Featured Research Humanities & Social Sciences

Project on Frugal Innovation in Design and Technology

PI: Prof. Kaumudi Patil
Co- PI: Prof. Saikat Ghosh


Frugal Innovation

Despite the hurdles of low literacy, poor infrastructure, lack of access to mainstream markets and the hegemony of the manufacturing giants, small pockets of designers and innovators have survived at the grassroots level. These pockets are not just a source of livelihood but also a veritable pool of traditional knowledge which has been often neglected by the formal sector. We believe that a context specific combination of traditional skills and modern methods of design and innovation assisted by appropriate technology introduced early in the learning trajectory of a young apprentice can lead to a new generation of informed craftsmen and technicians adapted to the global scenario. This will ensure growth that is not limited to one time external interventions alone, but in the long run trigger a chain reaction of further innovations that may build a self-reliant community similar to all living and evolving practices.
Therefore, the Project is envisaged as a Skill knowledge developer as well as a Skill Knowledge Provider of appropriate Design and Technology from the perspective of appropriateness, affordability and sustainability for craft communities as well as MSMEs in Uttar Pradesh.
The Project aims at

  • Developing appropriate designs in design communities for innovation and acceptability

  • Developing appropriate technology that is either embedded in the design or helps in producing it

  • Designing pedagogical methods for introducing skills for up-gradation in both design and technology in design communities at the grass-root level. 

  • Conceiving short modules for up-gradation of existing skills and development of related skills to enhance the level of design and technology appropriate to the community.

  • Forming structures for evaluation that are community specific and geared towards employment rather than concept learning.

  • Documenting knowledge of indigenous technology, design practices and systems of measurement (cues that help in deciding a furnace temperature without a thermostat or proportions without a drawing) and recognition (visual cues that help in deciding the age of wood)


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