The Rural Immersion Program 2015– “Parivartan”

By thedesignvillage, November 20, 2015

Design is not just an urban phenomenon. TDV’s philosophy implores you to observe design and the need for it in every space and experience.

TDV founders Navneet Garg and Sourabh Gupta believe that spreading design awareness is the key to unlocking the vast potential of design and making it the preferred tool for social change. On 12 October 2015, they traveled to the village of Siwan, Bihar with 200 students of Delhi Public School, Patna, as part of the Rural Immersion Program – “Parivartan”. In addition to the students, teachers and principals were also a part of this design orientation exercise.

Sourabh opened with a talk titled “The Power of Design”. Using a toothpick, a coke can, a safety pin and a ballpoint pen, he demonstrated to the students in the audience how design is at the heart of the smallest of things. He spoke about constantly going back to the “why” and the “how” of design, and breaking things down to the basics. After this enlightening talk, the students’ perspective seemed to have shifted to one in which design is not taken for granted.
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Navneet led a talk titled “Design for Good”. Having visited rural households in the area and seeing first-hand the problems they face, the students were curious about how to design for the benefit of these households. There was also the question of integrating design with existing government schemes. In his talk, Navneet took the students through the innovation and production cycle of an award-winning low-cost water purifier called LifeStraw® that he was directly involved in creating. This was a powerful example of how design innovations can lead to positive outcomes for society.

“People in India still look at design as an aesthetic option rather than a functional necessity. At TDV, we’ve started the process of changing that mindset by engaging high school students in design dialogues and hosting design events in various urban and rural locations,” said Navneet.
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The design bonanza that took place after the talks continued till midnight and allowed the students plenty of opportunities to interact with the founders of TDV. It was a design outreach that created immense impact on the ground.