Monthly Archives: October 2012

Storybook Lab

Storybook Lab. Srishti School of Art, Design and technology.

Semester One, 2012–2013

In India there is a need for simple and engaging reading material that can help children who go to government and budget-private schools learn to read. At present, access to good quality storybooks with original content is limited.

Run by Krupa Thimmaiah and me, the Storybook Lab at Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology aimed to re-evaluate stereotypical notions of creating content for children – to design and publish a collection of well-crafted storybooks that make the experience of reading enjoyable, meaningful and inexpensive. Our main objectives were:

• Create content that draws from the real lives of Indian children and is sensitive towards their needs.

• Design simple and engaging stories that encourage a reading habit.

• Consider the wider possibilities for book mining, learning activities and emotional experience.

• Develop original and contemporary Indian styles of illustration.

• Deliver affordable books that can be translated into Indian languages.

This lab involved eighteen students with skills in research, storytelling, illustration and book design. The stories these students developed were themed around growing up and issues of change that take place in the personal lives of government school children today.

Through field research, students were required to understand the value of storybooks as well as the lives of children in this context – Reading skills, learning needs, personal issues and the identities of stakeholders were all important. Students then developed concept notes and used a rigorous design methodology; to plan, develop, iterate and evaluate their storybooks. It is intended that the final books will be licensed and distributed through Indian publishing houses and NGO’s.

Students: Aaniya Asrani, Albert N. Grasious, Ananya Singh, Azra Sadr, Devika Dutt, Hari Kumar Nair, Juhi Agarwal, Koyal Raheja, Krishna Shenoi, Mariya Madraswala, Meghna Jaswal, Milli Eugine, Shreyansh Agarwal, Shrujana Shridhar, Sreeja Basu, Taarika Ravi John, Zoheb A. Qazi, Zubin Gomes.

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