My name is Nishita Karun. I’m from India. I work at Lopez Design Studio where I am a Design Researcher and Strategist.
What sustainability, energy, and community issues are important to you?
As a developing country, India is still working on its roots to create a habitable space. This is the correct time to create a foundation for sustainability in these programmes. My focus is on sustainable policies which affect different avenues for the population of the country, Be it in terms of infrastructure, education, agriculture, textile etc. I visualise sustainability as a broad umbrella system which when introduced in the governance will affect many mindsets.
What exciting projects/research are you working on now?
Even though I’m involved in many projects of social development but most of them do not follow the course of sustainability as a large part, it is mostly a hidden ideology. Last year we created an identity for an international conference focused on cross-sectoral partnerships for women and adolescent welfare. The identity was developed using an Indian craft of Pipli and the designs are currently being repurposed to create a commercially viable product for the artisans of Pipli. Currently also working with a fashion brand associated with slow fashion. As a personal project I'm trying to develop an executional plan for creating interactive public spaces for children in India in a research paper.
What are your plans for the next five years?
I’m currently pursuing my masters (long-distance) in Public Administration to cater to my policy education, so I hope to finish it by the end of next year. My short-term plan is to engage with Niti Ayog (Planning commission) in India as a design consultant and later to expand the use of design research in strategizing human-centered policies for India.
What made you want to apply to SISE?
In India, major behavioural changes are brought forward by the government, leading to barriers like multi-lateral hierarchy and limited funding, causing a delay in implementation. Design as a functioning tool is new to India and even with great thinkers there is a gap in making ideas a reality. With this program I aspire to mend this gap through concrete proposals which can build a collaboration with people from all across the board. Design as a leader is capable because of its holistic nature which understand cultures, environments and functionality.
What are you most looking forward to doing in Chicago?
I am very excited to look at the cultural shift from India, I had been to europe recently so I want to see how different will this be. The cloud gate is something which has been on my list for quite long, being a Anish Kapoor fan. Being a big city I want to notice how they handle their infrastructure and public spaces in a sustainable manner at a low cost. Maybe I will be able to take something back.
Do you like Cats? If not, are you willing to learn to like cats?
I have always been a dog person, but with all the adorable cat memes and pictures I have surrendered to loving them this summer.