Design Sammelan

Design Sammelan

Design Sammelan is a platform where we host/invite experts, researchers, academicians and practitioners from the field of HCI and Design.

Designing for Smart Home Living

By Ruchin Shah, Frog Design

13th February, 2020

A talk about bringing human centred design and complex systems thinking together to make living at home better.


Ruchin is a Senior Interaction Designer at Frog Design, Bangalore. By working in multidisciplinary teams, he has designed experiences across touchpoints and channels for an array of clients such as IBM, Google, HSBC and Tata. Ruchin’s work has featured  in international conferences like UX-India, IndiaHCI, Icograda, Typography Day, IIT-B Tech-Fest and national media such as the Times of India, DNA and Kyoorius Design Magazine.

His talk focussed on the different perspectives involved in designing for smart home living. With interesting use cases such as ‘ A tech-savvy family member’ as an expert user onboarding the other novice users, there are design decisions at play at such levels. He explained key challenges such as the need for a ‘seamless experience’ overstepping exploration because of protocols. Most users don’t completely understand smart home technology, but find it ‘super cool’. He also pointed to the lack of usage of these devices often towards poorly understood conditions, cultures and contexts. 

Interestingly, while automation appears promising for all aspects in a new-age home, the developments in the field are novel. He pointed that we are at step one for automation – through control over timers and lighting. What if there were checks to a tap left open? While possibilities appear endless, usability calls for standardising how to interact with devices universally.

The usage of these technologies have begun from homes, expanding to offices, buildings and potentially cities. However, it is a faraway story because technology and statistics don’t talk to each other. A mobile app not made for smart home living, yet connecting systems together would not be known to a user naturally. The distinction between Surveillance and Privacy becomes increasingly important to observe. 

There is a clear distinction for the kind of users for this technology at the moment- namely tech-savvy people. Smart technologies rarely factor in for people who may not be educated. 

Creating Magic - Data Visualisation for Humans in Real Life

By Amit Das, Design Head at

10th January, 2020

Amit Das, the VP of design at, ex VP of Design at UrbanClap and Housing hosted the second talk of the Design Sammelan Series. Amit Das is a coder, a leader and a data enthusiast. 


In this talk, Amit presented foundational grounds that inspired his team to define the future of enterprise business analytics. He explained that any analytical system must function as quickly as the human perception by giving the example of the perception of the image of a tiger where the immediate response of a human brain is to ‘run’.


He gave us an in-depth look inside the design process at where they are shaping data visualization taking advantage of consumer digital product experiences and first principles. He shares how simplification is the key to data consumption and how the simple solutions are the ones that have the highest impact. Amit Das also presses on empathising with the business users by really understanding their needs. He explained how making the profile picture of an UrbanClap technician larger on the UI helped customers feel secure about the service they received. 


Amit Das concluded the talk with the realisations that it is imperative to collect data to design for data. The success of any data visualisations lie in understanding how people are using the data. 

Healthcare in Design and the Process at Phillips

By Abhimanyu Kulkarni

August 29, 2019

Abhimanyu Kulkarni, Head of Design at Philips, Bangalore kickstarted the Design Sammelan series with his talk on Healthcare in Design. His talk essentially focussed on how the healthcare industry is advancing and the key role that design plays in it. The healthcare industry and design go hand in hand. 


He also went on to speak about how Philips as a company works and manages healthcare requirements through design frameworks. This helped students understand the industry of healthcare and the role designers adorn. He carefully explained the different teams and projects that the company has and how they tackle different design problems. 


He mentioned how Philips has a program called ‘The Innovation Project’ where design employees come up with their own projects and pitch it to the rest of the design team. Based on interest levels, different groups are formed and these groups work on these projects for a couple of months to showcase the various outputs. This encourages creativity and collaboration in the team and allows the employees to work on other projects that interest them. 


Abhimanyu was extremely warm and welcoming to questions from the students. Some of the questions involved how they tackle healthcare in rural areas wherein came the reply that Philips is actively working to increase healthcare access in rural areas as well and for this, continuous research and analysis is ongoing. 

Research & Application for Immediate COVID-19 Prevention

Presented By, Nitish Chopra

10th April, 2020

#DesignSammelan (Webinar)

  • Aavishkar (CEO Tarun Bhalla) – Educational Robotic Products, they were approached by a BJP MLA to help with the pandemic
  • Whatsapp video that captures efforts globally – outdoor disinfections in countries and India’s lack of ways to tackle the problem
  • Proposed a team and build something similar – not something sophisticated but practical and can be developed quickly
  • Problem of disinfecting in India – we don’t have as wide roads, sanitisation vehicles are not capable, and the localities are clustered
  • Instead of large solution – can we use existing automobile infrastructure to deploy sanitation – idea to build a scalable system 
  • Motor pump water to spray onto surface- diluted bleach to decontaminate, bare minimum level materials required
  • Power source, pull in pipes, sprinkler nozzles(high density vapourizer), materials that can be easily found anywhere in the country
  • Build a solution that can be assembled by other people – open sourced 
  • First prototype – Done on top of an existing truck vehicle – sprinkling diluted bleach stored in water tanks – mounted six for coverage 
  • Solution is built in a scalable form, order to assemble 300 solutions on e-rickshaws 
  • We calculated a two motor on e-rickshaw- 10-12,000 
  • Boom lancers and Zip ties – easily tie onto the road, not the most long term but for easy building
  • Try to minimise work force and respecting lockdown and social distancing – 8 hours a day can assemble 50 
  • None of us had any prior knowledge – create noise around it to help come up with a solution quicker 
  • Conversation with bio engineer – about chemicals and usage – dont want to cause more problem than you’re trying to solve 
  • Looking for indoor sanitisation solutions – three possible things
    • Cleaning of occupants in and out of the building – vacate out and sanitize, find a solution that is safe for human exposure 
  • No solutions are safe for humans – harmful, frequent inhalation is can cause problems, this is why doctors and nurses can’t use this
  • Ethanol i.e. sanitisers is the only safe solution for human exposure – expensive and not easy to apply 
  • Application is difficult – in order to sanitise you will have to rub into the skin, it’s not quick and large scale
  • Disinfection using UV Light – hospitals for sanitising equipment (UV C spectrum exposure to surface for one to two minutes 
  • Robots that disinfect the room, navigate around objects and disinfect – managed to find resources 
  • Top – mount mechanism to disinfect, bottom is used to navigate 
  • Our expertise can be used to make autonomous systems and source UV mechanism to come up with a prototype 
  • Prototype – Base with motors, backbone to mount the UV – next week to build a structure and should be able to navigate around closed areas and disinfect surface 
  • Apart from dealing with harmful chemicals – communicating with lot of people to get lot of products, etc. We are ensuring we are taking precautions to stay safe ourselves
  • Side effort – trying to 3D print face shield – open source design from prusa printers (they do 3D printing) – we are donating shields for all workers, health officials, etc. 
  • They are looking for anyone who can contribute from the healthcare, chemical, and biochem fields.
  • The heavy duty motors (1000), boom lancers (1000), 500 ltr water tanker (2000-3000), wiring and electrical connection