Published on

This is a presentation and note for the Industrial Design Summit in Cannes, France, 2010. The talk is largely based on my observations and reflections on how we should approach design for so-called 'emerging markets', along with a few projects done for Nokia mentioned as case studies.

Presentation transcript is found in the 'notes' section of the Powerpoint file.

Published in: Design
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • // This is a presentation and note for the Industrial Design Summit in Cannes, France, 2010.
    // The talk is largely based on my observations and reflections, along with a few projects done for Nokia.
    // Contact: jung@younghee.com / jabbaby@gmail.com
    // http://younghee.com

    Who’s based in Asia? Specializing in ‘emerging’ or ‘growth’ economies?

    I moved to India in April. During my visa interview at the India consulate, I was asked “How can you work for Nokia, when you have a degree in Design?”
    To him, he perceived Nokia as technology company and hence he simply could not understand why a designer would work there. It was a serious matter as they had the rule not to issue employment visa if the degree qualification does not match the job description. So I asked him back – do you know what interaction design is? He didn’t know. So I argued that he cannot judge me as he doesn’t know what my degree is about.

    Today I am here to bring the perspective of emerging markets, or growth economies to the table.
    It’s always difficult to gauge how knowledgeable audience would be so I prepared some points that are mainly my observations over the decade.
  • I thought I would start rather rough - shown in the photo is the garbage pile turning almost solid ground between the road and the open sewer in a slum in Mumbai. When I took this picture, children were running around this ground on bare feet. They are not in this picture as they are all behind me trying to see the photos. I wanted to start with this image as this represents the stereotypical image of what we call ‘developing countries’ for many people around the world.

    Photo: Roadside used as garbage dumping ground in the residential area of a slum. Mumbai, India. Younghee Jung, 2007.
  • If I turned this image into words, they would be something along the line of poverty, lack of education, sanitation and infrastructure.

    These words all hold some level of truth – looking back at my past half a year in India, stories I get to tell my family and friends do come, to large extent, from these.

    I struggled with water and power supply, and practically all my fancy ‘designer’ lamps I brought with me to India are busted due to problems with power supply.
    I had my share of adjusting myself to learn to live with nature – like cows on the street, aromas of open air toilets and sewer, and cockroaches in the house or often, in food. They do say there are more mobile phones than toilets in the country.
  • We see the growing economies making the transition from the poverty into societies with thick middle class with material wealth, hence producing more people with more spending power.

    That’s bitterness of the term “emerging” market, which I think is used quite grossly. If we consider the ‘emerging market’ as mere reference to new class of people who would buy the stuff that we designed and produced already – as they can finally afford it – then for design it would be already emerged markets.

    Instead, if we focus on the characteristics of the changes happening and the cultural background, it is indeed an exciting ground for new opportunities – not only for the spending powers of consumers. Here are a few reasons why:
  • Wen jiabao, Chinese Prime Minister and Tony Blair
    Anything strange?

    I lived in London for a while and had lots of foreign friends. One of them – a Finnish guy – had his style transformation. He was always wearing suits. As you can imagine it is quite rare in design office to see someone in suit. He said “British ethnic clothes’.
    You can find photos of farmers and factory workers in the old days – you will see what that means.

    New norm in men’s business suits = British ethnic clothes
    From that perspective, Mr. Blair is wearing his ‘native’ clothes, but Mr. Wen Jiabao is wearing a foreign clothes here.
  • This picture would make this question a bit more obvious.
    President Obama recently visited India and as you can imagine there were a lot of pictures of the Obamas and Indian politicians.
    What do you see here?
    Different speed of changing norm.
    Indian men wearing half traditional clothes, while women wearing full traditional.
  • This is Vijayakanth. Bollywood film star. And politician.

    Campaign poster showing him both in traditional Indian men’s formal attire and western style casual.
    This is called Dohti, a formal men’s wear – which actually looks like a wrap skirt.

