Collaborative Workshop for VDK Prototype Refinement

Last week, the Centre for Knowledge Societies (CKS) held a collaborative workshop in New Delhi. Organized by the team working on the Vaccine Delivery Kit (VDK) project, the purpose of the workshop was for the team to present their methods and processes, display the prototypes already created, and thereafter collaborate with the invitees to refine the colour, material and finish of the final model. There were a total of 18 participants in the workshop, including public health experts, representatives from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, product designers, technical experts on medical devices, experts in colour and materials, and a sculptor. This wide array of individuals with vastly different backgrounds struck some as incongruous at first, but as CEO Aditya Dev Sood explained, innovation is most successful when a variety of minds and backgrounds come together to solve a given problem. Every person looks at any given issue with his or her unique lens, and the best solutions usually emerge when these myriad views are collected, distilled and crystallized, giving forth answers that are deeper and more meaningful than any single point of view.

The workshop began with team members delivering presentations that explained the entire process of identifying challenges, field research and ethnography, identification of use-cases and failure-cases, and developing solutions for all the challenges identified. They identified challenges in the entire vaccine delivery process, and based their designs of the kit on the idea of making the entire process more efficient and hygienic, with the maximum ease and benefit for the ANMs (Auxiliary Nurse Midwives), who are responsible for routine immunization in rural areas. Based on a design-analysis of all the data collected, the team developed three prototypes for the kit, which were tested on field. Once again, pros and cons were collated and a final design was conceptualized and presented for refinement during the workshop.

After the presentations were concluded, the collaborative segment of the workshop began, wherein participants were split up into smaller groups in order to determine the appropriate colour, material and finish for the product. The groups were made so that each one comprised a public health expert, a colour and styling specialist, and a product designer. Participants worked together to associate desired attributes (pictured above) with the visual elements that would best communicate them. The workshop, which was a day-long affair, yielded several options for colour and form, as well as a consensus on the graphic components of the kit. These will be incorporated into the final design of the kit, which will be completed over the next four to six weeks.

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