Nature-Inspired Design Thinking: CONV. CONVERSATIONS with Ar.K.S.Chetan
‘Nature–inspired Design Thinking’ was a Conv. (Conversations) virtual webinar organized on 28th April 2021 by JD Institute of Fashion Technology, Bengaluru as a part of the institute’s 3C’s series – Conv. (Conversations), Comm. (Community), and Conf. (Conference). The webinar was conducted by Ar. K.S.Chetan, Principal Architect of Kham design, and Founder of Hampi Centre for Design. 3Cs aims to bring together practitioners, researchers, and students who have worked on or thought about design from a variety of perspectives, disciplines, and fields on one common platform. The initiative gathers experts, professionals and recognized personalities from various disciplines within Design, Art, Management and Technology. The session is attended by students and staff who get an opportunity to discuss and interact with a Q&A session at the end of its one-hour duration.
Ar. K.S. Chetan’s ‘Nature–inspired Design Thinking’ began with an introduction as to what pertains to design thinking and the dire need to do the same in the current scenario. The talk held nature–inspired design thinking as its nucleus and stressed the importance of this way of thinking by not just designers, but professionals from other disciplines as well. Throwing spotlight on the history of evolution and the role of designers in it. The session emphasized how nature is a rich resource for innovations and inventions and nothing is considered as waste in this realm.
The speaker highlighted how we as designers can learn from nature’s battle against the several challenges that came across its evolution of 5000+ years and implement the same in finding solutions to day-to-day problems. Bringing Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution into the discussion, Ar. Chetan mentions survival of the fittest by natural selection and points out that even though each one of us is a Homosapien, our stories of evolution are contrasting.
The session continued to deepen the understanding of why designers need to be conscious of their inventions and innovations. At this point, Ar. K.S. Chetan put forward facts that stressed the negative impact our inventions have caused on nature. He stated that a person produces approximately 102 tonnes of waste in his lifetime, and this is equivalent to as many as 1100 graves. It is at this point in the session the cause for concern was brought into the discussion. The speaker introduced the participants to a concept called ‘Cradle to Grave’ and highlighted how our linear approach to inventions and innovations is going to the grave after proving useless.
Underlining the waste produced due to our inventions, the expert stated that as designers we have produced designs that consume more resources to make them. The discussion focussed on the need to turn our thinking towards a more non-linear process approach. This includes being inspired by nature to create designs. The speaker gave examples of displays that are inspired by the structure of insects like butterflies, structures of buildings, and interiors inspired by the web created by spiders.
The session extended to touch upon solutions for the shortcomings of our inventions and highlighted how a non-linear process of design thinking is the right way going forward. The solutions also include creating multi-use, self-cleaning, environmentally friendly attire that doesn’t harm nature.
JD Institute of Fashion Technology was honored to host Ar.K.S.Chetan who shared experiences from his 22-year long career as an architect, and enlightened our students to become pro-nature in their approach to designing.