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00:00:08 Hi everyone I’m Kadambari Sahu. I'm the head of design at Value Labs. Design Inspire

00:00:14 is the web series of passionate innovative and young inspiring designers. The web series

00:00:19 dive into their passion inspiration and what makes them go. It's an effort to understand

00:00:25 how they are navigating their career path and how they are investing their creative

00:00:29 energies. We believe hearing their bold moves and inspiring stories that will ignite interest

00:00:34 and inspired the next generation of budding designers across the globe. So let's go forward

00:00:39 with our guest today. Mayukini is a design entrepreneur with a chronic curiosity for

00:00:44 all things that give insight into human experiences, including design research. After completing

00:00:49 her post-graduation in strategic design management from NID (2011). She worked with NID - Asian

00:00:55 Paints Color Research Lab, and co - authored three research papers published in internationally

00:01:00 acclaimed scientific journals such as Color Research and Application. In 2012, she co

00:01:05 - founded a design research consulting firm and worked with clients such as Kotak Life

00:01:09 Insurance and Sesame Street India, in projects ranging from product to organizational design.

00:01:17 In 2015, she co - founded Greenopia - a start-up that designs products to make plants easier

00:01:25 for busy, urban lifestyles. Their Smart Herb Garden was one of the earliest crowdfunded

00:01:31 IoT products from India. Mayukini was among the top ten entrepreneurs from India selected

00:01:36 in Women Entrepreneurs Quest 2016, organized by Anitha, as part of which she had

00:01:43 the opportunity to experience the start-up ecosystem in Silicon Valley. So that little

00:01:48 bit about Mayukini. And the first part Mayukini is about our speakers, we generally talk about

00:01:55 the things that they're passionate about. So yeah, let's go ahead. We're excited to

00:02:00 listen to your talk. Over to you. Okay. Thank you Kadambari and Value Labs it

00:02:07 gives me great pleasure to be here and share my experiences with you. So I'm going to share

00:02:14 my screen and get with first part of this. Okay, so Kadambari you first asked me or you

00:02:23 suggested rather than I speak about design research today, I was a bit apprehensive because

00:02:31 design research is such a vast and deep topic and needs such a nuanced treatment that I

00:02:38 wasn't sure what I could meaningfully cover in 20 minutes. So then I asked myself well

00:02:45 okay. If this were my last chance to speak about design research what would I really

00:02:53 what's the one most important thing that I would like to say about it and that brought

00:03:00 some clarity. So here I am hoping that this is not my last lecture and hoping also that

00:03:07 for the audience they do survive it. But one of the central endeavors of any design researcher

00:03:19 is to get inside the proverbial shoes of the user how the user feels or anyone who they

00:03:27 are designing for what is how are they looking at the world? How are they looking at a certain

00:03:32 problem so on and so forth? In fact you know to get inside the user's shoes has become

00:03:42 such a cliché that it no longer affects us we no longer stop and think yeah, what does

00:03:50 it take to get inside someone's shoes? What does it take to really get inside someone

00:03:56 else's experience? So the stereotypical image that we have of the design researcher who

00:04:05 wants to get inside someone's experiences this person who goes to this mystical land

00:04:10 called the field and then does these esoteric practices of the interview some method cards

00:04:18 and some other jazz like that and then comes back with a bag full of stories like the medical

00:04:26 traveler in Alberta and shows images of this Wonderland to people back home. But could

00:04:34 it be that we have gone to the field you have spoken to people interviewed them we have

00:04:41 observed things taken pictures and yet not have entered anybody's experience. In other

00:04:49 words, what I'm trying to say is could it be that we have been a Tourist but not a traveler

00:04:56 and I don't mean it literally like I don't really mean that you should grow beards and

00:05:02 you know dope on the field and become like a quint essential traveler. But what I'm saying

00:05:07 is that have you only moved your bodies across space but your minds are still stuck in the

00:05:16 same old ways of thinking or have you learned truly something new that has to some extent

00:05:22 transformed you. So let me give you an example here. We were commissioned to this project,

00:05:30 where we had to design the interior spaces of a warship, the part where the living space

00:05:40 and being inside a warship can be very tough experience. First of all, the space inside

00:05:46 of warship is at a premium you know there's a lot of equipment that they need to have.

