The Tute Handout

The course handout for this section. Has the calendar and the bibliography.


Old Bio Text

Soumitri Varadarajan has a keen interest in marginal and neglected discourses. This has led him to construct projects dealing with marginalised communities (Waste workers), the rescuing of the ignored artefact (object culture of the poor) and the amplification of the marginal voices (Diabetes). His approach amplifies the social discourse surrounding objects and systems, and provides a location where the faint voices can be heard. His theoretical writings, rather than take issue with the dominant discourse of material constructions, talk about his projects and demonstrate a practice of collective action. Soumitri Varadarajan is Associate Professor in Industrial Design Program at RMIT University, Melbourne (Australia). He also holds the position of Adjunct Professor at Zhejiang University (Hangzhou, PRC) and Research Fellow at the National Institute of Design (Ahmedabad, India).

The focus of his undergraduate teaching has often been upon sustainability and the community orientated practice of design. In his master’s and PhD supervisions students’ focus upon marginal discourses and the privileging of the other, such as research in the area of sustainability, material culture, ethics, tsunami in Aceh and Iraq. He has an active interest in community work and people’s ways of learning. His current projects are in the areas of Diabetes and capacity building in RMIT students and staff to work on design projects in China and India.

Soumitri has a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Mysore University (India), and studied Design at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad (India). He then went on to do a PhD at Indian Institute of Technology ( Delhi) on the construction of a design theory that included the account of marginal and neglected objects.

You can write to him at:

Submission Template

Method Template

This is a quick submission Template – for the Methods and Practices.

All submissions will be uploaded to an Archive. In time to be subject to tests and review.

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On Methods

Methods are good to think. They help us along the way.

  1. Methods – as mental categories or ways are shared between all walks of life. Its just that we discuss them in different places in different ways.
  2. Change – Design is about change. And change is confronting – avoidance of change is a common enough practice. Making change happen is a proactive way.
  3. Communities – Design is often the act of bringing into existence something that will live in communities – as an idea, practice or thing. Communities often reject the intervention, or are hurt by the intervention- it is better to work collaboratively.

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A big Campaign

Campaigns tend to be big and have a tinge of truth about them. Till someone decides to take a look. Cliamte change has come in for a critical inspection in a Channel 4 documentary: The Great Global Warming Swindle.

It will begin to look like sustainability is the in-thng even for this course. That is not so – its just that I have sustainability examples easily accessible. But good to remember the voice of Green Peace in the above film: "The environmental movement has evolved into the strongest force there is for preventing development in the developing countries." – Patrick Moore Co-founder of Greenpeace

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Films Screenings

There ought to be an Audiovisual resource for this area of inquiry, approach. And so here is a list:

  1. Four Corners
  2. Insight
  3. Music: John Butler, M Oil
  4. Indegenous stories
  5. The Great Global Warming Swindle
  6. You tube/ Google video resources

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Visits are possible

I made a list of plaaces tht could be visited – as a still point and a place for inspiration.

  1. Problem Spots, blight spots
  2. NGOs – FOE
  3. Events
  4. Sustainability Victoria
  5. Election year – forums
  6. Trades Hall
  7. City/ Municipal Councils, functions, consultation
  8. Aboriginal issues
  9. Powerhouse museum

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