9th. The paper deals with my experiences with Design Thinking and how we are using that in the work at the Happy Horizons Trust, to improve the quality of education through various activities and projects.

The paper was co-authored by one of my student Jean Haag, a final year Transcultural Design student at L’école de design Nantes Atlantique, India Studio. 

Paper Abstract :
For Design to change from its elitist image, there is a need to implant the value of design from a young age, because design is not just elite. The impression of Design to be a tool for Problem Solving (in its analytical, rational and intuitive thinking) is of most importance.  There can be no better place to inculcate the values of Design than in the schools. Fundamentals of Design, when integrated with the pedagogy, can result in better forms of learning and a shift from the traditional forms of rote learning. Tools like Visual minutes, understanding typography, design thinking patterns, critical analysis, gamification, etc can result in a better way of problem solving and hence learning. We applied these through different activities held in schools across India and across different demography and take inspiration from the findings of these to present in this paper. In the end the paper proposes tools from the world of design that can and should be adapted to the activities done in the schools, in order to present a better learning environment and quality.

Drop me a note, if you would like to read the complete paper, and I shall mail it across.

2 thoughts on “Design in the School Classrooms : ICoRD 2015 paper presentation

  • Greetings!
    I’d first share this quote- “INDIA (has got Technology! It) NEEDS DESIGN”
    Well, glad to see things progressing for the Basic-Level, by some ‘concerned thinkers’ like you around. Maybe, you should check this: Should Design Education, as a Subject, be introduced at School Level in India?: And this, Pavan Misra’s (an NID grad) further take on this, here: Still, I’d say not much effort has been put-in by the India Design Council (the apex Design body in India) ever since its inception; with some Design workshops happening in selected Design Schools across India, mostly happening in NID only. Don’t know, but most of the Design workshops are self-initiated by the colleges, which, in a way, fail to contribute to the ‘Awareness’ aspect of ‘DESIGN’s Impact/Importance’ beyond other fields/professions. I’m sure, you’re very well aware of the fact how active is the Design Council, UK. Recent major Design development in the US can be seen with the formation of the ‘Design For America’ (DFA) initiative. DFA is inter-cross-linking schools, institutes, universities like the Stanford, MIT, Yale, Uni. of Cincinnati, RISD & many more; opening DFA studios within each (Here for example the Stanford DFA: ). All these projects emphasize on ‘Design for Social Impact’.
    And India Design Council is doing nothing! I believe we should, STOP THINKING Out Of The Box, & rather START ACTING Out Of The Box. Also, Design colleges should not work & most importantly should not ‘learn’ in isolation. DESIGN in itself is a collaborative discipline. There should be initiatives (We’re currently working on this) designed, with cross-institute, multi-institute & trans-institute approach that would be “really” very important & helpful, in order for us to solve the most pressing issues, known or yet unknown.
    Lastly, as they say, “Design Can Change The World!”. I’d go a step further saying; “Only Design Can Change The World!” 🙂
    I’d end with a question, my research topic : In a country, how might we measure the level of Design Awareness against the level of Design Education? Design Education = Design Awareness | Design Education > Design Awareness | Design Education < Design Awareness

    A request, could you please email me the full paper? I'd really appreciate. My email:
    Many thanks!

    Chaitanya V.S Bist
    National Spotter
    INDEX: Design To Improve Life®

    [Disclaimer: The above is a personal opinion and not based on anyone, any company or any institute in particular. The example given is purely coincidental and does not intend to demean or harm anyone’s capability or reputation.]


      May 18, 2015 at 8:33 pm Reply

      Indeed Chaitanya. Thanks for your comment.
      Will mail across the complete paper to your address.

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