00:05:51 So the living spaces are really, really tiny. And to add to it you are at sea for months,

00:05:59 sometimes even a year. We just grayness all around you. So one of the themes that kept

00:06:07 reoccurring across our interviews was quite obviously the theme of missing home you know

00:06:13 people on board missed home. This was exacerbated by the fact that when you are in a warship

00:06:22 you can't quite pick up a phone or Skype call or family anytime that you want it to the

00:06:30 registry. Though, our design team started to go in the direction of let's make the space

00:06:38 livelier more interactive for them. But something inside us was still rankling, I was like yeah

00:06:46 but have I truly understood like what it feels like to miss home inside a warship. So thankfully

00:06:54 we went back to some of the respondents and tried to get some clarification on that point.

00:07:03 That's when you know in a warship fix you the spaces are so cramped you're always with

00:07:11 someone either your superior or your colleague and you're always under someone's gaze or

00:07:18 ship you never really get a chance to be to yourself. And one of the things that some

00:07:25 of them some of the respondents clarified were you know I just sometimes want to just

00:07:32 be with myself I've had a bad day I just want to sult and not be aware of someone looking

00:07:37 at. And that was a revelation which sort of moved our direction of design to Okay, maybe

00:07:45 the spaces need to be livelier. But we also need to factor in you know, creating spaces

00:07:51 of solitude, where one can feel like they are only with themselves. And this is where

00:07:59 I think the one most important thing. Hopefully not the last lecture is the concept of a frame.

00:08:12 The home in the researchers frame looks something like this you know interaction warmth on the

00:08:18 wat. But in the say yes frame this was the most salient thing to you know say yes frame

00:08:25 sort of saw home as a place where they can. And very often this happens during the course

00:08:35 of a research that we have gone to the field we have interviewed people but we are still

00:08:42 projecting our meanings into their words. And coming back thinking that we have an insight

00:08:49 whereas all that is an insight to is your own assumptions rather than someone else's

00:08:55 life. And this is the single most important capacity that is required to be developed

00:09:02 of a design researcher. “Frames often hide behind cliches” at least that has been my

00:09:12 experience. At any time in your design process you find yourself counting on a cliche to

00:09:19 inform you, you're probably you need to put a red flag there. Let me give you another

00:09:30 example. This was a project which is 10 years old so technologically, it's a little outdated

00:09:36 to speak about but in terms of process it still holds relevant today. So this project

00:09:44 was where we you know this was a time when big tech companies were still wanting to figure

00:09:51 out the next billion market and they wanted to know what the next billion thought felt

00:09:57 like and how did they make their choices especially visa V technology. And the particular client

00:10:04 that we were dealing with was interested in informal retail. So, you know from your wholesalers

00:10:13 to Khirana shops, and particularly interested in the adoption of new technology especially

00:10:19 computers at that point in time. So one of the things that we noticed was that a lot

00:10:29 of shops or establishment that had adopted computerization for their processes were run

00:10:37 by second generation more educated entrepreneurs in the business. And they had all the nice

00:10:48 things to say about their tech adoption, like it had computers had made their businesses

00:10:53 faster, easier, more efficient, all of that. But when we interviewed some of the people

00:11:01 who work for them not the owner we were getting some contradictory perspective. Like, I remember

00:11:06 some of them saying computers actually slowed me down. And so here comes the concept of

00:11:15 the frame. Again you know the cliche here is that well someone who is uneducated will

00:11:20 obviously experience a computer as something that slows them down. But again that little

00:11:26 voice of red flag came up inside us. And we wanted to know I mean I was very intrigued

00:11:36 that yeah okay but can we specifically know what about a computer did one experience is

00:11:44 going down. So then it emerged that let's say if you are in a dry fruit shop and there

00:11:51 is a stock coming of cashew nuts at the same time your customers are around so you're really

00:11:59 awful the stock is coming it's cashew nuts. And you have to go inside a typically Windows

00:12:05 operating system there will be a folder called Cashew nuts. Inside which there will be a

00:12:08 folder called Afghan Cashew nuts inside which there will be a folder called split Cashew

00:12:15 nuts. So you have to basically in order to make that one entry you have to go com box,

00:12:22 inside box inside box and then make that thing. Whereas the natural mental model does for

00:12:29 a lot of these people was to when they are in the shop floor they really want to make

00:12:37 quick notes of important things. And later in the day when they're not bothered by customers

00:12:42 and haggling. And all of that then is the time that they prefer to really categorize

00:12:48 all these rough notes into phone numbers or you know how much do I owe to someone or what

00:12:55 stock came today. So that's the time when they actually categorize it whereas computers

00:13:00 force you not computers but the Windows system as it is was forcing them to categorize first.

