Design Feature > Jugaad

03Mar09

Bhavik wrote to me asking ‘how come indian designs are not reflected in our highways and the environment? Am I missing something here?’ Felt that it was time to share the idea of Jugaad or Indian improvisation that is so ubiquitous. Bijoy Jain brought it up in his interview, saying that it’s something that fascinates him; his studio has taken several pictures of it as part of an ongoing research on Indian ingenuinity. We’ll never know who designed these, or what the reason for doing it this way was, just that it exists, and if we stop to stare, we’ll realise, it’s a great piece of design. And it’s been right under our noses all this time.

Rock Marks

Rock Marks

Painted Steps

Painted Steps

Timber Gears

Timber Gears

Palm Scaffolding

Palm Scaffolding

Wood Trellis

Wood Trellis

Fisherman's Boat

Fisherman's Boat

Straw Huts

Straw Huts

Blue Scaffolding

Blue Scaffolding

Figures

Figures

Well Pump

Well Pump

Images courtesy Studio Mumbai.

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8 Responses to “Design Feature > Jugaad”

  1. 1 Ash

    Hey, new to this site, loving it!

    Just a little gyaan: The rocks with the marks on them are found all over Hampi in Karnataka. Those whole were supposed to be made during the 15th and 16th centuries during the reign of the famed King Krishnadevaraya, when they were building the city. They made these holes in the rocks, filled them with water and left them until the water seeped in and cracked up the rocks. The broken blocks were then used to build.

  2. for more jugaad examples check out some pictures a friend of mine took here http://etpowerofideas.blogspot.com/2009/02/jugaad-on-street-i.html

  3. 3 Sameer Chadha

    Fabulous gems in all the noise that is India. In this context of a multitude of cultures, a staggering population, meager space and meager resources, design is an indulgence that few can afford. Things happen. They blossom. Via jugaad.

    Some of these examples in this post- like the blue scaffolding- reflect determination but also reflect a lack of appreciation and respect for the history and culture of the country. Some , like the palm scaffolding, are so rooted in the place, so tropical and sublime, swaying in the breeze, making you wonder why the hell is the structure standing.

  4. 4 kaa

    very nice post as well as the blog. i congratulate myself for discovering this :P. I also write about design, but emphasise more on marketing/usability.

  5. 6 vishnu kumar

    ah yes, the oblivious designes/ers always seems to fascinate.
    un- (something)

  6. Fantastic post. I loved the painted steps. But didnt much care for the blue scaffolding …I see too much of it or its country-cousins already here in Mumbai 😛
    I just wanted to pipe up and say that I thoroughly enjoyed discovering your blog and meandering down its gullies for the last half hour or so.

  7. jugaad …
    always enjoyed these street idiosyncracies if i may call them so .. these are a part of an ongoing , most intuitive , populist movement ,.. great pics .



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