Lab4Living on tour! Our work in India

Lab4Living in India

During March this year members of the Lab4Living team undertook a mammoth overseas trip taking in Delhi, Mumbai and Surabaya in eastern Java. Designers Heath Reed and Andy Stanton are delivering projects in school and community settings under a new UK Government funding programme. The work is funded through the ‘Frugal Innovation’ theme in Sheffield Hallam University’s ‘Global Challenge Research Fund‘ which aims to help address problems faced by developing countries.

'Playponics' concept development

‘Playponics’ concept development

In India our research (desk research plus brainstorming with partner groups) indicated that gaps in provision for integrated play and sustainability education might be addressed through new forms of interaction.

Working with Emeritus Professor Mike Knowles (School of Creativity, Rishihood University) and Avika Sood (Design MA/RA) we have developed new concepts for ‘Playponics‘, a suite of playground equipment through which we aim to enable hydroponic crop production.

'Playponics' concept development

‘Playponics’ concept development

The people we met and the projects we worked on reminded me just how powerful design approaches can be in helping to create positive change” Heath Reed

The ‘Playponics‘ concept has been welcomed by schools in the Delhi region and has in-principle backing from The Energy and Resources Institute.

We plan to have the first installation up and running in a local school by the end of 2019. Watch this space!

It was a privilege to see first-hand a level of ingenuity realising real world solutions with very limited resources, a truly inspirational experience.” Andy Stanton

In Mumbai the team have been extending their practice and knowledge in the areas of Motor Neurone Disease (MND) and improvements to quality of life through new kinds of product provision.

Team at IDC, Mumbai

Neurogen Hospital, Mumbai

Building on our work with the UK MND community (including the Head-Up project) and with colleagues at the Industrial Design Centre’s School of Design at Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (who presented last year’s Design4Health conference), we have identified a number of currently unmet needs which will be explored and further developed in local workshops with patients and healthcare practitioners.

In Surabaya the team presented the work of Lab4living, shared knowledge with ITS about our methods and practices, and established a number of lines for future collaboration across education, industry and research.

More news on the Delhi Hydroponics Playground project, our work with the MND community in Mumbai, and the developing themes in Surabaya coming soon!

Heath Reed and Andy Stanton