[Reader-list] 4th posting

Poonam Bir Kasturi pbkasturi at usermail.com
Wed Jun 2 19:41:51 IST 2004

Today we had an interesting meeting with a market research expert.
The question we have been asking and seeking insights to is
"Why don't people segregate waste at home?"
Naturally the implications that surround all of this is
"Do people know they can create zero waste homes?"
"Can they be inconvenienced to achieve this?"
"What is waste to different people?"
To this end the students and faculty had prepared a questionnaire
that was largely visual - it asked specific questions of details and showed
pictures of harpic bottle, rubber bands, batteries etc.

Now- faced with a market research person it was interesting to see
how that domain which defines castor oil and vim soap in different ways
and has the ability to segregate people into demographics and attitudes
can respond to a seeking like ours.

Watching myself build enormous resistance to her objections, I was
So discussing this with her and the others we were forced to ask ourselves
the role of design and the different ways design could be practiced.

What was the feedback that led to this discussion -
The feedback was about the way the visuals were presented and the type of
visual used-
the harpic bottle image could be better if there was no harpic label. And
other details about
how the question is framed etc. This is fine - it was the other implication
that no designer can
create without investment in research of the market that began nagging me.

The questions I have are :
1. Most designers if they want to be driven by hunches will then face the
fact that they have
no money to do this kind of research. So end of hunch driven design?
2. If the designer has a very strong hunch do we need data and spend money
on that data or
just go ahead and prototype?
3. How can a person who is a designer (sorry its the domain i am concerned
with at the moment)
build the abiltiy to cut through data or evolve a method that is more
immediate, sensible and cheap?
4. How does this impact the way we teach design in a school like Srishti?

I know that too much expense will deter anyone - and yet a great conviction
will carry one through.
How does a designer create a space for something where there is no
precedence and therefore
by that logic - how can you get data for that?
So we will ask more on this with the next meeting with Rasika - the market
research person
who has very willingly agreed to journey with us!!

Till then
Poonam Bir Kasturi
part of the Srishti Team

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