    Photo: Political campaign billboard. Tamil Nadu, India. Younghee Jung, 2010.
  • If you travel to country side – or on the streets of common men in Bangalore – this is what you will see. A casual wear called Lunghi. Men in miniskirts - Which most of my middle class Indian friends started to forget to feel comfortable in. Possibly because it reminds them of skirts, like in outside of India.

    Photo: Migrating farm workers. Tamil Nadu, India. Younghee Jung, 2010.
  • These shifting two identities give them a certain sense of choice.
    And somehow in countries like India, for now, opting for western clothes is associated with progressive, and in a way ‘cooler’ image. In Nokia Bangalore office, ladies have ‘casual’ Friday – when they would come to office in western clothes instead of Indian clothes.

    This family, 3 young ladies and their grandmother - while two of her other sisters had more traditional way of how their life would be – like getting married – the youngest one was very career focused. She was planning to open a beauty parlor. Wearing western style clothes for her is to make a statement, to differentiate from those who think differently.

    Photo: A family of women in Dharavi. Mumbai, India. Younghee Jung, 2007.
  • This is from Vietnam. Tradition of burning the valuables at the funeral – the idea is that the dead will be able to bring the burned item with her and use it in the afterlife. I found the mobile phone became part of the pack – in 2006.
    Developing countries – or growth economies – typically had very turbulent history since 20th century. With life in transition with influx of new things and changes, there’s a spot of flexibility in people’s mind that is free from stereotyping of how things should be. I went to a Christian church in South Korea a few years ago – simultaneously webcasted & satellite casted, with Karaoke style church songs with full multimedia audio/visuals all around the church. It was fresh. If you asked Koreans why? They would answer back ‘why not’.

    An Indian author who wrote ‘Mother Pious Lady’ describes the term ‘instinct reduction devices’ in India – the values that are dominant in the society as something that everyone should follow: Marriage, university (science, commerce, if you’re a total hopeless, then arts – design possibly the last), hometown jobs.
    So new things, that does not have any traditional root is an opportunity to break free.

    Photo: Funeral supply shop in Ho Chi Min city, Vietnam. Younghee Jung, 2006
  • It brings a fertile ground of inventions – mind free from inhibitions of how things should be.
    This is a versatile mobile battery charger I found in Chengu, China. By adjusting the angle, this device can be used for charging any batteries, in practice.
    It costs 20 yuan, which is about 2 euros. It is a brilliant idea – understandably the market deals with 2nd hand as well as shanzai phones (fake) and non-branded phones. In such an environment, it is natural to think of a product like this.

    Photo: A universal mobile phone battery charger. Chengdu, China. Younghee Jung, 2009.

  • This is from the same market. I couldn’t find pictures of all – but all known luxury brands were present, catier, versace.
    You would wonder who would buy such products.

    People generally live for the ‘future’ – rather than for the present, at least in the mindset.
    It’s partly because there is lack of social security provided by the government. But more importantly people believe their live will get better and can get better. This social mobility nurtures two prominent phenomena: One is investment on education, second is investment on showing off or reminding oneself about the ideal image – especially the aspiration you have.

    Photo: Gucci and Prada branded shanzai phones. Chengdu, China. Younghee Jung, 2009.
  • And aspiration sometimes demands perceivable tokens, reassurances, or reinforcement – like someone who goes into a diet buying a small size clothes, or hang a photo of someone who has your ideal body. A lot of European luxury brands live on this psychology. The desire to be associated with the brand that has been already proven to be for successful people.

    This is a service I found in China called Blue Kiss. Essentially it is a photo studio. The difference is that it is for yourself. The service will provide you with all the necessary props like clothes and accessories – you choose the theme, typically celebrity or style icon around the world. While you cannot be this character in the real life now – you will see yourself in the photo album you will get, to look how well deserved you are.

