Understanding Jugaad (And why Design hasn’t kicked off in India yet…)


I’ve always been a writer. There’s always this flurry of thoughts and opinions rushing through my head. Like a ticker tape on a news channel. That’s why I prefer microblogging to actually writing large pieces of text. Somewhat explains why I’m a sucker for social media.

Anyway… By profession, I’m a designer. In India. It’s mighty difficult, in my opinion. Being a junior designer in a country with little to no sensitivity towards design is one of the toughest tasks out there. No one takes you seriously, and over time that just undermines your confidence. The difficulty lies in the fact that I chose the design field because of my passion for it. No one likes being told that they are bad at what they do. But what’s worse is if they tell you what you LOVE doing is not worth doing in the first place, and that’s what happened with the entire design profession in this country. Design’s always been in the shadow of more exalted professions like engineering or architecture.

So I decided to collect my thoughts on this matter (most of it stems out of angst) and talk about why design hasn’t attained that status in this country yet. I primarily look at Jugaad (knack to solve a problem with minimal resources) and how it’s deeply rooted into the Indian psyche; and how although it sounds like something to do with design, it just might be the one thing that’s suffocating the design culture and profession in this country.

Here’s a link to the article. It may be a lengthy read, but I assure you it’s worth it.

View at Medium.com


I would like to acknowledge the efforts of Prof. Jitendra Arora, of the DSK Supinfocom International Campus. He has been more than generous with his advice and critique, and has always held the blinders up, and pointed me in the correct direction whenever I needed help with my writing.

One thought on “Understanding Jugaad (And why Design hasn’t kicked off in India yet…)

  1. Hi there,

    i just recently came across your blog whilst browsing through Yanko-Design.
    It seems really hard to get around your “Jugaad”-Issue. I was just wondering
    why it is held high in terms of getting a fast fix with low ressources but not as
    a thought of “how can i obtain a nice designed object out of this with minimal
    Basically what i´m trying to understand is the weight-problem of that issue.
    Design and looks of an object, the symetric values and proportions of every
    thing in this world should have the same value as its functionality.

    Because after all, the things in life that really impress and make your day brighter
    are all designed by nature and for some parts, designed by people to make
    other peoples lifes better and easier, even prettier.

    I hope your journey will shake some people up and open their minds to

    Cheers from Germany.

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