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Fridge for the future, tables from weeds

Focussing primarily on needs of married couples, the students came up with ideas of smaller, more efficient and compact re-modelled exhaust fans for new kitchens.
Last Updated : 31 May 2024, 23:59 IST
Last Updated : 31 May 2024, 23:59 IST

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Srishti Manipal Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bengaluru, hosted an exhibition titled ‘SMI Collective’ on their campus last weekend. It showcased over 150 projects by the outgoing batch of 2024, comprising 500-plus students from the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

On display were final-year thesis projects, helmed with a transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach. These ranged from design interventions for sustainable living to innovative proposals to address ecological concerns.

The team behind ‘Smart Products for Smarter Living’, a project supported by Havells, proposed designs to reimagine exhaust and kitchen fans. Focussing primarily on needs of married couples, the students came up with ideas of smaller, more efficient and compact re-modelled exhaust fans for new kitchens.

They also suggested a refrigerator for the urban generation of 2030. Predicting that the future generation will have lesser counter space in the kitchen, they ideated a shorter, wider refrigerator that can double up as a counter. It will additionally feature convertible compartments with a provision to add more compartments. Undergraduate students of design chose the human brain as their theme. They worked with the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (Nimhans) on the Museum of the Brain and Mind that the latter has proposed. They gamified psychology tests to better assess mental health conditions. The interactive models were meant to help subjects assess their own conditions and monitor their behaviour better. One of the games included a series of strings, which one can trace to get a visual image of how destructive their coping mechanisms may be. It came with a pamphlet on healthy coping mechanisms for various situations.  

‘Rabbit Hole Radicals’ reimagines ways in which visual artists can engage with their audience. Vanshika Pandoh, a human-centred design student, designed a line of jewellery and clothes inspired by the forest of Avalahalli. “I have an emotional connection with the natural setting of the forest and developed a short story based on it. The clothes and jewellery, made keeping the protagonist of the story in mind embody the ebullient spirit and freedom of movement of the forest,” she said. The character’s unconventionality was captured in attires and accessories fashioned with fibres like Pashmina yarn, and pearls .

Another project espoused circular economy and biomimicry to make events like weddings sustainable. Biomimicry is a practice that learns from and mimics the strategies found in nature to solve real-world problems. It suggested designs and modular structures that factor in family traditions, budget, and cultural factors but also sustainable practices. Pragya Khandelwala, who ideated the project is planning to collaborate with a biomaterials startup to incorporate their incense sticks made from temple flowers. “I used sustainable materials such as bamboo, cane, and reclaimed wood to create modular designs for the wedding mandap. My thesis explains how these reusable pieces could be used like Lego bricks to create new and unique designs,” she added.

The students behind ‘Bio Invasion Reimagined’ proposed ways of turning plants like lantanas and water hyacinths into a source of livelihood for communities dwelling in areas infested with these species. For instance, lantana shavings can be used to design a table with resin, they suggested.

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Published 31 May 2024, 23:59 IST

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