Author Archives: Niti Bhan

Vanishing Point

Or, does one step outside of the system in its entirety in order to discover one’s humanity? What is the system that threatens you the most? Which system oppresses you? Is it possible to extricate oneself from such systems entirely? Or one must make do with what one can to shield oneself from such systems? […]

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Digitalization’s discontents and the meaning of life

I was musing on the concept of grand purposes last night, and how the concept of finding meaning in one’s life work tends to be correlated with world changing scale. What if it wasn’t so anymore? Sitting here isolated by externally imposed constraints restricting movement and in person meetings, I got to wondering how I […]

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Have I found my new focal length?

When I picked up the metaphorical pen again last month, here on this blog, after almost a decade of silence, I discovered in the course of my writing that I must find a way to change the focal length of my mind’s eye. As I wrote on March 20th, only my second post in the […]

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The fast moving river flowing unseen beneath still waters

I do not yet have all the words to craft an articulation of the movement I can sense occurring beneath the surface of my thinking and feeling. But happening it is, and so I play the keyboard tonight in hopes of picking up the faint sounds of the music I haven’t given up looking for […]

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Do digital lyrics convey the magic?

One of the questions being raised in social conversations – over digital means – with friends in different countries is whether the acceleration of digitalization brought about by the pandemic’s constraints might not, in fact, be influencing those of us of a certain age to think like Luddites. This sentence could probably have been framed […]

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Finding the magic of word song in the literature of change agents: Weick’s change poets

The minute I set off on a path to unknown discovery, I came across Weick’s reflections on change poetry. Given that I picked up my metaphorical pen to write again after a decade or more of constricted silence after being inspired by the magic of word song – the runot of Finland’s Kalevala. Simplistically put, […]

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Theoretical background for contextualizing User Agency in Participatory Processes

Scandinavian participatory design practices are not distinguished by particular methods but rather by political commitments to societal concerns and relationships with participating users and communities. Pelle Ehn writes:`In the interest of emancipation, we deliberately made the choice of siding with workers and their organisations, supporting the development of their resources for a change towards democracy […]

Posted in Africa, Analysis, Assumption filter, Design, Design Methodology, Frameworks, Innovation Planning, Kenya, Literature review, Mobile platform, Perspective, Research, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Technology, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Disrupting the Default: Must it fall under “development” if the geography is Africa?

Where does it say that if the geography of the study or innovation or project is in Africa then it must be ‘development’? Is it Tuesday, that it must be Belgium? Will the ‘tyranny of dominant logic’ continue to hold us in thrall regardless of all the massive changes overtaking our world today; including the […]

Posted in Africa, Afrique francophone, Analysis, Assumption filter, Design, Innovation Planning, Literature review, Perspective, Sub Saharan Africa | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Scandinavian Approaches to Participatory Design: Simply a tradition or a coherent philosophy of design?

“Scandinavian participatory design approaches emphasise change and development, not only technological change and systems development, but change and development of people, organisations, and practices, occurring in changing socio-historical contexts.” Gregory, J. (2003). Scandinavian approaches to participatory design. International Journal of Engineering Education, 19(1), 62-74. Long ago, an essay I wrote on “Why is design important?” […]

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Design of Visual Sensemaking Tools for Informal Economy: Literature Review

Since I have long been exposed to the concept of sensemaking from the perspective of the synthesis phase of human centered design research, and design/innovation planning & concept development, I hadn’t thought to review the literature last year when building customized sensemaking tools for market women and vegetable vendors sourcing and supplying fresh vegetables in […]

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