A case study on Access to Electricity. Decentralized People-Centric Energy Model for India


National Institute of Design

Manisha Laroia, Pranay Arun Kumar, M. Minz, B. Khateeb, and P. Nahar

Most of the developing world still lives in darkness. In India alone, 400 million people have irregular or no access to electricity. The system is ever-evolving and dependent on numerous interplaying factors varying from macro ones like government policies to micro ones like electricity theft and over-consumption due to lifestyle practices.

The India-specific research incorporated a megatrend study, outlining the contributing factors, product-service life-cycles, analysing electricity usage and interacting with stakeholders. Extensive mapping revealed underlying patterns like the complex network of flows, threats, opportunities, feedback loops and latent links that add to the delicacy of the system. ‘Personas’ served as instrumental nodes in understanding user-behaviour, user-needs and the demand for context-specific solutions that must work coherently within the system.

The developed gigamap was used to analyse a case of a Decentralised Electricity System, with a vision for 2040. Respecting the variability, multiple solutions were designed for energy equity. The gigamap served as a tool to provide a safe playing area to test new ideas and debate opportunities, creating grounds for deliberation. The reader can choose an Avatar, trace the lifecycle of electricity and fit ones-self into different contexts to foresee solutions and plan for effective execution. The proposed people-centric system could serve as a resource for communities to plan better policies with a holistic understanding of the system, empowering people and making electricity accessible.

Posted Sep-2018


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Suggested Citation Format

Author(s) (20XX). Article title. In Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSDX) 20XX Symposium. City, Country, Month X-X, 20XX.

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Systems Mapping

Birger Sevaldson of the Oslo School of Architecture and Design first introduced the gigamap technique. The gigamap takes an architectural and descriptive approach to complex projects. The technique has been extended to synthesis maps and system design complexity maps.

The synthesis map is used at OCAD University to translate multiple knowledge perspectives and illustrate the dilemmas and challenges within a complex system scenario. System design complexity maps are the outcome of an academic project at the National Institute of Design. They use metaphor and a central theme to make complex issues accessible for sharing and participatory work with multiple stakeholders.

Types of Systemic Relations (Urban Habitat Design) by Birger Sevaldson, RSD5

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