Semester One & Two, 2011–2012
In India there is a need for simple and engaging reading material that can help children learn to read. Pratham Books was set up in 2004, as part of the Read India movement, a nation-wide campaign to promote reading among children. As a not-for-profit organization, Pratham Books publish books at low costs in multiple Indian languages. Their mission is to see “a book in every child’s hand” and to democratize the joy of reading.
In accordance with this mission, our objectives within the Pratham Books lab at Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology are:
• Understand the challenges and opportunities in designing good quality reading material for underprivileged children.
• Innovate on product forms that achieve scale/ impact at low cost.
• Diversify the design and dissemination of stories – making reading enjoyable and accessible.
• Deconstruct the concept of what a book is, to consider new ways of creating, sequencing, sharing and adapting stories.
In this lab run by Krupa Thimmaiah and me, we bring together third and fourth-year students with skills in research and analysis, design thinking, storytelling, illustration, layout and typography, form and material, interaction design and user testing. Interdisciplinary groups are created so as to combine skills and perspectives. Students develop their proposals and use a rigorous action research methodology; to plan, investigate, iterate, test, and evaluate prototypes.
To date, students involved in this lab have developed a variety of low cost forms that are simple, playful and engaging. Many of these outcomes offer viable alternatives to existing standardized book forms – allowing Pratham Books to diversify the design and dissemination of quality reading material.
Students: Anisha Bijur, Ashwini Sashidhar, Dhruv Nawani, Jaspreet Matharu, Kritika Kushwaha, Meera Parikh, Ragini Lall, Rayika Sen, Samrajni Patil, Shruti Gupta, Shweta Pai, Tanvee Nabar, Aman Corr, Deval Maniar, Harshvardhan Gantha, Kavya Bagga, Kavya Singh, Natasha Mehra, Pallakh Goswamy, Pratyush Gupta, Saloni Chopra.