00:13:08 So the mental model that emerged for them was write first categorize later. And this

00:13:17 allowed you allowed us to then and envisage a different kind of an interface where you

00:13:24 could in fact make rough notes throughout the day and then later on your own time at

00:13:29 night or whenever you can then categorize them in whatever categories you belong to.

00:13:37 Now, this was the frame with which we went into the field. And the underlying assumption

00:13:46 behind this frame was that if you are an uneducated you may be technologically challenged. But

00:13:55 that's changed to this frame which is that you are differently educated. The technology

00:14:02 is designed to favor a certain mental model of files and folder which began in the West.

00:14:09 That's their way of organizing which we have adopted but a large part of indigenous organization

00:14:14 does not work on that mental model. And so that thought of an insight could only because

00:14:23 we did not settle with the cliche thankfully. Though if frames are as important as a design

00:14:33 researcher, is it something that you're born with it is it a natural knack, or is it cultivatable?

00:14:38 And the answer is that it is cultivated very much. And there's a lot that you can do to

00:14:46 cultivate this sort of a frame awareness, but because we don't have much time and this

00:14:51 is my almost last lecture, I will only speak about three things that I have found most

00:14:57 useful in my experience. To do that so first is before you start out on your research project

00:15:06 it helps to write what is very grandly known as the autobiography which basically just

00:15:12 means that let's say you are designing your project is about designing an online retail

00:15:18 experience for example you would ideally write down all your thoughts and feelings and experiences

00:15:25 of online retail. And I would recommend of all kinds of retail so it might run into a

00:15:32 few pages. And then you would take a step back and see what my assumptions are? What

00:15:39 are certain patterns that I see in my autobiography and that will make you a little more aware

00:15:46 of what is that frame that you might be carrying on to the feet will influence your interpretation.

00:15:54 Then during research while you're in it interacting with people there's a lot you can be aware

00:16:01 of but you really need to be aware of your language are you using leading language? So

00:16:07 for example if in the sailor project, I had gone and asked you say you miss home must

00:16:15 be missing uncle aunt mom dad everyone. And then the sailor would say yes yes I miss everyone.

00:16:23 And then I would go and say I have an insight sailor said they are missing all kinds of

00:16:29 uncles and Auntie's at home. So we need to create that kind of environment it's like

00:16:34 this warship, it can be disastrous, because you're just imposing your frame onto their

00:16:41 words. Whereas a more recommended way of asking the same question would be you say that you

00:16:51 miss home? In what about home do you miss? Can you give me an example, then their voice

00:16:59 out rather than we interpreting it for them. And then after the research, when you have

00:17:06 come back to the studio with all of your data and now starts the critical task of interpretation,

00:17:13 and this is where I have found the concept of ladder of inference, very useful which

00:17:19 you can totally find on the web and search. So I'm not going to spend too much time here.

00:17:25 But in a sense what it means is that suppose you go to the field and 15 respondents said

00:17:33 that I we our workers are uneducated. And so we you know they had trouble with computers

00:17:44 you don't really go and infer that therefore on lack of education is why computers were

00:17:53 not adopted. All you have all your data is saying is that's what 15 people thought, it's

00:17:59 not really saying that that is the cause. So the ladder of inference, sort of is a tool

00:18:04 that helps you ask yourself, am I jumping? My interpretation? Or is data really leading

00:18:11 to this sort of an inference. And finally after doing all of this we still make mistakes.

00:18:19 There are days when even I come back and kick myself saying what you were thinking Mayukini.

