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Computers for small businesses

Computers for small businesses

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2011

Design Researcher, Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design, Denmark

Client: ASUS Computers, Taiwan

The research explored the technological needs and hardware trends in  small and micro businesses – a fascinating area for ASUS, which is abundant with opportunities that match the core competencies of ASUS. This study was of strategic importance to Asus as it showed the potential of future product strategies and led to exciting new areas in creating new products as well as new markets altogether.

The outcome of an exciting month long journey visiting and interviewing a wide range of small and micro businesses in Denmark, Sweden, France and Germany. The research presented amazing personalities who run diverse types of businesses, sometimes multiple micro businesses. Such people are versatile, and for them a piece of technologies’ value reliability and loyalty is at par with speed and performance.

The findings were presented as Report and a series of videos for inspiration and vision setting for the company’s product teams.

I conducted research in Denmark, Sweden & Germany

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Understanding Weight Management

Understanding Weight Management

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2009

Design Researcher, CIID Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design

USA

Client: Novo Nordisk

Novo Nordisk wanted to understand how people managed weight loss in a nation challenged by obesity for their new drug delivery system.

The project  posed a very challenging research strategy as speaking to people about their obese condition is not an easy task. Research in such a sensitive area demanded an direct approach to enquiry, more informed by longitudinal observation and reactions. The project hinged on one of the key topics in healthcare today: patient compliance. While a holistic understanding of what the healthcare system in USA provides for the support and systematic combat of this condition, it was even more important to understand an individual’s ecosytem, how they thought about their condition, coped with social stigma and what measures they took over time to deal with the situation. The study involved spending hours with obese people as they went about their everyday activities like cooking, eating, shopping for groceries, spending time with family, at work and visited their healthcare providers.

The insights from this research had a deep,  micro-level approach to innovation and product application. It has informed Novo Nordisk of the need of service strategies, new therapy delivery systems from packaging and product design to dispensing models to effectively address the weight loss therapy market. It also pointed out the significant need for healthcare professionals to be able to find and use the right strategies to suit a patient’s health, practical and emotional needs.

Read my travelogue here.

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On Time Delivery

On Time Delivery

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2010

Design Researcher, CIID Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design

Client: Maersk Line

The aim of the project was to  design and develop tools for internal transformation, motivation and vision setting for Maersk Line’s stakeholders

On Time Delivery is a key enabler of Maersk Line’s vision of being the most reliable logistic service provider and an industry leader.  Through series of user research we  discovered unspoken working patterns and unmet needs, which were shared with Maersk stakeholders. This was then converted into a series of ideas that could be implemented at different scales and could be customized for local needs.

We prototyped various physical and digital tools to inspire organizational focus and prompt new work behaviors. We worked together with Maersk Line to develop digital tools to displaying real time delivery data and other key metrics about its international fleet and kits with physical artefacts for employees to better understand Maersk Line’s vision for On time Delivery.

 

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Design for Export Promotion

Design for Export Promotion

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2008

Lead Designer , Export Strategy Consultant

Client: Ministry of Textiles & Kanhirode Weaver’s Cooperative, Kerala

The Kanhirode Weaver’s Cooperative has been a key producer of high quality cotton textiles providing employment to hundreds of families in the area. The cooperative is best known for its high quality dyeing practices.

The Ministry of Textiles has supported and funded this Export Promotion Project at the Cooperative to improve their product portfolio for new markets. The project involved assessing their current skills and strengths of this cooperative and coming up with a design strategy to reach out to new markets.

40 unique design collections of home textiles were produced for this project which were woven subsequently and presented at various international fairs.

Read more about my travels and the project here.

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Design for New Markets

Design for New Markets

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2008

Lead Designer , Export Strategy Consultant

Client: Ministry of Textiles, Thirubhuvanam Silk Weavers Cooperative, Tamil Nadu.

The Thirubhuvanam Silk Weaver’s Cooperative has been a key producer of highest quality silk saris in this region. The cooperative is best known for its use of pure zari (gold thread) and dyeing quality. The cooperative was the only of its kind to be ISO 9001:2008 certified.

While these silk saris have a reasonable local market, the future is clearly a dilemma between dwindling number of skilled artisans and rising cost of silks and gold  (used in the zari). The Ministry of Textiles identified this cooperative as one that had immense potential and has supported and funded this Export Promotion Project at the Cooperative to improve their product portfolio for new markets with product diversification. The project involved assessing their current skills and strengths of this cooperative and coming up with a design strategy to reach out to new markets. I have worked with this cooperative at two market levels – diversified product range for the local markets (India) and development of new fabric weights for export. This was mainly for the luxury contract market in Europe.

The challenge for design intervention was beyond just producing new designs. Weaver motivation in this cooperative has been the biggest issue. Inspite of using existing infrastructure for weaving (thus reducing technology investment costs), weavers clearly voted for weaving zari products as their wages were surprisingly  linked to this.

Over a hundred new design collections of home textiles were produced for this project over a period of 4 years which were woven subsequently and presented at various international fairs.

Many reports and Recommendations were written to the Planning Commission after this project to help form a better support […]

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Futur Floors

Futur Floors

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2002

Designer, MA Trading Co. Badhoi, India

MA Trading was a traditional hand knotted carpet manufacturer in Uttar Pradesh in India. They wanted to leapfrog into the next generation of hand craft by relooking at their techniques and materials for the future.

3 concept rugs were produced for them with an underlying theme of using recycled plastic waste

The Light Up! Rug was created with plastic waste collected locally and hand woven with LEDs. A piezo sensor enabled a reaction when people stepped or sat on the rug. The visual feel of the rug was very organic, and varied based on the plastic collected.

The Pull Me! Rug was a playful take on using rubberbands in a hand knotted carpet. The carpet maker used hand knotting as a primary technique at his factory and rubber bands were an unlikely raw material. The rubber bands used in this rug were temperature stabilised to increase their durability.

The Rugs were displayed at DOMOTEX 2003 at the pavillion for Future Trends won a special mention at The Elle Decor Awards 2003 and I was awarded the Young Designer of the year Award for this.