A designer friend of mine recently asked an interesting question on twitter —

The hardest part about this question, especially for someone who thinks of data as having a higher degree of truth, is unseating THIS worldview and giving space for other disciplines (design is after all a growing mess of many disciplines anyway!) to dictate what gets “traded off” in each design alternative. You have to put in the effort to expand your understanding and vocabulary to have more reasons to describe why one design alternative is better than the other.

Often times that means drawing from usability…


Thanks to Morgan Housel for sharing their work on Unsplash.
  1. Respect your time
    If you don’t value or respect your time there’s no question of managing it. You have to believe that no matter what work situation you find yourself in, you have the first say when it comes to how your time is spent and that you are CHOOSING to spend it on a certain thing. Whenever you are presented with urgent requests for your time, ask yourself — is this worth MY time? Be frugal with attention, it is often limited in supply.
  2. What gets measured gets done
    The simple act of measurement and building evidence helps you become…

Early explorations in how Design Research can improve Access to Information & Civic-Engagement

A Fiscal Data Explorer with Himachal Pradesh(HP) as the focus state is being developed in collaboration between CivicDataLab and Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability(CBGA) supported by Tech4Dev. Part of the experimentation driven development process at CivicDataLab is doing research as a means to connect the pre, during and post phases of the project. When we start a project we ask ourselves — “What do we already know about who we are developing this platform for and how can we build on this knowledge?” …


The Future of Interaction Design was a two week workshop held in and around Udaipur to explore collective imaginations of menstrual health management in rural Rajasthan using participatory approaches. It was an interesting space to explore how creativity is negotiated in a shared space of formally trained designers and participants who came from the context with lived experiences around the subject.

Coming to terms with the “Why”

The reading at the beginning of the workshop, Appadurai’s The Capacity to Aspire, set the tone for me in terms of what could be the nature of our engagement with the incoming participants. We interacted with young women between…


This is an account of what I learned and observed in the various lectures and film screenings held during the Winter School of Oral History organised by the Center for Public History, Bengaluru in partnership with the Archives at the National Center for Biological Sciences.

“The environment is where we all meet; where all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share.” — Lady Bird Johnson

The theme of this year’s Winter School of Oral History is resonant with the pressing concerns of our time. In the wake of the adverse effects of climate change…


Introduction

The Resistance is a podcast episode, produced as part of the final output of the Speculative Design Studio at Srishti facilitated by Dr. Naveen L Bagalkot. The aim of the studio was to take a piece of writing from any source (mythology, science-fiction, folk tales, etc.) and render a techno-centric re-imagination drawing from the themes, characters and politics of the original story. I chose to work with Mimi Mondal’s story The Trees of My Youth Grew Tall which appeared in Strange Horizons, a weekly magazine of and about speculative fiction. Mimi is a Dalit woman from India who writes about…


Team B&B: Mahima Chandak and Thomson Muriyadan

A screen grab of the short film created for communicating our research idea

Based on the learnings from our previous stagings (read about it here) we revised our approach in engaging with the domestic help. An important learning was that the workplace and work hours were not suitable spaces for conducting our research. We decided to engage with the domestic help outside of this context, possibly at her residence and after her work hours. Instead of having a single activity of introducing the artefact and observing the interaction with it, we broke it down into a series of activities that were designed to incrementally build up…


Team B&B: Mahima Chandak and Thomson Muriyadan

Following our research interest in designing ways to give domestic workers access (in terms of creating, reading and updating) of information related to them (read part 1 of our project here), we realised that given the time and pace of the studio it would be more viable to narrow down our focus on the most relevant piece of data that affects them — ratings and reviews. This feature, available in the apartment management platforms, is an attempt at digitizing the already existing but unorganized processes that aid or work against the employment of…


Team B&B: Mahima Chandak and Thomson Muriyadan

Understanding apartment management platforms in Bengaluru

Many apartment complexes in Bengaluru are now being managed with the help of apps like Apna Complex, MyGate, Apartment Adda, etc. that can be used to keep track of everything from maintenance payments, to monitor entry and exit at the main gate, to being a community forum for people in the building to talk about what’s going on. Discussions in these forums and the usage of features like rating and reviewing domestic workers show how these apps are being used to actively quantify, qualify and control the lives of domestic workers [3]. While…


In his informal essay titled “Is there an Indian way of thinking?”, A.K Ramanujan starts off by exploring four possible interpretations of this central question using the Stanislavskian exercise for actors which involves asking the question differently each time, emphasizing a different keyword — “is”, “an”, “Indian” and “thinking”. He then illustrates the central characteristic, “inconsistency” and the inherent hypocrisy of Indian thinking, through the example of his father who is adept at Mathematics and Astronomy while simultaneously being a Sanskrit scholar and Astrologer. …

Thomson Muriyadan

Product Designer and Researcher | Mostly writes about work | Also writes on LinkedIn — https://bit.ly/ThomsonOnLinkedin

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