I chose to work on a project for the autism affected. After a lot of research and study I learnt what exactly are their needs and capabilities. For deeper understanding of their behavioural patterns, mannerism, comfort levels etc. it was important to spend considerable time with them and become one among them. It is a slow and very emotional process. Shraddha Charitable Trust and my guide Prof. Sandesh facilitated this opportunity for me.
Shraddha Charitable trust is an organisation which admits young autistic adults under its wing for creating meaningful engagement and subsequent livelihood opportunities. The team at Shraddha Charitable Trust understands their problems and capabilities and provides them training in simple tasks. Since they have unique capabilities and requirements, Shraddha has a workshop where such young adults can be toned in their talents and produce decorative festive products and gift articles.
The main aim was to design simple handicrafts based on their capabilities. This apart, designing tools and jigs for products that will enable them to produce it with certain degree of standardisation. Developing an assembly line for production using design principles was a critical part of the project.
Explorations were mainly done in materials like paper, wood, beads, sheet metal, metal wires etc. Essentially, materials with which they were comfortable with. After a lot of experimentation, exploration with various materials and my experience with them, I was able to become sensible
to their needs and to their issues in terms of design and development of products. I finally chose to develop decorative wireframes for possible use in product application. Jigs were developed for wire bending into decorative.
The whole manufacturing process was divided into simpler tasks like wire bending, pasting, colouring etc. These steps helped in giving quick and effective results. This helped the trainees to appreciate things created by them. Also these products will give a unique style, language, confidence and identity of these young adults. Above all it gives them joy of creation
and confidence of work.
A similar approach can be used to develop many creative products which help in active involvement of these people and will provide hope and meaning in their lives.
Case Study Download:
• Autistic to Artistic - Pdf