“Trying to Understand, What I have understood”


This blog is a reflection of our recent study tour to Udaipur. The title of the we workshop program we participated in was called“Thinking through technological things & Future of IxD ”. We were students from 3 disciplines namely Design led innovation, Human centered design and Professional practices in experience design. We were 14 in number coming from different places and professions. We were given the basic schedule of the trip .Like most courses in Srishti School of Design, the outcomes of the trip were pretty organic and open ended. The major task of the workshop was to collaborate with adolescents who were associated with Jatan Sanstha (NGO working with the rural population of the state of Rajasthan) and participating in different sessions which were based on life skills, social skills, culture, health, eco-friendliness etc. Also facilitating them in understanding “Design “and “Design thinking “. On the other hand ,throughout the journey of 12 days we had master classes where we were being taught by designers, artists, social workers and entrepreneurs bringing in wide ranging contrasting perspectives.

Free love

During the 5 days we have spent in aastha training centre ,there was a different positive vibe altogether. It was nowhere close to my daily routine in terms of place, people, environment ,food or timings but I never felt out of place .That’s because of the kind of genuine love and affection these kids showed towards me , they considered me as a part their gang. They forced me into conversations, they told stories, blank fired me with so many questions ,that I had hardly any time to think of all those above factors I mentioned. These guys gave me soo much of attention, it made me think twice before I spoke anything because I wanted to make absolute sense. After all day of work, I used to get very exhausted and always wanted to jump on to the bed ,but the moment I reached our room they used to play some music and we all danced until the speakers gave up.

Where am I getting all this energy from?

Now let’s talk about my efficiency , my efficiency according me was much greater in terms quality , quantity and scale as compared to the work that I have done. At college,it was just a another assignment for me but here I had a huge responsibility as the kids had great expectations from me . Little things I did gained a lot of appreciation which gave me a lot of power to push my limits and extend my wisdom .Above all, these guys tried personally connecting to me which gave a me sense of belonging . In Bangalore, I stay with 2 other in students in a paying guest accommodation,where any given point of time 2 of us would be sleeping .Whereas here we were together all the time ,for that matter of fact we all had bath in the open air .These things sound small but make all the difference in the world. In our education system ,we bring in all sorts of frameworks to improve efficiency,but it’s time that we try kindness as a skill or framework to be incorporated in our education system.

Why are these guys giving so much importance and respect to a 22yr old guy who hardly achieved anything in life?

My definition and scale of achievement might be something else, but joining a design school and talking in fluent English is a big achievement for those children. Basically they found some value in me, that’s why they were behind me and I wasn’t behind them. When I started introspecting, I realized that these guys where behind me just like I am behind my faculty mesmerized by their aura and the kind of achievement they had, so I found value in them . I don’t know where we will end up if we extend this logic thread .That’s how we are tricked to think .Let me take an example of a sport, If I play with an expert player I learn the sport, If I play with a amateur player I am bored, but on the other hand we don’t realize that the expert player is also getting bored in the process of teaching me the game. We were always taught to look up to somebody but now we have to sometimes look down on somebody who is looking up to us.

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When it comes to my ideas I am very possessive and insecure, the system promoted me to be self-centered. I was introduced to the concept of ownership and plagiarism at a very early stage of life. In this work shop we took a very collaborative approach where we shared work, ideas and skills it brought a whole new dimension to the output . It further reduced a lot of stress on an individual level.

Organic learning

I strongly believe that we all reflective practitioners. The more resources we have that reflects in diverse knowledge, the better we can interact with the resource and better impressions are formed on us for it. After the workshop, I have realised that learning through travel creates a better registry of information as it’s not static like class room. The dynamic nature of our workshop introduced us to artefacts which didn’t necessarily give us an insight but acted as hook for us to register information. When a learning system is evolved in an organic way with practical experience it becomes easy to practice the knowledge we have gained. In this journey, I was introduced to a new concept of “open school”, which was very fascinating and interesting. On the other hand,going to a regular school is aspiration which is not generating expected outputs.

I feel only once everybody experiences the regular school then their value frame shifts to “open school”.

Whom am I fighting with?

The biggest challenge of a human being is to figure out how he or she is going to spend given time on earth as tenants and go away. To extend to that ,there are 2 aspects which are deeply interlinked to each other which help you to decide how you can spend time!

1) Personality — Helps you to locate yourself

2) Way of life — Helps you to navigate

Now , talking about me , I consider myself a creative person and I use tools like sensibility and logic to define my way of life .In the journey of my workshop, some information is showing me a new scope to alter my way of life and some is breaking the logic that I have built over the years . Especially my notions on women empowerment, menstruation, human trafficking, slow food movement and veganism .

Initially I was really angry, angry on whom?

My father for not practicing organic farming in spite for having a major in agriculture.My school for not teaching me about sex education .My society which has been giving me all the WRONG information. I am sure the people and organisations I am angry with also rely on somebody else to get their information.

Why this wrong information is widely speared and accepted?

Where is it coming from?

Later, I started questioning the credibility of the source and validity of information I believed to be the truth. I felt vulnerable with the huge data vacuum we are surrounded with. Everybody believes in some assumptions

“I wonder how everybody completely believes in what they believe “