00:18:24 How could you have asked such question? But even so you could always remedy it which means

00:18:30 you can go back to the field and ask the question differently or you can just neglect or ignore

00:18:40 that part of the data and call it suspicious or weak. So there are things that you can

00:18:45 do around it to work. And yeah that's an often used quote by myself. But if I have to rephrase

00:18:56 it in the context of design research, what I would say is that “The real voyage of

00:19:02 discovery consists not in new methods”. A lot of times young design researchers are

00:19:07 very worried about I don't know this method and that method and I don't know this toolkit

00:19:11 and that toolkit. But I'm saying don’t worry about it. That's the easier part that is on

00:19:17 Google that can be downloaded to but what is really hard what no one else but you have

00:19:23 to work on is in sort of developing this frame awareness cultivating eyes that can see something

00:19:30 new. And believe you mean if you do that, if you spend time in doing that. You can be

00:19:38 thrown into any challenging research situation and you will find the right method to deal

00:19:45 with it. Yeah, so that's all I have to say about design research in 20 minutes.

00:19:53 Mayukini that was really amazing and I think those are the questions that you know I think

00:20:02 people should ask before during you know what kind of design research, what is design research

00:20:08 even mean? And how should they go about it I think your talk with spark those interest

00:20:14 and I hope you know people working in the research area or are trying to go to that

00:20:21 particular field sort of you know understand and maybe read more about it and you know

00:20:25 this can become the starting point for them to you know go and dig deeper. So, from here

00:20:33 yeah I really hope that you know this will spark their imagination in that direction.

00:20:37 Now, what I will do is, I will go on the second part of the show which is about asking you

00:20:44 a few questions and you know, understanding more about your journey as designed search

00:20:50 and with that trying to understand like you know how paths can be taken towards that career

00:20:56 path, and also design entrepreneurship and many other things that you as an individual

00:21:00 have you know done in your life. So, let's start with it. Are you ready?

00:21:06 I’m excited Okay, so let's start with something you know

00:21:12 that I asked most of the designers in the show and that is when and how did you think

00:21:17 of becoming a designer? And how did you start? Yeah. Okay. That's a very interesting question.

00:21:24 So I was an engineer. To begin with before the design happened to me. In 2007 is where

00:21:32 I had along with two of my friends started our first startup. And that in retrospect

00:21:40 seems like a decision which was away from engineering then to run towards entrepreneurs.

00:21:46 So it was bound to fail. But there was a time when after having done my first startup, you

00:21:55 know what was happening was roles were naturally evolving. I was someone in the team was always

00:22:03 thinking about when a person comes to a platform, What is he thinking or she thinking, but as

00:22:09 one other of my colleague was thinking how to sell this though our roles were naturally

00:22:13 evolving even though we didn't know that is marketing and what is and eventually everyone

00:22:20 followed that same path. Around that time I was also dabbling. I thought if engineering

00:22:29 is very left brained, and not my thing, let me try something very right brained and very

00:22:35 creative. So I joined theater amateur theatre but even there I felt like I enjoyed it. But

00:22:40 there is this middle path which I was not able to find. And then on a random impulse,

00:22:47 I went to an unconference where I met a couple of speakers who seemed I don't know what I

00:22:56 thought about them as someone who will have answers to my demos. I accosted them after

00:23:01 the talk. Can you help me out? I have this existential what to do with my life. And then

00:23:10 they were kind enough to sit with me. And one of them said, who is now good friend of

00:23:16 mine He said you sound like you should check out NID. And then until that point in time,

00:23:21 I thought design was fashion, because that was my exposure. As like no way I am fashionable.

00:23:31 But then I checked out the website and just the description of it felt right. It felt

00:23:38 like this is where I might find something. That's me.

00:23:45 So in that case, how would you go about choosing the field of strategic design management?

