Investigating open design using jugaad as a cultural probe

Hasan, Aleena
Design democratization has been a growing movement around the world, blurring the boundary between the roles of users and designers and encouraging design-after-design that makes the process of designing more inclusive. Open Design is one such approach that encourages no limits in terms of the kind, time, or space of the contribution. While a very primary attribute of this approach is inclusivity, there is a lack of exploration in terms of actual application of the process in a tangible product design process and in particular contexts. This thesis intends to explore the implications of an Open Design process in the context of a developing country where a lack of in-house production and resources empower users to be involved in their own making processes and practices. Jugaad is one such cultural practice where people innovate in the name of necessity: they personalize, adapt, re-use or upgrade whatever is available to find make-shift solutions for their very contextual problems. This thesis investigates Open Design practices where Jugaad is used as a cultural probe, putting participant designers at the center of a research through design process. Two workshops were conducted that asked participants to design alternative solutions for a home appliance (upright cleaner). The workshops required participants to take an Open Design approach, using Jugaad as a cultural probe. The insights are presented at the end where the adaptation of this unconventional method of designing positively influenced the experience of designers, inspired them to empathize with the user group more and made them view products from a totally different perspective.


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Citation Formats
A. Hasan, “Investigating open design using jugaad as a cultural probe,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2021.