Aditya Pawar (India) is a PhD candidate at Umeå Institute of Design (Sweden) working on the broad topic of social design, more specifically on participatory design with communities.
He trained in India as an industrial designer and later moved to the Netherlands to complete his education in interaction design. More recently he was working on a number of practice-led research projects, less to do with designing objects and more to do with designing processes of collaboration. In addition to that, he teaches design methodology courses at the Umeå Institute of Design and he is part of an artist collective that focusses on food production and urban-rural connections.
Participatory design is particularly relevant today when words such as participation and collaboration are taken for granted, are made to sound sexy and in the worst case used as means for harnessing the potential of the crowds or creating an illusion of choice.
Aditya’s work emphasizes the role of communities, collectives and various collaborative arrangements of agents including designers/artists in generating the commons. The method of research and design that he uses is motivated by design anthropology, where design interventions form the basis of understanding our own practices and the world around us.
Aditya is a participant of the residency Culture of Permanence, that covers similar questions on participation, commons and interrogates design and artistic practices. It further poses the question about cultures of permanence. Just as permaculture founds a socio-ecological basis for cultivating plants, can we think of our design projects as sustainable and cultivating the commons? If we were to prototype our own practices, what would we change?