A Masters in Social Design

I get the news today on Facebook that Ambedkar University Delhi is open for admissions to its masters program in Social Design. I resist the temptation to add an ‘at last’ to the title and move on.

You can see the Program announcement here – http://www.aud.ac.in/academic/programs/masters_programmes-2/ma_in_social_design-582

I go into my blog to find the posts I was publishing as I was imagining a new school of design to be started in New Delhi. It is 2008, I have just stepped down from the position of Program Director and am very excited to do new projects. I bump into the Vice Chancellor and his Advisor at the India International Centre in Delhi. They say they would like to set up a School of Design at a new university! Would I work on this?

In 2003 I had worked on a similar project with the Advisor (then Dean of Planning at Delhi University) – visualizing a School of Design for Delhi University. So we had a connection. And I had another pro-bono venture taking off as it turned out.

The new university, as we sipped coffee, had at that time only three employees. The two people I was with and their driver. I am excited and running red hot suddenly – and launch into how the future should be non-object, non-elitist and non-urban. At the end of half and hour they say – send us something. I come back and through Nov and Dec 2008 have my vision drafted. As I draft my thoughts leak out into my blog – so I assembled that stuff, plus a paper I published on ‘service design for India’ below.

The vision was – an integrated UG (4 years) in Social Design, and two PGs (2 years) in Service Design and Social Innovation. You can see the documents and the program structure of the three programs here – https://sites.google.com/site/faintvoicesite/

You can see the argument for the vision here (a conference paper I published with Liz): The Social for India

Yes its now a PG in Social Design – but its great that its non-object, non-consumption focussed and focussed upon social engagement.

I am chuffed/ this is great news to start the day/ wondering about the curriculum! And so it goes.

New Design School at Ambedkar University Delhi

Nov 10, 2008

There is to be a new School of Design in New Delhi. This will be in the new university – AUD or Ambedkar University, Delhi. See link below to the site of the university.

The School of Design

Nov 10, 2008

I wrote this in October – as a starting of a vision document for the Design School (AUD)

Design School Vision

Nov 28, 2008

I finally started writing – the tool kit for a new School of Design. A tool kit because a vision is so self aggarandising. Tool kit is so much more participative. For now the tool kit has three parts – a way to do a take on design.

Integrated Design

Dec 8, 2008

I have been looking at the Bachelors in Integrated Design offered by the Koln International School of Design. This means I have considered it from many angles and there are many things I like about it.

A New School for India

Dec 9, 2008

So I ask the question – can a design school be set up which lets go of its professional anchorings (in the art and design framework ) to focus all its energies upon this population of people?

Design Education for the future

Dec 10 2008

Such a design school then offers design education along two lines: Service Design and Social Innovation.

Social Design it is

Dec 22, 2008

I have just come back from India. And from Presenting the School of Design vision. For now its all go – and that is really exciting. In short the vision argues for three new kinds of courses: …

And for the future >>

Service design for India

July 15, 2009

Soumitri Varadarajan – Service design for India: The thinking behind the design of a local curriculum | Re-public: re-imagining democracy – english version

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How The TOFU Project Is Teaching Silicon Valley Values To Japanese Entrepreneurs | Fast Company

The goal is to expose the nine entrepreneurs on the one-week program to the ways Silicon Valley goes about innovating “and then bring those experiences back to Japan to spread to other entrepreneurs,” Kan says.

Among the stops on the trip: Lessons on design thinking from Adaptive Path and LUXr, learning about agile development from Pivotal Labs and product design from IDEO, and a prototyping session from Google+’s Bradley Horowitz.

Also on the docket: a workshop on pitching angel investors and venture capitalists at 500 Startups’ downtown Mountain View penthouse labs.

“You want to make sure you communicate confidence,” instructed Kandice Cota, the workshop leader and CEO of IP Franchise, a social game company, as Stanford Unversity’s famous Hoover Tower hovered in the distance, beyond 500 Startups’ floor-to-ceiling windows.

The TOFU Project is the brainchild of Lisa Katayama, a San Francisco-based journalist who grew up in Japan (and who writes for Fast Company as well as Wired, the New York Times Magazine, and NPR) and Tomo Saito, a designer and photographer who created Betabrand’s Japants cargo pants. Among its advisors are MIT Media Lab director Joi Ito, RISD president John Maeda, and Kiva cofounder Matt Flannery.

via How The TOFU Project Is Teaching Silicon Valley Values To Japanese Entrepreneurs | Fast Company.

