National Institute of Design, India

Atharva Mandhare, Kriti Khadia, Sakshi Patil, Viswak Raja, Yash Chaware | Project Guides: Praveen Nahar, Director, NID, Sahil Thappa, Product Design Faculty



Being the world’s second-largest force in arms and strength, the Indian Army imports most of its arms, technology and innovation strategies. This project explores different ways of co-creating opportunities, with a system design approach for the Indian Army. We inquired how design thinking approaches can facilitate better decision making and planning.

Our vision is to include design thinking and a human-centric approach with technological developments, to broaden the spectrum of design in the Indian Army.

Project inquiry

Watching movies like LOC Kargil and Border, made us wonder what it is like to become a soldier. Hearing The Jawans keeping their lives on the line for the country, made us wonder what we can contribute to the army!

Hello! We are a group of five young product designers from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad who share a common interest and curiosity to learn how the Indian Army works. While discussing how multiple professions like engineering and medical play a specific role in the army, we questioned, “How might we as designers play a role to make our country’s defense future-ready?” Our curious minds focused on exploring The Indian Army with a systemic design approach. This inquiry tinkered the idea, “Can there be a post for a ‘Designer’ in the Indian Army?

Concept of the gigamap

The gigamap represents the process journey of this project divided into six phases. It has topographic illustrations which represent defense on land i.e. Army, with a camouflage theme and colors of Indian Army. The overall look is “Method in Madness”. The information seems hidden and confusing, yet it is organized if one sees it closely. The concept is based on ‘camouflage in the battlefield’ where everything seems like chaos when soldiers camouflage in the trees and the bushes but, when observed closely, one can understand the planned positions and each soldier playing a designated role.

Reading the map

Please refer to the demarcation in the image while following the steps below for better understanding.

  1. Step-1: Read the introduction of the project_top left corner.
  2. Step-2: Read the legend to understand the meaning behind the colors_top right corner.
  3. Step-3: Read different phases of the project’s process journey starting from left. Read the details of each phase in each chunk marked in blue.
  4. Step-4: Read the application of the outcomes at different levels of army_bottom of the map.


Author. (2020). Article title. In Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSD9) 2020 Symposium. India, October 9-17, 2020.

Explainer video

Download the map

Posted Oct-2020


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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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