00:23:51 Yeah, that is interesting. So by this time, I had realized something about myself that

00:23:57 I liked. There was something appealing about being more of a generalist. I wanted an open

00:24:06 field where I could explore rather than be pinned down very early in my life because

00:24:11 I was not sure what I want. Like if I knew this was my passion, I would have pinned myself

00:24:18 I didn’t. So I wanted a broader description and design management had that breadth in

00:24:26 their description. I'd also applied to film and video because of the theater experience

00:24:31 and my interest in music. But and I was fortunate to get a call from both but I had to choose

00:24:38 even in the interview, they asked me what would you choose to do that and I was told

00:24:43 that when they do that just tell them your honest truth. So I told them that I would

00:24:49 prefer SDM because I was still not sure if I want it to be you know my medium. I didn't

00:24:56 want to face it. From there how did you come to design research

00:25:01 field as such? Yeah, it's more like I didn't come to it,

00:25:08 it came to me out of this when I was you know you know, that we have this course called

00:25:14 ethnography, every time. When that course happened to me, suddenly I found meaning,

00:25:20 I found like this whatever this guy is saying and whatever he's teaching it just feels like

00:25:29 a fish back in water like, this makes sense to me, I get it It's so exciting and so interesting.

00:25:36 What I really liked about it was this opportunity to not leave yourself, but this a possibility

00:25:45 to really enter inside someone else's experience. And that is something that really till date

00:25:52 intrigues me you know how you're feeling how someone what we how we feel what we feel about.

00:26:00 So, design research started with being deeply interested thanks to the teacher who taught

00:26:07 me that and then going in applying it on field I was very nervous because I thought I'm an

00:26:12 introvert domain I'm not someone who can just go put my hand around someone and say, so

00:26:19 how do you do a business? You know, I'm not that person. So I was like I am going to implicate

00:26:23 this. But eventually I realized that no you know introversion has its own benefits, when

00:26:31 you're a design researcher you don't just impose upon someone you wait it out, slowly

00:26:39 build a relationship, and then they open up to you genuinely, and that happened. And when

00:26:43 that happened, it was validation for me that I can do this. And then that journey, sort

00:26:49 of You've done a lot of research in you know in your career would you want to define some

00:26:56 of them and you know elaborate those fields. Okay because the methodology is such that

00:27:08 it is a bit field agnostic, doesn't matter whether because fundamentally you're trying

00:27:14 to understand human experience. So wherever there are humans it applies. So we done you

00:27:22 know like the examples that I gave had to do with one was interiors. One was technology.

00:27:31 And because the venture that I found it for design research consultant was with Anand

00:27:39 himself our teacher of design research. He had a background in organizational consulting.

00:27:48 And so we also did projects where we applied it to how organizational processes are structured

00:27:56 and are they really conducive? Is that causing conflict? Have you hired the right person,

00:28:03 it can be applied to all sorts of organizational contexts. So that's the breadth that we spend

00:28:09 while we were working. You also did color research, right? So how

00:28:14 different it is? It was very different it was fundamentally

00:28:21 different, because see ethnography and that kind of exploration is a qualitative and we

00:28:32 has a different philosophical assumption. But this color research that I undertook was

00:28:40 hardcore, quantitative and it was rooted in experimental psychology as its base. So the

00:28:52 person who was heading it was experimental psychologist from the UK, her name's Valerie.

00:28:59 And that was very different because it is not about going in art, being with people

00:29:06 in their natural context so if you're going to a bazaar, you want to study the bazaar

00:29:12 you go to the bazaar, you experience the bazaar you speak with people in their natural settings.

00:29:17 So it's like that whereas this is very lab environment controlled environment. What you're

00:29:25 trying to understand is operationalized into a measurable parameter and then you take run

00:29:33 stats on it. So this is a diametrically polar opposite experience to ethnography. And did

00:29:40 you like it? I mean, how was the experience? In that case? It was great because I think

00:29:50 if you want to know black you have to know white and with

00:29:56 that intention that I entered that project that I know this side of the world, but until

00:30:02 I know it's polar opposite, I will not truly appreciate either. So it was also great because

00:30:09 the person who was leading this lab was very good at her job. So every time you find someone

00:30:17 who's so conceptually clear that they make the subject interesting to you and that happened

00:30:26 with me on both counts. You also have been an entrepreneur, right?

