I created this email as an update for my Independent Study instructors. It's more like my thoughts on how I'm going to present all the research I've been doing this term to help me pick out options for my final thesis project. Take a look and I want all your questions/comments.
I still need to come up with one specific design challenge which should be framed in human terms. It should be broad enough to allow me to discover areas of unexpected value while narrow enough to make the topic manageable. I am thinking something that combines the biggest problem that rural India faces and that is "how to increase their income" along with empowering women by making them an integral part of the solution. SO maybe something like "How can one change the role of women in the rural society to help increase the family's income?"
A little background on India, rural India, agrarian economy and women. A lot of this would be statistics and graphs.
3. TRENDS - What relevant trends are creating new needs?
I have identified 5 major trends that I would like to elaborate on:
(a) Population Growth and Migration
(b) People's Increasing Expectations
(c) Internet/Mobile Penetration
(d) Emerging Technologies
(e) Economic Instability and Upheaval
4. THEMES - What needs should do the project address?
While there are many paths that one can take, there are five themes that I would like to explore:
(a) Sustaining Resources
(b) Managing/Providing Information
(c) Empowering Community/Women
(d) Integrating Functions and Services
(e) Maximizing Efficiency and Self-sufficiency
5. ISSUES - What are some of the key issues involved?
The key components of the rural society are:
(e) Agricultural Inputs
(f) Household Goods
(h) Information and Communication Technologies
6. CHALLENGES - What insights can be gained about why things go right or wrong?
For each of the above areas, understanding how things are right now, what are the challenges, and how can they be improved.
7. OPPORTUNITIES - What ideas can be generated to take advantage of these insights?
For each of the above areas, the solutions that have worked and how they can be adapted to the rural Indian scenario.
8. STRATEGIES - What position should the project take on the issues?
Based on the themes, what are the main components of the solution:
(a) Involve the rural community in the design process
(b) Create a solution that is customizable to different needs
(c) Women - teach them to start and maintain the solution
(d) Use emerging technologies as a facilitator for local manufacturing
(e) Opportunities for empowerment instead of dependence to create a sustainable solution
9. FEATURES - What functions make the solution work?
What are the different features for each of the strategies above?
10. SOLUTIONS - What functions are related to create potential solutions?
Based on the strategies, refine the different opportunities to create comprehensive solutions.
11. SYSTEM - What functions should we look at together to create a more systemic solution?
How many of these solutions can be paired together to create a valuable ecosystem?
12. FINAL PROJECT
Present atleast three potential options for a final project!