Nussbaum on the OLPC

In this article, he talks about one thing in particular that was of great interest to me ( and Christian Beck ).

The lesson here is that however brilliant the innovation, it needs to be appropriate to the context and the culture. It needs to fit in and not be imposed. And it needs coalitions, teams, to support it. In fact, in the case of education, which is extremely politically sensitive in every country, OLPC should have developed both the design of the computer and the pedagogy with the Indian and Chinese teachers and administrators, not for them.

In fact, this makes a better abstract for my thesis than the one I actually wrote. But more importantly, design needs to evolve as a field, and adapt to different contexts and cultures. Design ‘here’ is not design ‘over there’. It is a ‘duh!’ statement, but one that is not understood or accepted by many people. And from a personal POV, I am excited that I was on the right track


About this entry