00:30:34 And there's quite a journey. So would you like to share your experience with us? I mean,

00:30:44 in what sense? Let's talk about like, How did it feel to

00:30:50 start a startup and then you know follow it up? How do you go about setting it up? So

00:30:58 in our case, what happened is my co-founder Mani and I knew him from NID. And he and I

00:31:06 would often collaborate on the very side project. And he was also someone who generally discusses

00:31:13 projects with me. So one such idea was let's put sensors in plants. Let’s see what happens,

00:31:20 it will be fun anyway, kill my plants. So if anything can help me, like keep my plants

00:31:30 alive it's great. And there were other two other two colleagues of mine too involved

00:31:38 in it. And then we made it we liked it. We applied to a design contest, which was an

00:31:48 interaction design contest MPs in Watsi. And to our own surprise we won it. So we went

00:31:56 and presented this in Russia. And then we had people coming in asking in an exhibition,

00:32:03 are you selling it? And then it was like do you want it? People want this thing? Okay.

00:32:09 So why don't we make hundred units of it hundred being a very arbitrary number that came in?

00:32:18 And let's just see how people react and respond to it you know how do they engage with a product

00:32:24 like this but in order to make hundred products, you need money, so we crowdfunded. That's

00:32:30 how it began. But in the process of actually making this product we started learning a

00:32:37 lot about plants, a lot about difficulties that people have the plants a lot more about

00:32:43 it and the market there is outside and we saw that there is phase to convert this into

00:32:52 a business company that responds to the challenges of urban lifestyle with plants. And that is

00:33:00 when we established the business. And we started with self-watering planters and corporate

00:33:17 gifting was one panel which is what we started with. And then we moved on to no maintenance

00:33:24 most as another flagship product. So how did you choose about these different

00:33:33 products? Like, did you guys experimented? How was the process of you know, I'm sure

00:33:37 there will be hundreds of ideas in terms of you know, how to productize so how did you

00:33:41 choose what to go forward with? Yeah, that's a very interesting question.

00:33:49 So you know when we started we very soon realized we had made some two or three products just

00:34:00 like in a self-portraying is great. Let's make it in ceramic. It was not coming from

00:34:06 any pocket inside was just like the designers theme, like It looks so we made some such

00:34:14 products. But then you know I remember there was a farmers market that we went to in Bangalore

00:34:20 and we set out our products. And that was the most instructive moment because I remember

00:34:30 we even did some stupid survey, which asked people you know what would they like to grow

00:34:37 whether its flowers or herbs or this and that in order to inform our product design but

00:34:43 it was a really short really dense survey. I have to admit it, but it was very quick

00:34:47 like you need to make that decision. And a lot of people responded cleaning plants as

00:34:58 something I would like to grow or healthy vegetables or something. But here in this

00:35:04 farmers market the first things to get sold were flowers because flowers are not intellectual

00:35:11 they're not like I want to clean the air or I want to eat healthy. They're just like pretty,

00:35:18 right? They're pretty, you just get drawn to them. The first thing amongst all the products

00:35:25 that got sold were critiquing. And then really intellectual things. And that was like a moment

00:35:30 of truth for us that Okay, boss, from now on you go to a farmers market with your hypothesis.

00:35:39 And then you get the feedback what is selling? Then you know what is going to work? So that

00:35:44 is the kind of process that we adopted. Yeah, nice that's a really nice story that

00:35:53 you talked about how you chose you know which went on, I think there's something about flowers,

00:35:59 right? They instinctively emotionally move you. Yeah, so that's another lesson to me

00:36:05 as a researcher what I learned there was when you're

00:36:09 asking people about things by breaking it down right but the product is a whole experience

00:36:17 right, you don't see this part is good and that part is good then I will adopted it just

00:36:20 see it as a whole. And it appeals to you. And aesthetics is something we don't like

00:36:26 to admit to a lot of time because it's not intellectual enough in some people's eyes.