    Photo: A photo studio show window. Chengdu, China. Younghee Jung, 2009.
  • Of course not all aspirations are ostentatious in nature. The incredible amount of investment in education is the proof.
    I interviewed a prostitute living in favela in Rio. We got to know her because our interview participant took care of her daughter while she was at work in copacabana. She had no hesitation saying that she wants her daughter to be a doctor and get out of the favela living. As for her, she did not know what else to do to make money – as she has been a prostitute since 14, but her work had a clear focus.

    Growing up in South Korea – my parents never took holidays. At most it would be a long weekend trip. Future was full of uncertainties – and the best they could do, in their own way of thinking is to live for the future rather than the present. One way was to invest in education. It is still a governing power behind real estate price and even selling a new gadget: When mobile TV phones were launched in Korea, one of reasons why students got the very high priced phone was because it had EBS – educational program subscription included as part of the package.

    Photo: Interview participant’s phone. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Younghee Jung, 2007.
  • Interviewing people in China is always amazing – you will come across entrepreneurs for sure.
    This little booth was set up in a clothing shop. It was set up by shop owner’s friend – as her own business.
    It is a business idea built on the aspiration. She gets samples of famous foreign cosmetic products, and sold it at high price. For instance the little packet here is 15 yuan, which is £1.5. She definitely understands the market, through the tactic well known in the industry – companies making detergents or drinks have understood the need and produce special package sizes for growth markets, so that their products can be used by those who cannot afford to buy big packages.

    Photo: A piggy-back shop space within a shop. Chengdu, China. Younghee Jung, 2009.
  • People’s learning power – or the willpower to learn as a means to make progress is quite astonishing. Mobile repair shops like this are opened by people who may not necessarily have gone through formal education.

    I interviewed brothers who recently opened a repair shop of their own in Ghana. One of the brothers went to a 3-month course. The other brother worked at a mobile phone shop and learned a few tricks. They shared what they learned – and the rest supplied by the Internet: Circuit map, parts list….

    These fast moving entrepreneurs are and will always be there, adapting to the market changes quickly, giving a distinct character to the foundation of the eco-system.

    Photo: A mobile phone repair shop. Chengdu, China. Younghee Jung, 2009.
  • 33yo wholesaler of farming produce in market. Business with her mother. Her yet unknown future husband is already in her list of 3 most important people in her life.

    Her goal is to get married, become independent from her mother & inherited business, and open a fashion shop of her own.

    Photo: A research participant in Accra, Ghana. Younghee Jung, 2009.

  • She has been preparing for her wedding – though she does not yet have the husband candidate. This is her storage, and all items in the black plastic bags are preparation for her wedding.

    Photo: A research participant in Accra, Ghana. Younghee Jung, 2009.
  • Among those in the black plastic bags – she wanted to show us the blender.
    The blender is for her the most important item. She calls it her dowry. You can tell there’s a sense of pride in her saying that she managed to save and bought the blender. When I asked her “why are you not using it?” – she said it’s for her life as married woman.
    I asked her why she bought it so early then – as newer models could come out by the time she gets married. She didn’t understand me. She did not have the anxiety of newer better cheaper models. And people go miles to maintain their cherished products like new. This can be tricky proposition for the brand – especially when artificial obsolescence is a necessary evil. But there still is an opportunity. The virgin experience. The most memorable.

    Photo: A research participant in Accra, Ghana. Younghee Jung, 2009.
  • When I moved to India, I got taxed for bringing a used vacuum cleaner – in the principle of ‘atypical’ household appliance in India.

    Lots of electronic appliances for home originate from the west, including washing machine, vacuum cleaner, and microwave. The aspirational value of western style living – with the stress on the convenience accelerated the adoption of home appliances. But of course, there are some areas where transition is not easily acceptable.

    Many homes take shoes off in the house in Asia. Commonly cleaning involves wiping with water. Mom never trusts vacuum alone does the job. My sisters even bought her Rumba the robot cleaner, but it did not win her trust. The notion of hygiene in her mind needs water to complete the cleaning, in order to effectively get rid of the dust.

