Pratik Ghosh, Innovation Design Engineering, Abraaj RCA Innovation Scholar 2015 – 2017
Pratik is a graduate of the National Institute of Design in India and recipient of the prestigious the Jamshedji Tata research chair grant (2010).
His approach to design has been one to connect with people and how to elevate their way of life. For the past few years Pratik has worked for General Electric Healthcare, which has given him the opportunity to explore his passion for person-centred design. He has helped to improve the User Interfaces used by cancer research scientists and aided in the design of better Cath-labs to make cardiac surgeries less traumatic for patients.
Pratik aims to create affordable and accessible solutions to the economic, educational and healthcare challenges found in India.
In Conversation with Pratik
Q: Take us behind the scenes on your final project.
A: My project is called Drop by Drop. It is a plant based natural water filtration system. Through this project, I want to provoke and instill changes in the value systems related to water. The idea stemmed from looking into the growing water crisis around the globe. I started by interviewing people and reading books on the politics behind water and the way we manage water at a systems level. The more I delved into it, the more I realized that such a massive problem cannot be addressed by technology alone and we need to redefine the way we perceive water. Hence I decided to design a new way of procurement and consumption. The prototype that I am presenting at the show is meant to sit in one’s living room and not the kitchen. At the same time, this system can be applied to various scales across the globe, for example a massive greenhouse at a community level or a small poly tunnel in a rural environment. All in all, I believe that the idea has the potential to bring about a mass movement in the way we look at appliances and water filtration. It can pave the way for research and design to delve into more sustainable solutions and solve some of the most burning problems of our times.
Q: What is your most memorable experience in your two years as scholar and student at the RCA?
A: The most memorable experience for me has been a research trip to France which was with my very talented classmates at the RCA. We were investigating fermentation as a way of food preservation and preparation. On the trip we met with several professionals who make cheese, wine and cider and also met an amazing food historian. This was one of the best learning experiences as we stepped out of the studio into the real world!
Q: It’s an exciting time for you. What are you plans now that you are graduating?
A: To me studying at the RCA has broadened my perspective and my practice. Now, I do not look at design as just a way of problem solving but also as a way of critical thinking and looking beyond traditional solutions. In my time here, I have delved into Experimental Design, Design Research, Critical Design and Designing objects beyond digital.
I want to continue working at the intersection of these disciplines and carry on doing meaningful work. I really hope that my final year project gets the attention it deserves from the scientific, design and business communities. My task at hand is to sow this seed of an idea, make it open source and nurture it till it grows into something tangible. I have my fingers crossed!