00:36:31 But in product it just works. So that's something that we've done even otherwise even in corporate

00:36:39 gifting when we made brochures then brochures would be the first point of getting a feedback

00:36:45 as to where there is interest in which product is not getting interest. And we will drop

00:36:50 those products or pack them and only focus on products that are getting interest. That's

00:36:51 the methodology that way out. Really nice to understand how did you guys

00:37:01 because I was very intrigued, because I'm sure there's so many plants and there's so

00:37:04 many ways of doing these things. How do you go about choosing just you know a few of them

00:37:09 it's quite a thing. And then of course there was the other heuristic

00:37:17 of your designing for busy urban lifestyle. So anyway a plant choices shrink. It's not

00:37:23 like you can give people very delicate plants. You need to give a balance between hardy plants

00:37:31 and pretty plants. That was the thing that again, prevented us from going back. I like

00:37:42 the way you said pretty plants. Let's do the conversation towards inspiring things

00:37:51 in life. So what are the things that inspires you? Oh, my God. There's a lot of things I

00:37:59 get excited and many things. So yeah, what inspires

00:38:09 me? Well, I guess any instance where someone has gone through experience and come up with

00:38:22 an insight that benefits everyone those instances inspire me. Those people inspire me. Yeah,

00:38:32 I guess. Okay, let me break down into something. Some

00:38:40 inspiring books, favorite books that you might want to recommend to maybe either anyone or

00:38:47 the young budding designer. Let's take it that way. So you know what the thing is that

00:39:00 are though I am a designer by profession. The books that

00:39:01 have inspired me in need are not design books. There's some very strange sort of tangential,

00:39:13 but then you find a way to integrate those things into your design. So well the top of

00:39:26 the mind is there's so many books name there's just like too much. But the top of my mind

00:39:31 that role models are the inspiration figures that I have seen in my life. I guess Elisabeth

00:39:38 Kübler-Ross who is written her autobiography, I think it's called the “Wheel of life”

00:39:45 which she is the woman who is responsible for the hospice movement. So again, I talk

00:39:53 about insight into human experience her insight into human experience being a doctor was at

00:39:59 that time that people you know dying people are sort of in a hospital situation clinicalized.

00:40:09 And that's not how you want to die dying people have regrets that they want to close dying

00:40:17 people are like these people that you don’t want to see in the hospital but even staff

00:40:23 and nurses and doctors they need different kind of care so she started the hospice moment

00:40:33 where you could have family coming in you could stay there and they die among loved

00:40:38 ones with care rather than too many medical protocols. So medical care is also there.

00:40:44 So again she was an inspiring women to me because at the time she did face a lot of

00:40:53 backlash her house was also burnt for it. Because then she started to be a spokesperson

00:41:00 for dying aged people. So people dint like that and burnt there house and all that. So

00:41:08 just her share belief and grit and human about it and human insight behind it all was something

00:41:19 that inspires me. So that’s top of my mind but there are others who have lead and Independent

00:41:29 sort of life like Alan Watts who is a philosopher whose books are out of biography appeals to

00:41:36 me like university of his own life again all these people what you would find common between

00:41:42 them is time to understand suffering or some human experience and then coming up with an

00:41:53 insight when shared with everyone makes the world little more tolerant. I guess yeah.

00:42:02 Are there any other books that you can actually share it with us we are not looking you know

00:42:10 so many of the designers and they also had the same sort of belief that these are not

00:42:13 just the design books that inspire them also if you have any recommendation in terms of

00:42:20 films let’s say so that have inspired you. I now recall this film which is I think a

00:42:33 British psychology based on the life of British physiologist his name was R. D. Laing. I forgot

00:42:40 the name of it but again its same kind of theme where you know people who were institutionalized

00:42:48 as crazy how he went and about it you know hearing with everyone as equals and then been

00:43:00 to break the ice wall between them and yield. So again that is part of same theme I think

00:43:06 keep coming with R. D. Laing that movie is something that inspire me a lot. “A Dangerous

00:43:15 Method” was an interesting movie because again it’s about someone who I find deeply

00:43:22 inspiring which is Carl Jung, it is between Freud and his life and again the whole dimension

00:43:31 of psychologies especially psychoanalysis and therapy just all therapy is something

00:43:38 I find very intriguing for someone. So Carl Jung’s books just untold this is not a forms

00:43:51 of framework which I get inspired by at least that’s the most dominant thing in my mind

00:43:58 right now. And then there is yeah go on No no that’s it just go ahead go ahead.

