Eating . Thinking . Making . Engaging
Northumbria University - United Kingdom, National Institute of Design - India, Nottingham Trent University - United Kingdom
Ph.D Human Computer Interaction (food and sustainability), B.A.(Hons.) Communication Design, M.Des. New Media Design
Samsung Research & Development - India, Centre for Knowledge Societies, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, PriceWaterhouse Cooper
Northumbria Social Computing Lab, Computer and Information Science, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Favourite thing to do in my job: Talking to people from different cultures and countries on how we can save the planet by making good food practices
I am a new media designer or you can say interaction designer, who is concerned about the planet, enjoys cooking, passionately grows plants and help others grow food in their gardens or backyards. I am from India, adore animals and I love my curry.
I like to think, question, innovate and build. I work within the disciplines of design, science, and art to make new technology or ways to engage with people.We live in an imperfect world where there is an unequal distribution of resources, this is called social injustice. I have always liked to question and think about social justice especially in the areas of food, education, and economics.My interest and areas of work are varied and can range from being a scientist, a designer, an urban farmer, a food activist, an educator, an artist or maybe more.I like to cook, love dogs, grow food, do yoga, go for a swim and make new things.
My work is within the domain of technology and design to solve the problem of sustainable food in cities
I work in the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). The field deals with designing new technology and interfaces, making it easier for people to understand and use them. In my earlier work, I built a phone assistant, few mobile apps, a tweeting apple, a talking plant, a board game, a futuristic restaurant, an interactive installation all using sensors and electronics. I use code, an Arduino (microcontroller) and everyday objects like a cup, a map or plant pot to make interactive experiences.
In my Ph.D., I am working on the problem of food production and consumption in future cities using design as a research tool e.g. we make a plant bot connected to the internet which tweets to you if it needs water and we then show it to people and get their feedback.
My Typical Day
Create new ways of engaging people through design and technology to discuss food and sustainability
I start my day early, mostly at 5:30 am. I do some yoga or if there is a meeting on the day I prepare for it. Make some breakfast, pack my lunch and get ready to leave for work by 8:30 am. Once I am at my workplace which is the university department where I am doing my Ph.D, I look at incomplete tasks from yesterday and my schedule for today to get a sense of my day. I read a lot of research papers and create new ways to engage people in discussions like planning workshops. I recently created a game, a map and took people for a walk around their neighborhood to discuss problems around food.
When in my lab, I will grab a coffee couple of times while working. We eat lunch together and if it is sunny, we take our lunch out to the campus lawn. Towards early evening I start to pack and try to leave by 5:00 pm. I take the bus home or walk if the weather is nice. Sometimes I go for a run or to the gym or buy groceries before I go home.
What I'd do with the prize money
Talk about food and sustainability through workshops with school kids by designing new technologies for the future
I will use this money to organize public engagement through workshops, talking about food and sustainability. I would like to conduct some especially for school kids where we can explore the future of food through experimentation and building prototypes. It is to understand their worldviews and help them envision and inculcate problem-solving for sustainable outcomes.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Curious, Creative, Childlike
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Be persistent, survive and follow your passion
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
Stories about Da Vinci and Frida Kahlo
What was your favourite subject at school?
Chemistry and History
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Once when I went creative and submitted my (art) version of a physics assignment
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Be an (new media) artist
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
Dal (Indian lentil curry) and Naan Bread
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Paddled a coracle boat (made out of tree bark) to cross a river
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
Travel the world to document and eat different kinds of food, Invent ways to help people to grow food in their houses, Own an apple orchard on the hills
Tell us a joke.
What did the chicken say to the librarian? - "pook pook pook"