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  • Emma Schaberg O'Brien

    This is a wonderful piece - thank you! It is very interesting to hear about the challenges and solutions designers discover while working in new and developing environments. Working with Dare to Innovate in Guinea, West Africa, to train youth in social entrepreneurship we've come across many of the same realizations. Are there examples the booklets and aids available to share?

    • Pragya Mishra

      Thank you Emma. These aids were made as my thesis project a couple of years ago. Since you asked, I am trying to post my documentation of this process and the final outcomes on issu. Shall post the link here as soon as I put it it. Meanwhile, do share your experiences, I am eager to hear about what challenges you have been facing as comparing notes on this might be valuable.

      • Emma Schaberg O'Brien

        Hi Pragya - I look forward to check-out the materials, and fruits of your hard work, when they're posted! Like you discussed, being focused on sustainability is important when producing materials, such as booklets, but also poses a challenge. So, like you, we found what could be done in country and tailored our materials to those abilities. A greater problem was likely making sure our content was integrated and understanding of the context we were teaching in - as you said "keeping the limitations of their understanding of the world around them in mind." So we partnered with experts in experiential learning and design-driven entrepreneurship for emerging economies, in order to develop a curriculum that would guide students through a creative journey. We worked to teach them the basics, and then introduce them to new tools and schools of thought in order to empower them to then become social innovators themselves. I'd be very happy to share more details as well, if you're interested!

  • Anita W

    I loved this piece and I absolutely agree with your stance on making design a forerunner in the push for global innovation. I think if we have learned anything from this turn of the century is that the power of ideas and information have a significant impact on global change - which it allows us to grow and improve our standard of living and expand our basis for knowledge. Design in a way is that keystone midway factor that produces these ideas and information into tangible things - working within real world limits and ever pushing for 'out of the box' solutions.

    I often feel though that designers don't understand the impact that they can make on this world. I believe that we have an inherent view that in order to go out and change lives you must be a doctor curing polio in a third world country or in Africa performing surgery on cleft lips. But I'm sure we can both agree that this is not the case. Designers have their own super powers and I admire your own venture- to help those in India with your background in graphic design. Its not often (at least to me) that I see graphic designers understanding their own unique talents and setting out to third world countries.

    Perhaps though that the inherent problem is in our nature . That designers are bent on the aesthetic experience and its difficult to pursue aesthetic perfection when you are living on so little a day....

    In any case, great stuff. Fight on.

    • Pragya Mishra

      You are so right about the constant conflict in a designers mind about the aesthetic experience. I have to be honest and admit that I have often felt a little conflicted about it myself sometimes. But in the realm of developmental design, true contribution begins to happen when you realize that the audience have their own aesthetics, which may not be the same as yours, but are truly beautiful in their own right. When designers reach a stage where they get completely immersed in the need of their audience, they can also experience true satisfaction and find a purpose for their design skills. Its an experience that can be path changing. I agree with you when you say that Designers should have more faith in their superpowers for sure. They truly can save the world.

  • Amitesh Singhal

    I think this is pretty lucid, clear and a delight to read...never enjoyed design writing but this is refreshing and intelligent. you must write more. you may have a gift