On Australia and Indians

Anant’s blog: Of Melbourne and of jingoism | Indian advertising media marketing digital opinion analysis debate – Campaign India online

My daughter is one of many Indian students who have or are studying in Australia.

How difficult would it have been for Indian media to talk to her? She would have been easy to find, studying as she was at Melbourne’s premier university. As would any other Indian student.

So how is it that I saw, read and heard no experience like my daughter’s in Indian media? How is it that I was fed hate and hostility? How is it that all kinds of issues such as racism were dragged into it?

I’m angry. Because Indian news media caused me (and hundreds of parents like me) to be afraid and worried rather than relaxed and happy that my daughter was doing well and having the best five months of her life.

Protected: Paper marriage

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Holy Cash Cows

Finally someone come up with the story. I have heard of this for years – as casual cab conversations – about the ‘bogus’ colleges being run by Indians.

Where work experience certificates can be set up. But outright purchase was new to me. This I guess is the ‘dilli wallah’ in Australia.


Wendy Carlisle looks at the dirty little secrets behind Australia's education export industry.
Four Corners – 27/07/2009: Holy Cash Cows

Reporter Wendy Carlisle reveals how dodgy business practices are being used to rip off foreign students seeking legitimate qualifications in Australia. At the same time she also shows how vocational training for foreign students has become an immigration scam allowing thousands of foreigners to come to, and then remain in, Australia under false pretences.

For ten years now Australia’s foreign student education sector has been on a massive growth spurt. First it was foreign students seeking university degrees. More recently it’s the vocational education sector that’s been expanding.

Last year more than 70,000 Indian students came here to buy an education. Egged on by immigration and education agents, many were told if they enrolled in cooking, hairdressing and accounting courses they would not only get a diploma but they could also qualify for permanent residency in Australia.

Now a major Four Corners investigation reveals that foreign students in this country have been targeted by unscrupulous businessmen, who have set up training schools that supply qualifications that sometimes aren’t worth the paper they are written on.

Australians who live on slumdog millionaires’ row – and love it

This is amazing.

Consumer detox ... in their bedroom-sized home.
Australians who live on slumdog millionaires’ row – and love it | smh.com.au

MARK and Cathy Delaney don’t need to see the hit movie Slumdog Millionaire. The Brisbane couple experience slum life in India every day.

For 13 years they have lived in the shanty towns of the Indian capital, New Delhi, raising their children and sharing their lives with the locals. Their two sons, Tom, 12, and Oscar, 7, were born in India and have lived most of their lives in slums.

The family home, in a neighbourhood called Janta Mazdoor Colony, is about the size of a typical Australian bedroom. They have no running water, no TV, no fridge and no washing machine. Two mattresses, used to sleep on at night, double as a “lounge” during the day. Meals are eaten sitting on the floor and they share with neighbours a squat toilet in a small bathroom.

But the Delaneys are not complaining. For them, living in a slum has been deeply enriching.

Rs1,620 crore pilot project to curb diabetes, heart diseases launched

Rs1,620 crore pilot project to curb diabetes, heart diseases launched – Economy and Politics – livemint.com

New Delhi: In the first initiative of its kind, the Indian government
has started a programme to prevent as well as map the extent of
diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and stroke—chronic ailments that
could cause life expectancy in the country to fall and have economic
implications as well.

Launched on a pilot basis in seven states—Assam, Punjab, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh—for the first year, a budget of Rs1,620.5 crore has been allotted for the national programme to check these diseases in the five-year plan to fiscal 2012.
“This marks the transition from focusing largely on the Big Three (HIV, tuberculosis and malaria) to Big Five (diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, stroke, cancer and chronic lung diseases),” Union minister for health and family welfare Anbumani Ramadoss said at an event to launch the programme. Experts in his ministry feared “life expectancy in India could actually fall” on account of these diseases, he added.
According to the World Health Organization, the “Big Five” accounted for 53%, or 5.47 million, of the total deaths in India. K. Srinath Reddy, president of the Public Health Foundation of India, estimates the country could lose 18 million man years in 2030 on account of the ailments, double the number lost in 2000.
“Educational interventions that target behavioural change are important, but not sufficient. They need to be buttressed by policy interventions,” said Reddy.