Keynote at the DesignUp conference on ‘Irrational Design’

DesignUp, a Design-in-Tech conference in Bangalore, brought together an amazing and forward thinking group of designers, UX researchers, data scientists, policy makers, business leaders and entrepreneurs together over the course of 4 days on Nov 12-16. This year, the theme was about plurality in design. DesignUp is the largest Design & Tech event in Asia (excluding China), labelled by YourStory as the Definitive Design-in-Tech conference and listed by among the World’s 20 most Exciting Design Events. 

I gave the keynote on the ‘Next Billion Users and Irrational Design’ that offered a new template to understanding the user behaviors and preferences of the next billion. 

After all, the failures of tech –the graveyard of apps – FB Zero, Secret and such, rests on the premise of negating the role of the cultures from below. Those at the margins of our imagination who have now become the norm – the next billion –  are pushing ahead with novel demands on interfacing, design preferences, and aspirational consumption, demanding in turn that we rethink what we deem as rational, efficient, and thereby –  good design.

Additionally, the panel on ‘Roti, Kapda, aur Mobile’ generated an excellent discussion on data as currency, whether it is enough to design ethical policies and products from the corporate end, the moral panics of creating a new tech monster and more…

The most memorable part of this whole event was at my book signing where I got to talk one on one with each person who bought the book and find out about them. It is so rare for authors to get this kind of immediate feedback about their readers and being India, it was delivered with a tremendous amount of warmth and affection. Was thrilled to hear that my books were sold out at the event. Makes this writing process really worth it!

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