Monthly Archives: November 2016

New Design Thinking Framework

Ajinkya phase 2


Image of the world

I envision a product that breaks away from people’s conventional notion of just reading time and rather helps them connect & understand it.

I believe that creativity and innovation lies in looking at something from a different perspective. To address our current global issues, we need to step back & relook at the problems in an unconventional way, validate them from different lenses

This project is about helping people understand the importance of time. In the rapidly developing world around us, it is an entity that is not controlled by us. If we look at time from biological lens, we realise that important it is for people to connect and align their body clocks with natural time to lead a healthy and sustainable life.



The objective of the project is help people connect with their body clock. The project address the issue about body’s “biological clock” or circadian rhythm and how it gets affected by Sunlight. Sunlight is the primary source of energy for our planet, without which nothing would exist, it is the governing power which keeps our systems in check. The light helps our body realise whether it is time to rest or eat or work. But most of the people work in closed offices with white light where they lose the perception of natural time and it may have adverse effects on their health.


Opportunities & Challenges

Challenge here is how do we help address this simple yet crucial issue with an effective yet simple feasible design solution. People do not choose to work in an atmosphere where they are deprived of natural light. There are multiple socioeconomic conditions here that we need to consider. These conditions become design constraints that define the product.



My vision of the world is of people leading healthy life. A world where people are better connected with nature and their body. The solution of this problem would help people stay in sync with their circadian rhythm. The time is the most important thing that drives our ecosystem. Not only it’s a most valuable unit and currency, it is also a 4th dimension in our world.


I envision a solution that takes form of a physical device that sits in the same space with user. Which is soothing & comforting for the user and does feel out of place. Since the product is going to be source of light, its ability to emit light would direct the way form would shape up. How to make it emit maximum light at the same time preserving the uniqueness of the concept.


My thoughts

While modifying this framework, I realised that how changing a single component can yield a different result. I started with image of the world and as I moved across the circle, I realised myself on an entirely different journey in the same domain. More I think about it, it makes me realise how different paths can boil down to totally diverse design projects


Final CATTt – Phase 2

Ajinkya phase 2


This project is about helping people understand the importance of time. In the rapidly developing world around us, it is an entity that is not controlled by us. If we look at time from biological lens, we realise that important it is for people to connect and align their body clocks with natural time to lead a healthy and sustainable life.

This project talks about body’s “biological clock” or circadian rhythm and how it gets affected by Sunlight. Sunlight is the primary source of energy for our planet, without which nothing would exist, it is the governing power which keeps our systems in check. The light helps our body realise whether it is time to rest or eat or work. But most of the people work in closed offices with white light where they lose the perception of natural time and it may have adverse effects on their health.



One example is the medication, specifically vitamin supplements. Ideally we are supposed to take our vitamins from the nature and natural food. But due to over daily lives, as we fall short of those vitamins, we rely on external artificial sources to keep our body requirements in check.

In simple words the analogy can be explained as, the need of this product is same as the vitamin supplements.



Circadian rhythm:
Circadian rhythmicity is present in the sleeping and feeding patterns of animals, including us. There are also clear patterns of core body temperature, brain wave activity, hormone production, cell regeneration, and other biological activities. In addition, photoperiodism, the physiological reaction of organisms to the length of day or night, is vital to both plants and animals, and the circadian system plays a role in the measurement and interpretation of day length.


This product is primarily targeted towards the people working in close spaces or spending most of their day in an environment where access to natural sunlight light is not possible.



Tale can be crafted from the users point of view. i.e. the person deprived of natural sunlight, who has issues with sleeping, eating leading to possible health hazards for the simple reason that he is not able to sync with the circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm helps him check his body clock

And now this solution comes in the picture which helps him stay in sync with the body clock. A product which simulates similar daylight experience indoor and allowing the user to get sync his body clock.

Reflections on fabrication methods

Ajinkya Spheres

The different ways of making sphere made me wonder how closely it relates to the method of problem solving. When we start finding solutions to a problem, there are practically numerous ways to approach a problem, and all those approaches would take us on different journeys and experiences. We not only learn and explore new stuff along the way, the efforts and the outcomes also changes to certain extent. Interesting thing is, there never is a wrong result or one perfect way to solve a problem, it is highly contextual. The approach we take to solve any problem is often defined by the constraints we have. For example – Time, Costs, Material, Efforts, Resources Etc.

In the sphere context, it all started with one basic motive – to create spheres. And these images posted below give us sense of how different methods can generate different results to the same topic.



I feel whittling as an activity resembles with the design process in an interesting way. Here I’ll demonstrate my thoughts with an example.

In a design process – we often start with an intent or an aim that we want to achieve. We do some research, understand the facts and study material/medium. This helps us comprehend the status and the constraints. After doing the initial analysis, we chalk out a plan of action that would lead us to our final desired result. As we start working towards it, more & more insights start to unveil. These insights, make us take an informed decision on our next move. We dynamically adjust the actions to make sure we are on the right path towards our final motive.

