It all started from...
a design project of an Industrial Design Engineering student at Delft University of Technology (Annemarie Mink). In 2004 Annemarie took up the challenge to re-design a silk reeling machine in Deoghar, Jharkhand, India, to economically empower disadvantaged and marginalized rural women. Four years later, in 2008, the Anna Tasar Reeling Machine was patented and marketed, being a small, easy-to-carry machine for home use, improving the reelers’ income, working conditions and safety. A classic success story.
However, in 2010 when looking back, it became clear that the project had not fully captured the wickedness of the design challenge and the end-users true desires and preferences. It turned out that the smaller size of the new machine, which enables the reelers to work from home, resulted in the women being forced to work from home, whereas most prefer working together with others in a reeling centre. Thereby, some reelers indicated to prefer the previous, bigger machine for the status it provided them. Moreover, the easy-to-use new machine encourages child-labour, which represents an issue if it stops girls from going to school.
If spending 18 months with potential users and working on the design for four years did not lead to a deep enough understanding, then how can these challenges be addressed when time and resources are much more limited, which usually is the case in design projects? That is how CDD started. Annemarie Mink started her PhD research in 2010 and successfully defended her work on 11 November 2016 (see: ‘references’ for her thesis work). She conducted the research under guidance of prof. Prabhu Kandachar and Dr. JC Diehl.
The CDD approach presented on this website is the result of this PhD project. With the assumption that a well-informed design process results in better product acceptance, the aim has been to develop an approach for product designers to guide them to quickly gain comprehensive, rigorous user insights, beyond the ‘usual’ investigation of product-user interaction. A comprehensive understanding of life, lifestyle, behaviour, values, habits, needs, desires and aspirations allows designers to develop products and services that truly improve well-being and fit the potential users, the local culture and the local circumstances.