Deepika Srivastava is a design historian with research interests at the intersection of contemporary design and architecture, with focus on the Indian subcontinent. She holds a bachelor's degree in interior design from the Centre of Environment Planning and Technology (C.E.P.T.) in India. Prior to joining the V&A/RCA MA in History of Design, she worked in India as a research assistant in academia (at C.E.P.T.), writer for a design magazine published by the Indian Institute of Interior Designers (IIID), and in the areas of research and interpretation in Lokusdesign (Pune, India), a museum design firm.
Her MA research allowed her to dig through the archives of the East India Company and engage with narratives of colonial India while studying a piece of gold jewellery from South Asia, and explore the historiography of the design change of microwave cooking in the UK. She sees her essay on microwave cooking as an exploration of her interest in domesticity, which she first looked at through her undergraduate dissertation on representation of the kitchen in lifestyle media in India after the economic liberalisation of 1991.
In her spare time, she likes reading fiction and is working on a novel of her own, which deals with the struggles of communities whose mother tongue is endangered.
Image: 'The State of Architecture: Practices and Processes in India' exhibition, held in Mumbai from Jan-Mar 2016
Credits: Domus India, March 2016, p.30.
History of Design RCA2020 team
As first-year students, our contributions to RCA2020 form a work-in-progress encounter with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. This serves as a springboard for collecting, discussing and sharing ideas on the topic of Digital Discomforts. The project explores issues brought about by the impact of digitization and the web, such as structural inequalities in digital access, the design of sites and content encountered online, user experiences in the internet and evolving conversation channels.
Resulting from intense weeks of collaborative work, the following diagrams are representations of our practice as design historians, intended to reflect real-life corridor-conversations we would have usually had in person as part of our studies. Impromptu, spontaneous and intellectually unpredictable these conversations embrace spelling mistakes and thematic jumps as characteristic of the method of communication. Our diagrams show the twists and turns of such informal, creative encounters.
You may find them sometimes difficult to navigate, or even difficult to read. This is a deliberate dramatisation of the experience of digital inequality, bringing with it digital discomfort.
Decolonising algorithms – or for that matter anything – begins with decolonising education. The discussion is followed by an interview with Tanveer Ahmed, a Visiting Tutor at the RCA, on decolonising design education. This interview attempts to decode what decolonising design education would entail. It begins by asking how ways of conducting research in the context of design education can be decolonised. Major themes that emerge from the discussion include: the need to diversify and decolonise the institution, impact of student engagement and protests, and integration of community-based approaches in education.