And now in our current context – We started with an Intent which was to create a sphere from a block of wood. While whittling, we started by examining the status and contrarians while working on wood. Ex. How wood grains affect and help the whittling. After analysing and studying the block we created a plan of action. Ex. Something like finding the centre, creating a circle, then starting with all edges and corners first, also trying to maintain symmetry as we start carving. Now every time we carved out a tiny chunk of wood we observe and redefine our next step, which would lead us to that perfect sphere we all aspire. Every step we took was like an insightful feedback for our journey towards the final product.



Turning can be looked as an approach similar as whittling, where we follow a top down approach. Starting with a block of wood and ending up with spheres by removes all the excess material. When we started with a block of empty wood, it practically means unlimited possibilities. One can create any thing as he goes carving down that block. Turning also gives you flexibility to improvise as we start crafting the design. Although the machine assist gives us the speed. it limits the creating to axially symmetrical objects produced by lathe machine.



Now casting differs vaguely from the other processes. Since this is a process used for mass production, it focuses on quantity and efficiency. Once we have the template/mould ready creating multiple perfect spheres becomes very easy. It kind of reminds of the design going across the world where designers are just blindly copying the other design without considering all the aspects. One can argue that currently healthcare seems to be moving in this direction. Where rigid policies are set like a mould, and later all the outcomes just blindly follow the set regulation without a second thought. And most of the alterations end up being skin lever cosmetic changes.


3D Printing

3D printing is a method that demands a predefined design where all the parameters are set, values are defined, crucial aspects are considered and outcomes are anticipated beforehand. There is no scope to improvise and learn on the go. Once the process starts it can not be stopped or altered.  Although all of this sounds negative, I find this method most useful and efficient. It address the current design needs where we are creating complex designs using CAD. It gives precision of microns that’s is required by the current design practices. Where tolerances are on a scale that can not be achieved by hand work. One can relate to the methods used in writing on paper. And compare hand writing and modern printers. Although hand written content has special value, it can not compete with the printers.

What and So what?

What-Childhood time is one of the most important time in every aspect. We learn all sort of things like running, emotion, friendship, sense. I still feel there is a room for improvement and as we are moving forward it is limiting to the elite class. Good schools are limited to people with money. One thing bothers me the most is what about the minority or low income families? what a child will do if you tell him/her this? Children of this age need more resources and facilities to groom themselves. It is more important to give them equal opportunity and so I am working on a thesis report that will address these issues and will propose some solution to this.

So what-In this report I plan to include some low cost equipment details that can spark the creativity at an early stage of childhood. These equipment can be installed within a school campus. This will give them early access to technology and science world. Because what we learn now a days is different from what we apply. If we can apply reverse engineering to this process then it will be a good hands-on learning. It might go further than that and we probably will see more students participating in a science fair.

New CATTt target

I am applying new target to CATTt.
It’s a small tool and you can not apply this thing to bigger objects. Although it was a 3D printed setup but it can break-off easily and once it is broken it has to be replaced. Once you have broken it or its too small then you might want to upgrade to a better setup and there was no better setup from the team.
Method becomes invention when it relies on analogy and chance
The piece of tech that I selected for this is ‘Google Cardboard’. It was the first of its kind and promotes virtual reality(VR). The platform is intended as a low cost system to encourage interest and development in VR application. Users can either build their own viewer from simple, low-cost components using specifications published by Google, or purchase a pre-manufactured one. The viewer is used by placing a smartphone into the back of it and viewing through the lenses in the front.
It does promote the idea of exploring something with some low-cost infrastructure. The design is open source so anyone can build this around the world. But as something low-cost tech is invented there are always some players who want to target the rich audience. These players convert the great ideas into well defined design wth super ergonomics and sell it 10/20 higher than the initial cost.
“An invention is not that looks great but something that works great”
Now the question is do we really need it?
Is ‘targeting rich class’ mentality helping others to invent?
I see the microscope theory part as a ‘Sensory Play’. As a child growing up we are orientated towards sensory experience. Since birth we learn about the world by touching, tasting, smelling, seeing and hearing. Stimulating the senses help children to move forward on neural pathways which is important for all types of learning (social/emotional/physical). I remember as a child I used to play with sand and water a lot because I used to feel immensely connected with the world, even though the sand is dry or wet may be warm or cool. Discovering these characteristics is an important step for early schoolers learning.
The more I explore about this topic, more differences come out to be there. It’s not even limited to low income families people in the area but it is also about minority, people with disabilities. This becomes a hierarchy when combined together as it’s not in someone’s hand to decide their family. My early thoughts were limited to low income families but after searching it more I found that schools in minority area struggle with resources a lot. Theses schools don’t get enough chances to co-op with others.
I think, sometimes technology can be understood by an organisation attached with the project. Suppose there is a showcase/launch of a new project and it’s from NASA. Now before seeing it you will change the whole perception and you will start thinking at another level

What? So What?

