Tag Archives: Lab

Storybook Lab 2

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

Semester Two, 2012–2013

The aim of the Storybook Lab at Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology has been to design storybooks specifically for Indian children and publish a range of new initiatives that are enjoyable, meaningful and accessible.

Run by Krupa Thimmaiah and me, this specific project explored opportunities for storybooks on tablet devices. At present, the availability of good quality interactive reading material is limited in the Indian publishing context. Our aim was to adapt regional folk stories and re-imagine them as multilingual apps for an underserved Indian audience.

The project objectives were:

• Design for simplicity and intuition.

• Consider new ways of creating, sequencing, sharing and adapting stories.

• Design engaging experiences that encourage a reading habit.

• Create possibilities for multilingual book apps and integrate meaningful and valuable learning tools.

• Develop contemporary content and Indian styles of illustration.

This project involved fifteen students working together in smaller teams. To conceptualise new possibilities, each team was required to deconstruct the idea of a storybook, understand the role of stories and look at both the conceptual and practical possibilities for interactive storytelling. To create successful prototypes, students needed to bring together skills in research and analysis, concept development, prototyping, interaction design, storytelling, illustration and animation, layout and typography. They used a rigorous design methodology – to plan, investigate, iterate, test, and evaluate their work.

Students conceived story apps that were non-linear or gave the child choices in the development of a plot. They also integrated language options, story-specific activities and meaningful interactions that drove the stories forward. The next step involves collaborating with educational organisations and multimedia publishers to develop the prototypes for market.

Students: Aakansha Kukreja, Anuja Shukla, Kopal Joshy, Kritisha Kantilal Jain, Loveena Chopra, Mithra Vimala Murali, Natasha Mohan, Nikita Biyani, Pragya Joshi, Pragya Mahendru, Prisila Audumbar Netalkar, Priya R Gandhi, Rathi Varma, Sanjana Nyapati, Sugama Gopalkrishna

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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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Pratham Books Lab

Pratham Books Lab. Srishti School of Art, Design and technology.

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.

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Ulat Bansi lab

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Kabir Project: Ulat Bansi Lab. January – February 2009

A particularly intriguing category of Kabir’s poems is the type known as Ulat Bansi, poems in “upside down language”. They intrigue because they are absurd, paradoxical, crazy, impenetrable, and yet they purport to be meaningful. Even in assuming that there is a hidden meaning to be dug out, you may be playing the fool: who is to say you aren’t describing a naked emperors clothes? (Hess, 1977, p.135)

Kabir is a 15th century Indian mystic poet. In this unique component of the Kabir lab, facilitated by Ayisha Abraham, Smriti Mehra and me, twelve diploma students from various design disciplines were introduced to a genre of Kabir’s poetry called the Ulat Bansi. Through reading, recitation and discussion, the students were challenged to respond to these poems, migrating between visual, acoustic and performative media. Here the upside down verses of Kabir served as a launch pad to try to understand the rhythm and purpose of such ‘nonsense verse’ and artistic practice. Students then developed individual project proposals that responded to this concept of Ulat Bansi through small-scale tactile objects, books and experiences. Students worked both individually and collaboratively, engaging in different aspects of the production process.

The Kabir Ulat Bansi lab ran for eight weeks, alongside various other Kabir projects. In total, over seventy students from Srishti school of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore explored, responded and interpreted the various ideas, themes and poems of Kabir. The outcomes from these various projects were exhibited as a part of the Kabir festival in Bangalore, 23rd February to 1st March, 2009.

Visit the Kabir project website for further details. http://www.kabirproject.org

More photos from the Ulat Bansi lab can be seen on my website.

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