Soumitri Varadarajan is Associate Professor, Industrial Design, at RMIT University (Melbourne, Australia).
“My design approach focuses upon proposing a future that contains preferred/ visionary products and services. I am excited by design projects that focus on the small and big challenges facing humanity. I see design projects as campaigns and so have developed, and therefore teach, the abilities required to prototype design projects within communities. I have taught studios from a range of social, aesthetic and material culture perspectives. In sustainability I focus upon design activism and upon product service systems. I developed my sustainability practice in India where I designed, prototyped and converted my projects into profitable business ventures. In vehicle design I focus upon futuristic visions of sustainable transportation. My current interest is in innovations in healthcare services, where I focus upon de-medicalising and re-contextualizing normal practices to develop new traditions and artefacts in the areas of mental health, obesity, ageing, death, diabetes, maternal health and hearing loss.”
Visit this brilliant site (thanks to Paul Sonnier) to find out about how innovators are changing the future of health care.
See My 2014 Research Statement for Project ideas.
I have been doing supervision work for some time now. I supervise Masters and PhD students. I have supervised 4th Year/ Honours/ Final Projects and in the links below you can a few examples of students work.
Years 2006-2014: Information for 2014 students
Year 2012 ProjectAbstracts+StudentPhotos, in-progress work at the half-year/ halfway point.
Year 2011, 16-page spreads of completed projects
Talks & Interviews
I am in a recent ABC interview. “Can design save Australia’s automotive manufacturing industry?”
I have this talk a few years ago to a group of Architects Saying no to the prima donna
In 2013 about the Green Bus Project TiffinTalk at Australia India Institute
RMIT Profile Page With bio, teaching, research and writing lists.
My Campaign Projects Blog Where I am an idealist and activist.
My Issuu Where I put documents, for students to download.
A few Projects
I am working on an Ecyclopedia of Asian Design (Bloomsbury/ Berg Publishers, London).
I was involved with the BookWallah Project (YouTube)
I taught a problem solving course to explore recycling, and then after the students had moved on I kept going: I set up a Recycling Pilot Project, commercialised it as a business for the employees and its is still going. The Recycling Project in the press
From 1998 to 2003 I was fully occupied with two Campaign Projects. I employed 42 people, recycled 720 tonnes of garbage a year and decided Campaign Projects were the way to go.
The community picked up some work I was doing during the Black Saturday Bush Fires On Pigs Will Fly
I set up a studio to invite students into a Research Project I was involved with. Studio on Maternal Deaths
I taught a group of students Service Design SERVICE DESIGN
I keep my handouts and presentations on My Issuu
My Recent Writing
Apart from the list I keep (beware broken links) texts in My Public Archive.
How the Sacred Could Inform Sustainable Design Practice: 2010 Design Philosophy Papers.
Visualizing new traditions: Responses to the medicalization of the body in remote rural Assam. ACUADS 2013 (COFA Sydney).
Creative Currents for our Common Futures: A model for collective reflection in action for engaged design research practice IASDR2013 (Tokyo). With L. Fennessy and M. Douglas
Models of Resilient Adaptive Practice EPDE 2013 (Dublin). With Trathen, S.
Community Enabled Fashion PSS. Journal of Cleaner Production: Special Issue: Sustainable Product-Service System (2013). With G. McCorkill, J. Anich, C. Hannah and K. Luckins
Building capacity for sustainable product service systems in Australian industrial design education: a reflection upon contemporary practice. Journal of Cleaner Production: Special Issue: Sustainable Product-Service System (2013). With Fennessy, L., M. Ramirez, S. Clune, M. Strachan, S. Lockrey
Image credits The BookWallah Project.