SCD in India with Sahil Thappa





It becomes really important that design, especially industrial design which is a combination of a lot of things, moves out of its comfort zone of designing only for predictable outcomes. Present-day design education India works with commercial design. It revolves around the user but with Critical Design your end-user in the present scenario could exist or even could not exist. Critical Design is a hyper-connected network of things that are trying to lead you to a discussion. SCD is really important for starting this conversation.


It isn’t necessary to end up in a dystopia, one can also think of critical design in hopeful scenarios

. Tools used in SCD are really robust. It’s not just to critique. We can start using them in our day to day activities, even the tool used for future world-building. We apply these tools to social design and also systems thinking. we need to start borrowing tools, across domains or across these sort of thinking ideologies and start using them more interchangeably rather than thinking in silos.


There is a lot of potential of SCD or using tools of SCD into tweaking systems outcomes. SCD in India could be used in politics and urban planning. It becomes a very powerful tool to create some sort of actionable trigger for the people who think/do not think on those lines. Rather than creating just one future, you can create a hopeful future, you can create a neutral future, you can create a dystopian future. So your possibilities are endless. India has a very big SCD relevance in terms of geopolitical issues, political issues and even urban movement.


Example: In the case of the migrant movement, you apply SCD and systems thinking. Your inquiries then could be- When migrants move, how are they going to move? What artefacts are they going to use? How are they going to travel from one place to another place? Will they have a passport? Will a person moving Kolhapur to Aurangabad, in a post COVID scenario, what is it going to be? What are these artefacts and how will they move? It becomes an activist and a planning sort of a tool for people. In India SCD can have more consequences on a larger scale rather than artefact scale. They can move beyond probes.


There are so many widespread problems that no one is willing to deal with in India, it needs to be out in public and dealt with. The best medium for SCD in India, is actually the story telling way. Anand Gandhi who did Ship of Theseus movie, his first TV series was Kyuki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. That guy mastered something so critical, that Kyuki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi ran for 10 years. SCD needs to move out of this very small ghettos or isolated fringe movement into something which is understandable by all. SCD outcomes end up being very polished and that becomes inaccessible to majority population of India.

The more you have people on board the more robust your future world building scenarios become.