Design Track of The Goa Project 2016

Prajakta Kulkarni


A brief history of 'Asks'

Submitted Jan 14, 2016

The power of design is its ability to contextually morph into situations to make meaning out of them. And that is also perhaps its biggest defeat, leading to mental models in our economy on how we can be useful. This talk is about tracing the lineages of the different mental models of design which are the deeper meanings behind the ‘Asks’ of today.


“I’m a designer” - “Oh! Where’s your boutique?”
If you’re a designer, you can relate to this quick judgement by peers, aunts & uncles. In college we had a vision for design, where using the techniques of connections and creation we could solve or act towards solving deep-seated issues of everyday life, but after college I find myself explaining what design can do, what it means & the place it holds or should hold to more people than I should. I realised then that design is ‘nouveau’ or something people still struggle to relate to..The power of design is its ability to contextually morph into situations to make meaning out of them. And that is also perhaps its biggest defeat.

I don’t want to use this opportunity to glorify design, but would like to talk about the different ‘Asks’ out of a designer. Where are they coming from? What kind of structures has design fit into today? Have they restricted the growth and understanding of how design can help in solving today’s problems? I’d like to end with a discussion on different ways people encourage their clients to think beyond the original ask that helps design move from one mental structure to another.

Speaker bio

I am a Graphic Design learner, with a history of work in illustration, poetry and innovation. I have done intensive study in the philosophies and psychologies behind music, colour and design thinking. As a student I have learnt to work for the joy of working. There is an immense amount of passion in me to learn, generate and pursue whichever aspect of creativity I am curious about. There are many ways to describe myself. I am a poet, illustrator, creative writer, graphic designer, conceptualiser, happiness deliverer, brain picker, alien theory maker, conversation-curator and a half hippie.

I have practiced various techniques of drawing, sketching, photography and videography. As a student of design education I follow a “form follows function” process to arrive at a design solution. This process has helped me in creating new techniques for communication. I have worked on a nation-wide project for internet literacy, motivational projects for an NGO, a political documentary film production and some design thinking projects.

As a professional, I wish to utilise the design principles to achieve social objectives in various parts of the world. Using human centred design (HCD), it is possible to solve almost all the social issues faced in urban, rural and semi-urban sector by creating Intelligent System Designs.


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