    The easy robot vacuum cleaner (red one in the picture) cleans with water while allowing the user to retain an upright position. It was developed in Korea 2009 to fill that gap of unsatisfying performance of the vacuum cleaner.

    This ‘not good enough’ notion is often coming from the direct reference point to how things were done before. Some things can be compromised, as it is convenient. But some cannot be, and there my mum would resist and rather hack the system. My mother, a professional house wife – also took the lid off her washing machine because that way it was easier for her to drop hand-washed things in for rinsing & tumble dry.
  • I don’t know the origin of numerology, but in China there has been a whole branch of fortune telling around numbers.
    Naturally fast entrepreneurs found the opportunity to get premiums on the ‘good mobile phone numbers’.
    We came across these ladies around the mobile phone market in Chengdu, with a list of mobile phone numbers on offer and the respective fortune of each number indicated.

    A phenomenon like this may be quite difficult to predict or control – but being aware of it may provide you an opportunity to utilize it in a positive way.

    Photo: Availability of mobile phone numbers and their price tag. Chengdu, China. Younghee Jung, 2009.
  • As I traveled from India through Germany, I realized once again that this is probably a universal issue – but probably slightly more pronounced in emerging economies. In many parts, design is quite synonymous to fashion and style. In other words it is quite distanced from practical and convenient. Outside of the fashion and architecture, the originality of design of the artifact or even an invisible process or service is rarely discussed.

    In this domain of making every day choices, people turn to their instinct. We leave the brand awareness here – I don’t think this taxi driver knew jaguar.

    Photo: A dashboard of a taxi. Chengdu, China. Younghee Jung, 2009.
  • In some cultures like India, people grow up surrounded by artefacts that have descended over a long period of time that no one raise the question of the originality of the form, or who came up with the ‘form’.

    Photo: A pop-up street shop selling goods for Ganesh festival. Bangalore, India. Younghee Jung, 2010.
  • And places like kitchen at home directly reflect the same attitude. It is an area that is ruled by practicality – it would be quite difficult for people to imagine paying for premium for subjective value alone – like ‘I like the color’. The established work process dictates the perception of what’s needed. A lot of homes have house help – delaying the ‘modernization’ of kitchen. My cleaning lady has a cleaning lady at home, as there’s always poorer person than you.

    What this means is the new caste system of design – both in consumers and designers’ mind. Something like ‘low’ and ‘high’ design subject.
    It would create the ‘design-worthy’ items list in people’s perception. Making people focus largely on show-off products as design-worthy subject.
    As I mentioned, this is happening not only in emerging markets but everywhere.
    If you look at technology companies – a lot more investment is made for ‘fancy’ technology that will create the wow effect rather than catering for lingering, long-term needs. Everyone wants sportlight, if it is easier, the better.

    Photo: A kitchen-dining space in a family home in Dharavi. Mumbai, India. Younghee Jung, 2007.
  • This is what I really feel dearly about – and often get fascinated by. And it is not often that we hear about this.
    The invisible infrastructure.
    It has a strong root on the social network, people.

    I live in a residential house in a neighborhood called Indiranagar in Bangalore. My landlady didn’t really explain much about how things worked around the house. First puzzling part of my living was how to get rid of the garbage. I was looking at some ‘official’ garbage collection system or a place at least. When I started to ask around – I realized that there are a lot of things I did not notice happening around in the neighborhood, partly because I spend most of my time in the office or traveling.

    I had to learn it from other people – that there are people for everything, instead of building, or website. I learned that the noise I hear from the street in the morning ‘paper’ is actually from the guy who is collecting paper for recycling. The garbage bags left in front of the house magically disappeared after my friend talked to ladies lugging the cart around and paid them a little. All of these were practically invisible – unless you asked people. There was little presence of government but a lot of personal enterprises. I asked my colleague the other day – what he misses most from his ‘old’ India.
    He said the dependency network. His sister’s wedding had 1500 people. It’s not going to be possible for his son’s wedding.
  • Still I am sure that he would expect at least a few hundred for the wedding – if not more.
    When you are blessed with so many people who would readily come to your wedding, and the dependency network in your physical vicinity, inherently there are a lot of ‘services’ that you get naturally and take for granted.

