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A design research seminar at the India Studio

A design research seminar at the India Studio

Mudita Pasari gives us her feedback following the design research seminar she taught to the MDes Transcultural Design students at the India Studio.

Mudita Pasari

Can you introduce yourself?

I am an Indian Narrative and Strategic Designer, whose practice ranges from intensive design research to eventually consulting with/suggesting and designing educational interventions. I have started teaching in 2018 after completing my masters in Design Education.

You recently were in charge of a design research seminar with the students from the India Studio. What were the objectives of this seminar?

The objective of the Design Reaearch Seminar was to introduce the 1st year MDes students in Design & Transculturality to the complexity of design research (especially in a foreign country) and to impress upon them how good design is intrinsically connected to thorough and ethical research.

Which topics?

We covered topics which addressed the multi-layer aspects of research.

Starting with examples of 6 different solutions for a similar problem, we traced back research methodologies used by different individuals;
• Trying to identify pros and cons of each direction.
• Taking further from which students connected design research to their own practice and conducted on field work.
• Picking up a simple observation off the streets, students were taken through various methods of recording, analyzing and representing research.

By the end of the seminar, each student was able to share a thorough visual representation of the research conducted by each of them.

Some topics chosen by students were:
1. socio- cultural relevance of kohl through the lens of children.
2. movements on the street and it’s interconnectivity to the local community.
3. layering of ornamentation on local transport and it’s probable significance.

What is your feedback on the work done by the French students?

Most of the students were eager to learn and try something new. Each student was committed to their topic and decided to take their task very seriously. It was their commitment to learning about design research, through a hands-on process, that made the seminar successful.

What are the teaching differencies between French and Indian students? are they any?

French students bring a very fresh perspective to Indian surroundings. Some things (about the local culture) which are taken for granted by Indian students, were questioned by the French students; which brought many interesting socio-economic and cultural discussions to the table.


What do you think of this seminar teaching experience?

I would definitely love to do other lectures/seminars at the India Studio- as this was a very enriching experience for me. I was very impressed by the work being produced by students and their unique perspective added to my learning experience as a practicing designer. Also, I really enjoyed teaching a smaller bunch of students (as compared to larger classes), as it provided the opportunity to know each student and share methodologies/feedback relevant to their interest and inclination.