Faculty: Ramya Ramesh

A Maker Centric Perspective

Co-design is a process in which users and other stakeholders are actively involved in making design decisions. The study of co-design processes in architecture and planning have mostly been about the user’s voice. The maker’s perspective and involvement in design, however, have been explored widely in other fields of design, including furniture and textile design. While the use of traditional building crafts in modern buildings is gaining popularity, the contribution of makers in the design process is yet to be documented in detail. This research project explores the role of an architect in facilitating maker-centric co-design processes. It focuses on studying the communication and organization strategies that enable maker communities to effectively engage in the design process.

Co-design processes are inductive and discovery oriented, so the final outcome is governed by the contribution of different actors. These processes are also political; in that, they can bring out suppressed voices and help negotiate power structures through design. Innovative communication techniques help blur the boundaries between actors, creating a common ground for knowledge exchange. The research project thus places the design process at the centre of the study.