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Global Innovation Design (MA/MSc)

Seetharaman Subramanian

Seetharaman Subramanian is an innovation-focused designer with a background in engineering from India. His focus is on helping people change their daily water usage behaviours for a more sustainable planet, by helping track consumption at different water outlets in the home.

 

 

EDUCATION:

MA/MSc Global Innovation Design, Royal College of Art & Imperial College London

B. Tech/M. Tech in Engineering Design, Indian Institute of Technology Madras

 

EXPERIENCE:

Seetharaman has worked as a junior designer with Bang Design for six months, during which he led the redesign of the Superthrower cricket bowling machine for Freebowler LLC. Before that, he had worked as a research intern under Professor Vishal Singh at Aalto University in Finland during a summer exchange under the Aalto Science Institute AScI internship program.

I intend to integrate my newly developed storytelling skills (video editing, animation and rendering) with a technical product that I produce concerning my Vision. Specifically, I would like to focus on the data collection part of my Vision, starting with exploring the literature and understanding the state of the art before building on it. I believe that Tsinghua University is uniquely positioned to support me in this regard, as its focus on technology and the upscaling of solutions from the development stage to the production stage is an invaluable skill to learn.

 

This paragraph was a statement that I had written for myself in March of 2020, before the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted our course, to put things mildly. Since then, I have spent more time in front of my computer than the last two years of my undergraduate degree. It has led me to re-evaluate my design process, reflect on my goals and cherish the friends that have helped me stay focused these past few months.

 

The upheaval brought about by the pandemic has only reinforced my drive to motivate people to reduce water consumption in their lives. I want environmentally sustainable behaviours to take root in this fertile soil before we all eagerly go back to our previous habits.



Boond aims to help guests in hotels save water by encouraging them to save water and helping them monitor and track their water usage in the bathroom.


The Boond platform can be broken down into three major parts:

Appeal - The appeal is where the guest is asked to select a suitable user profile for their stay.

Measurement - The measurement occurs in the Boond device placed in the user’s bathroom, which tracks usage from locally processed audio inputs.

Feedback - The feedback is provided to the user by pulsing lights on the surface of the unit:

  • Green - Within bounds
  • Amber - Nearing limits
  • Red - Exceeding your set limits

Project X was conceptualised as part of the I-Witness: Design for Human Rights project, for which I teamed up with Ziqq Rafit. We were inspired by Collective Intelligence design and were guided by Maxim Dedushkov and Roland Harwood for the project.

 

Project X is an anonymising service that enables protesters to record/publish videos of the police/authorities without fear of being targeted. We leverage recent advances in facial recognition and image generation using GANs and social media networks' social graphs to help people anonymise others and themselves when capturing media during protests.

 

This platform would allow for freedom of expression for the protesters and help create a source of authentic media content for academics, news outlets and officials.

What kind of music do you like?


Shape is a product designed to help you answer this question.


The visualisation is composed of simple shapes that capture different elements of the user’s music preferences, such as the various genres of music, the number of songs in each genre and how users react emotionally to them.


  • Color indicates different genres


  • Form indicates how much you listen to a particular genre


  • Texture indicates the density of music in a genre


  • Orientation reflects the placement of each genre on the emotional map, indicating how a user feels about that type of music.


This allows the shape to scale efficiently for different scenarios, such as a public installation vs a shareable image on social media. The user is always in control of their shape and can dictate any changes that they want to make.


This project was showcased in ‘The Future Happened’, a virtual exhibition at the Museum of Design Atlanta curated by Lawrence Azerrad. I was part of the web production team that helped put the show online.