    This is Freecycle website. It’s very popular in London, as far as I know – especially among those who have children.
    You don’t want things. You find someone who want it through this.
    While a service like this could still find its use in India, a lot of people would not have the need for it as long as they have their hundreds of close relatives, neighbors - the dependency network of people.
  • This is a slightly different spin on the infra: What do you imagine when you hear about rural health care? What do you think is the real challenge?
    I went to several rural health centers in west india beginning of this year. I was quite amazed at the fact that the whole system was built on fieldworkers visiting families at least once a week. Their foot work – as there is no obvious options for transportation was what made the healthcare’s existence in the scarcity of doctors. The field workers often called ‘Asha’ are the key to reach out to the rural population. Their key strength is the social network itself. They are the key link between the knowledge and technology center and the real people.

    Pictured here is the portable vaccination pack, with coolers inside. When there is a need for vaccination, fieldworkers will have to bring this pack in their foot journey to villages that they are responsible for. They are also responsible to bring information in. In fact, 60% of their time is spent on documenting information that they bring in – all by hand.

    Photo: A mobile vaccination kit for fieldworkers in rural health centres. Udupi, Karnataka, India. Younghee Jung, 2010.

  • What about using computer to make some of this process easier and faster?
    Some of the health centers do have computer – well, under the dust covers.
    The computers did not come with a person. And without someone knowing how to use it, it is practically useless.

    Factoring in the roles of human being – people should be part of the regular design process.
    It happens quite often in technology design that I would ask: “why is this better than what people are doing already?”
    While it can be a very sustainable, training the human capital is a big investment and commitment – if possible at all.

    Photo: A computer and a printer under the dust cover in a rural health centre. Udupi, Karnataka, India. Younghee Jung, 2010.
  • A few things I mentioned so far- you probably knew most of them.
    And you would appreciate the difficulty in characterizing such a diverse group of people – but these are things that keep fascinating me as there are still very few success stories how this opportunity space has been used.
  • This is a picture of artwork installation by Anish Kapoor in Royal Academy in london. He is an Indian born artist working in London, obviously very successful, wining Turner prize. In a recent interview with Guardian, he mentioned that he is very frightened to have his first ever exhibition in India, his home country. His reason was – “I still have my relatives there, I hope they will approve.”

    I think his sentiment summarizes how designers should feel for new markets.


    The Turner prize-winning sculptor Anish Kapoor is uncharacteristically nervous about his next project: his first ever exhibition in his native India.
    "A return is always going to be difficult – quite frightening, actually," said the man whose exhibition last year at the Royal Academy in London was the most successful ever for a living artist, attracting more than 260,000 visitors.
    One of the most spectacular pieces from that show, a cannon that fires large blocks of wax into a corner of the gallery, gradually producing a slaughterhouse scene of blood red splodges, is among those being installed in Delhi where the exhibition will open at the end of the month. It then opens in Mumbai, where Kapoor was born in 1954.
    "I still have many relatives there – I hope they will approve," he said.
  • There are two key questions to me – essentially the challenges.
    How can we create emotional ownership & bonding, understanding the subtle nuances of the social and cultural heritage and sentiments?
  • This is a very common car in India called ‘Ambassador’. It started manufacturing based in India by Hindustan in 1958. Design & technology by British company. It is usually black and yellow – if you have been to Mumbai or Delhi and saw numerous taxis operating there. White ones for government officials – Sonya Gandhi is still riding in this car.
    Aditya Dev Sood of Centre for Knowledge Society introduces the notion of ‘Used in India’ rather than ‘Made in India’. There’s a strong emotional bonding – he says it is essentially Indian because Indians love it. When I travel around, there are a few products that locals are not even aware of the fact that it is a foreign brand. Like Milo of Thailand, Vicks of India.

