ADRC welcomes visiting design researcher from Delhi

Visiting researcher Avika Sood

For two weeks in July 2019, the Art & Design Research Centre is joined by a visiting design researcher to work on projects currently in development in Lab4Living and Design Futures.

Avika Sood, a recent MA graduate from Sushant School of Art and Architecture, is working with designers Heath Reed and Andy Stanton on projects including ‘Playponics‘, a suite of playground equipment which aims to enable hydroponic crop production.

Avika met Heath and Andy during their recent design research visits to India in May and July. She developed an aspect of the Playponics project as part of her final MA dissertation, during an internship with Emeritus Professor Mike Knowles of Inline Design Studio.

During her stay in Sheffield, Avika is working with Heath and Andy on technical resolution and developing some of the concepts.

The project 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.

Avika was initially unsure about getting involved:

When I was in my MA programme I had expected to graduate and go into interior design, like everyone else. Then I got this opportunity. My classmates thought I was changing my stream and that it won’t help my career prospects in the long run with the change of focus. But I was interested to explore the research side to design. It’s a great project, and I’m enjoying every single aspect so far.

Heath noted that Avika’s role liaising with local Delhi schools in the Playponics project was particularly important. During their last visit to India, Avika also travelled to Mumbai with Heath and Andy, helping to facilitate a workshop at the NeuroGen Hospital at Vashi looking at potential product interventions for people with motor neurone disease (MND) and their carers.