00:44:09 Please do Yeah I think then we go into dimension which

00:44:14 is, if for someone is interested in design research for say then there are good books

00:44:24 by SAGE publication in research methodology and I particularly find this book called “Interpretative

00:44:33 phenomenological analysis” is very very lucidly written book by again I think a psychologist

00:44:45 from that angle but it helps anyone who wants to design a research which wants to enter

00:44:51 inside someone experience. Awesome that is great. Do you have any advice

00:44:57 for a person who is young who wants to enter the field of design research? Yeah I think

00:45:04 I gave that one that frame is something the most important. Don’t be worried

00:45:09 about so many methods and all of that. The first bit really is to be reflexive and work

00:45:20 on yourself work on understanding do I even know myself well enough, to know what my assumptions

00:45:29 may be and all of that. So, that’s the most interesting part of design research actually

00:45:34 we have made sound like some threatening thing but it’s actually the most interesting thing

00:45:42 about design research that every research project when you discover deep about someone

00:45:48 else you are also simultaneously discovering things about it. So yeah, it really helps

00:45:58 in order to be a good design researcher somewhere you have to have real interest in knowing

00:46:04 the authentic truth of someone else. If that is your something that drives you then it

00:46:13 is a good choice for you to carryon. Any advice for young entrepreneur? Advice

00:46:20 for young entrepreneur couple of them. I remember watching an Interview of Debbie

00:46:37 Millman where she is asked what her advice to young people is and she says these days

00:46:47 when I am para phrasing, I taught she meant was. When I meet young people and they ask

00:46:54 me I am writing a Blog. I have got only these many views and she asks them how long you

00:47:01 have been doing it and the answer is something like 6 months, she is often surprised that

00:47:10 you know things take time but we live in an age where everyone’s publishing something

00:47:18 on Facebook that’s so much formal that you want to just get quickly successful and quickly

00:47:26 like establish and all of that. But all things have great value take time you take time to

00:47:31 build that character and so I liked what she said what her advice was that which is coming

00:47:40 from her life that build a skill long enough or attempt for long like give it time don’t

00:47:49 be too bothered by all the publishing that is happening around you and there is platforms

00:47:58 that I won this I got this we did this and you are feeling like I am the only one who

00:48:03 is not getting anywhere with my startup. Don’t get too worried about it this is the first

00:48:08 thing that I would say it takes time. It takes a lot of between the ideas to prototype and

00:48:17 then a prototype that fix really fix the product the market. It takes time it takes a lot of

00:48:26 time doing many things so just yeah that’s one thing that I would say. The other thing

00:48:39 is yeah don’t get stuck into Vanity metrics which is, there are so many contests out there

00:48:53 these days you have a startup idea you pitch and you win things and that’s all great

00:48:58 because you are refining your pitch you’re getting feelers from the world about how could

00:49:03 a barrier idea in that sense it’s great but don’t default that, that is your validation

00:49:07 because then you are getting caught up Vanity metrics, your real validation will only come

00:49:14 the day someone buys it or whatever your model is like when it reaches the end customer or

00:49:21 whoever so I think do that but know why you are doing all that jazz, the jazz is just

00:49:29 to get feelers if my idea is reverberate you know resonating with others but don’t get

00:49:35 stuck into Vanity Metrics that is the other thing that I would like to say. And then all

00:49:43 feedback is not necessarily good feedback so take feedback but if someone successful

00:49:53 says something to you, your letting the success speak you get influenced by he is saying know

00:49:59 it must be right so that is not true. So respect all feedback but then in the end you are authority

00:50:09 to decide what is right for you or what is right for your business or not. So don’t

00:50:18 think anyone else has the answer. I said two things but I said three things. This was really

00:50:29 eye opening, educational and very inspiring Mayukini. Thank you so much

00:50:33 for sharing your thoughts. We really enjoyed each one of them your life process, how you

00:50:40 went through your life in terms of doing design research and entrepreneurship and bringing

00:50:45 all those things together and speaking with us and sharing with us was really really great.

00:50:52 Thank you for doing that. From our end from Value labs this is very small token of love

00:51:01 and appreciation thanks for inspiring and that’s why we are also conferring the feel

00:51:06 of Inspiring young designer from our end just as love and appreciation. Thank you so much.

00:51:10 Thank you so much that is so sweet of you guys. I really enjoyed it too.


Mayukhini talks about her journey as a young design entrepreneur and her design research practice. She speaks about design research, and shares her advice for budding design researchers.