Social Impact Through Design: ASHIMA BATISH
Designer/ Inventor Charandeep Singh Kapoor
Nothing but only keen observation leads to inventions -- observation of needs, necessities … of how life can be made simpler and easier. All the technical help that we have around us is certainly because someone ‘just observed well’ and found the easier way out!
Charandeep Singh Kapoor did exactly the same -- just observed well.
“How difficult it is for visually impaired people to figure out currency notes of different denominations? And I knew what I wanted to make,” says Charandeep, a student at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, India.
So, he invented a wrist-band that will serve the purpose for the visually impaired. All that needs to be done is measure a note along the length of a wrist-band, which has been marked accordingly.
“I wanted to make a device that is affordable and sustainable.”
Whenever the Notex wristband (the name he has given it) will enter the market, it won’t be priced more than Rs 10 (20 cents).
“Any amount costing more than that would have defeated the purpose.”
When Charandeep says this, he has facts in place to support the assertion: “Seventy per cent of the world’s blind population is in India. Ninety per cent of them fall below the poverty line.” That is, India's rock-bottom poverty line, the lowest in the world.
The device is thus for the masses. For the same reason, it has won Charandeep the prestigious Core 77 design award
under the category of Social Impact.
“It is not only that visually impaired people are not taught how to judge the denomination of notes, in the research I conducted 40 per cent of people made a mistake while judging or weren’t very sure.”
It took him four months to make the final model of the wrist band and he rejected around half-a-dozen designs.
“Practicality of the band was a very important aspect. It has to ensure 100 per cent correct results.”
He adds that it’s time we realised the important of designing.
“From designs of houses, cars, food jars, chairs to just about anything of daily use, you can’t undermine the importance of right design. Our way of living can change and become better if the product we are using has the right design.”
In addition to this prestigious international award, Charandeep has to his credit several other awards as well; the recent one being by ITC, which organised a competition to make an interesting jar design.
In the past, he has won one by General Motors as well.
“Awards inspire me; inventions show me the right path.”
Recognition and results both are equally important!
July 20, 2012
Conversation about this article
1: Jasmeet Bajaj (India), July 21, 2012, 2:55 AM.
Good ideas are common. What's uncommon is people who'll work hard enough to bring them to fruition. All power to Charandeep!