Amrutha Prakash and Neha Mandlik
The journey of our consuming self started more than 100 years ago. We have slowly become a community that depends on products for our identity. Material consumption mainly depends on the meaning a product provides to its consumers. It is the sustainability of this meaning which helps in increasing the longevity of products. The role of designers is to nudge people into a path of conscious consumerism and help to create a more sustainable community. As stated by Ikea, “Change begins at home”. It is from the residence that a designer should start making the change. To understand whether involving the user in creating a product could bring a change within the users, I created a research experiment using the Participatory Method. In this experiment, I handed a kit to several participants and asked them to create a lamp for their homes. By doing this, users helped co-create the lamp, and it became valuable to them as it created a bond and a narrative with the product. The experiment resulted in generating a meaningful product that has value and attachment to the user, due to which the users wanted to sustain it for a longer period. This fundamental character of humans, that ‘made from parts’ is trying to tap into.
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