Introducing Dheebak Odayakulam Balasubramaniam
Student, MSc Strategic Product Design
What happens to a strategic designer who is interested in complex problems, systemic change, and participatory design? The person joins the participatory city making lab !!!
Meet Dheebak, one of our graduate students (with a long name) working in the participatory city making lab – exploring the underexplored area of circular collaborations in the urban space.
How did Dheebak get in touch with the Participatory City Making Lab?
Exploring whether the “Free-zones in the University could be hubs for diffuse design”, through a research part of the concept and conceptualization course, was Dheebak’s first engagement with the lab. The Deep Dive (elective) into Civic media design also introduced him to the different ideas and concepts around participation. He found the value of participation in design, lying in the process, and the outcome; wanting to explore the ideas further the graduation project with the Participatory City Making Lab began.
Why Circular Collaborations?
Much often the social side of a circular economy is not focused as much, the emphasis lies a lot on the product and material side, the social side of a circular economy may be more important when it comes to implementation of the products and materials flow on a larger scale. This is especially true due to the networked nature of a circular economy, where currently the challenge is to move from the level of new product, market opportunities to the generation of societal changes, through large scale-collaborations.
This is why Dheebak wants to explore the context of circular collaborations and see how organizations operationalize their innovations.
The hidden systems
Dheebak in his design approach likes to explore the hidden systems around an event that is occurring during the exploration of the context. He likes to think in relations and uses concepts from systems thinking in combination with design thinking in synthesizing the information at hand to uncover new/hidden insights. This helps him in uncovering potential places of intervention which enable more systemic change in the long term.
Hopes for the graduation project
For his graduation project, Dheebak is currently exploring and working with a handful of circular start-ups within the designscapes project and beyond in the urban space; understanding how they operate, collaborate, and implement their ideas. He hopes to understand how circular-startups in the urban space collaborate and scale in a circular economy and create ways for circular organizations in the urban space to collaborate better and scale through engagement.