Designing Development

Designing Development

Case Study of an International Education and Outreach Program

Aditya Johri, Akshay Sharma
ISBN: 9781627050036 | PDF ISBN: 9781627050043
Copyright © 2013 | 113 Pages | Publication Date: 01/01/2013

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The creation of physical and material infrastructure is the cornerstone of human development; not surprisingly, engineers and designers are often motivated and inspired in their practice to improve the world around them, to make things better for others, and to apply their knowledge for the good of mankind. These aspirations often get translated into engineering and design curricula where students and faculty work on development related projects usually under the category of community or service learning. This book presents an overview of such an education and outreach program designed to empower stakeholders to improve their lives. The project described here was an international multi-institutional undertaking that included academic institutions, non-governmental organizations, and private firms. Within the academic setting, an interdisciplinary set of actors that included engineering and industrial design students and faculty worked on the project. We concretize our work by presenting a design case study that illustrates how different approaches can help guide the works of engineers and designers as they create global infrastructures and localized artifacts. We emphasize the importance of developing long term relationships with organizations on the ground in order to ensure appropriate design as well as successful transfer and long term use of designed artifacts. We discuss the life trajectories of the authors to provide a grounded perspective on what motivated us to undertake this work and shaped our approach with the intention to demonstrate that there are multiple paths toward this goal.

Table of Contents

Development of the Program: Personal Trajectories Meet Professional Opportunities
Intellectual Positioning of the Program: Sociomaterial Infrastructures and Capable and Convivial Design
Case Study: Quick Response (QR) Code Based Immunization Solution
Design for Development Course and Outreach Initiative
Conclusion: Lessons Learned

About the Author(s)

Aditya Johri, Virginia Tech
Aditya Johri is an assistant professor in the Department of Engineering Education, Computer Science (courtesy), and Industrial and Systems Engineering (courtesy), in the College of Engineering, Virginia Tech. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2007. His research focuses on the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) for learning and knowledge sharing, with a focus on cognition in informal environments. He also examines the role of ICT in supporting distributed work among globally dispersed workers and in furthering social development in emerging economies. He received a U.S. National Science Foundation Early Career Award in 2009.

Akshay Sharma, Virginia Tech
Akshay Sharma is an assistant professor in the Industrial Design Program in the School of Architecture and Design at Virginia Tech. He is passionate about using design as a catalyst for empowerment of women, especially in the developing regions. He is currently working on projects related to microfinancing with an NGO in India, use of cell phones for creating a more efficient process maintaining immunization records in developing countries, and development of a foot measurement system in conjunction with the Jaipur Foot organization in India. He received the Excellence in International Outreach Award administered through the Virginia Tech alumni association.

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