Global talks: the capability approach
When Industrial Design student Annemarie Mink went to a small village in India to do her product management internship, she was asked to improve the spooling machine the local women used to make silk thread. “I thought: great design, job well done – that’s how I left it.” But when she went on to do a PhD at Delft University of Technology she developed a capability inspired design method and it made her think: did the design solution she came up with in India cover all the bases?
Mink’s capability inspired design method is a quick way to provide an insight into the lives, lifestyles, needs and wishes of users on the ground. “It gives designers an opportunity to look beyond the relationship between the user and the product. The method consists of several steps, starting with an interview conducted by means of question cards with pictograms. You can start a conversation with a simple question about what people’s day looks like. That will quickly lead to subjects like nutrition and other things to do with daily life and you take it from there. It’s not a question and answer interview, it’s encouraging people to talk. And then you will hear things that you hadn’t thought of.”
Annemarie Mink (IDE) will give an introduction to the capability approach that is widely used in global development studies. She will also give some examples of her work and will challenge you to think about ways to apply it in your research. As an add-on, you will be challenged to think about the value this approach might have for your own study.
The Global Talk is accessible to everyone.