Artboard 3

I am planning to design a workshop that will use drama and the design itself as means of communication tool. Men and boys have been taught to express themselves with aggression and any other emotion has been considered weak, female or homosexual. This association of emotion with aggression causes various ways of sexual violence as well as harming individuals themselves by pushing them to live with a mask. If we are talking about design becoming an essential course for the education of everyone then why not use it as a communication tool? Instead of feeling trapped by language and not being able to express ourselves because of feeling ashamed in talking in public that almost everyone faces for at least once in their lifetime, we can use different medium.

so what?
The importance of this workshop is the fact that it challenges gender norms. We have been talking how to end violence against women by governmental solutions but what about ourselves? How do we raise boys and how do men perceive themselves? As women, how do we define a “man”? What are our expectations, our biases, our heterosexual norms? If we don’t start from ourselves then how come we can blame friends making sexist jokes, parents and partners expecting fulfillment of gender roles, or anyone for not speaking up about violence they have experienced.


So What?

CATTt visualization-01 CATTt visualization-02


I’m planning to host a workshop to communicate my free-form crochet grammar effectively. I want to see how this generative form of design will be taken by the crochet community and hopefully inform them of a new creative process. Since free-form crochet is, by nature, an intuitive form of crochet and one that beginners tend not to get in to, I figured that it’d be a good starting point in designing a framework to follow and then later break to foster inventiveness. The grammar has a healthy bit of determinism and indeterminism in order to give the crocheter the space to invent, and possibly input their own creative process in a new way.

To relate this to the field of design, particularly product design, we designers are burdened with the need to be creative and inventive in what we do. Often, “new” products are not truly novel, and may only add features to existing products without changing the whole dynamic or concept. We are in need of innovative and inventive solutions, otherwise, we’ll remain stagnant. Generative Design can help designers awake their inner inventor. Although it has rules to follow (and inevitably, many will only design according to these rules), there will always be at least one designer who will break them and perhaps invent something not previously conceived.



INVENT (v) – to create or design (something that has not existed before)

Think of the products you use or see on a regular basis. Think of processes. How many of them, would you say, are inventions? True inventions? Something that cannot be paralleled by anything that came before it, maybe even something revolutionary. I’m contending that the answer is “very few”; modern product designers are actually redesigning things more than inventing new designs. Of course, redesign is necessary as we update our technology and as our sociopolitical structures evolve, but there should also be space for invention. Design informs the world of art, science, and engineering in one way or another, and if we can get designers to invent, these new discoveries will affect these other fields, taking new paths we didn’t think about before.

Now, invention doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It’s rare to have constant “Eureka!” moments. So I’m proposing that we give designers a framework that can generate multiple different designs. It would be like a computer; you choose your inputs and the order/placement of those inputs, and a final design spits out. It may be novel, it may have been done before. But either way, once those final designs are out, the designer has something to invent on, maybe even change entirely.

I want to test out this theory of invention within a framework using free-form crochet, a fiber art form based on intuition and community. Just as designers, free-form crocheters have their own creative process. And beginner crocheters tend to shy away from more free-form work. If this framework can augment the process of experienced crocheters and bring about creativity in the beginners, I think it can bring invention into the design world as well.

(I feel like I said the same thing in the same way in both. I’m not sure if I got the layperson-speak down yet).

On Circle’s perfection / Whittle, Turn, Cast, Print.

There is a french artist called Fabienne Verdier. She lived in China for many years. She arrived at the age of 22 for some months, and stayed a decade.  When she returned to France after living in China for one third of her life, she had to find a way to reconcile opposite points of the compass, making them both a part of her so that she could create. I just remember her work and the connection it has to our path through perfect spheres. The circle is both the perfection, but when broken –when not perfect, when unclosed– it is also the beginning of chaos. We are not drawing circles to meditate, just as it was a mandala. However, I’m pretty sure that whittling and talking is somehow part find meaning through the act of making an object with our hands, and just having conversations around it can lead to better understandings. I’m thinking that all our imperfect results are all about meditation and, why not, the beginning of chaos.


turning – noun

  • an act of reversing position.
  • the place or point at which anything bends or changes direction.
  • an act of shaping or forming something.

When we turn something, we find something new hidden within a bigger form. To turn the sphere (just as whittling but faster, hence more evident) shows up how objects are already hiding in the materials and is up to us (as designers, creators and curious people) to find them.

Let’s then happily state that a designer is a person that is very likely to find things within things, and therefore, the design process is a process of finding things within things. Be them connections, factual objects, ideas, questions or images, the act of finding is itself an act of creation. Turning then is also reversing position or changing direction. My turned sphere turned almost perfect. I found out that is just a matter of attention and having the eye wide open. Knowing that I would find an sphere was also a key point for its almost “perfectiveness”. Sometimes we turn things without know what would we find out inside them, that is exciting as well!