    Now you may have the question in your mind – how can you create it when you don’t have the first comer advantage?
    My approach is to get our hands busy, which I find as the very intriguing design task in itself – to come up with ways to understand how people feel. I called it probing ‘emotional touch points’.

    Photo: Ambassador taxi in Calcutta, India. Anand Nigam, posted on Flickr.com
  • There are quite a few challenges – especially if your product is completely new and there is no one using or doing the same thing as your product might offer.

    We deployed a prototype system where farmers could share information by calling – the main purpose is to understand the pattern in which farmers are asking questions and utilize the answers. The pilot has been running for a month, and we had several engagement with them through interviews, group discussions and workshop. But the study is done in an area called Tamil Nadu where people are very polite – as they are very respectful and polite it was quite hard for us to hear anything negative from them. It was even more so as they were building up deeper relationships with us.

    Photo: Farmers being interviewed for research in their house. Tamil Nadu, India. Younghee Jung, 2010.
  • So we translated our key questions into a few statements for debate. For instance, whether information on farming should be free or differentiated.
  • Farmers were gathered in one place, divided into two teams and they were asked to take sides for the statement given. By creating the role playing activity, we created an environment where people will not feel obliged to be polite.
    In fact – it was really heated. All our translators had hard time as people were so excited and talked really fast.

    Photo: Creative workshop on mobile information services with farmers and agricultural university staffs. Tamil Nadu, India. Younghee Jung, 2010.
  • And sometimes unexpectedly you get a chance to observe the extreme reactions. This was one of the statement given regarding the digital divide. The blue team basically refused to support the statement given to them – because it is something that they really cannot accept even in a fictional scenario. And through this I got to understand the sentiment about the rural people’s feeling – rooted in several aspects of politics and society.
  • The second question –
    How do we nurture the right environment for adoption to take place, leading to sustainable growth – both for your business and for the local market, as well as users?
  • Poonam Bir Kasturi, Playnspeak.
    Bangalore produces 2,200 tons of waste everyday, but central government’s composting plant can only accommodate 500T.
    70% waste in average of Indian homes – organic wet waste. Most houses have garden areas.
    Daily Dump = composting brand, product, and a service bundle.
  • Ms Katsuri calls this her ‘open source business model’. The physical products itself are made by local craftsmen who have existing skills of making pottery.
    What’s most interesting about this is a number of services that you can order together with the product, which is an encouraging factor for those who do not know anything about making compost – including myself. It is also good for the local economy as it creates jobs.

  • Here’s another example –
    This lady is Hindi literate from Bareilly. She has the college level education and can read and write basic English. But she is very shy and did not speak a word of English with me. She never used text messaging on the phone simply because – she could not use English nor Hindi. No English because she is not confident enough and does not have the social network who would converse in English. No Hindi because it is simply too difficult to type. As the result – for her the phone is just for voice calls.

    Photo: A lady holding her Nokia phone. Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, India. Younghee Jung, 2010.
  • In India less than 10% of the population is able to communicate in English and that’s a generous estimate.
    Literacy is estimated broadly at 40-60%, depending on which statistics you look.

    If you look at complexity of Indian scripts, it is quite understandable why no one uses it on mobile phone or computer.
    Hindi has 36 basic consonants and 14 vowels – as opposed to 21 and 5 in English.
    Aside from this, there are modifiers which create new conjuncts.

    Pictured on the right is the ‘pure sounds’ in Hindi. I got this book during our fieldwork – honestly this barah khari table effectively scared me off from learning Hindi. The complexity does not end there – Indian states are basically founded based on language use as divider. So there’s no one India.

    Photo: A children’s book learning Hindi alphabets and others. Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, India. Younghee Jung, 2010.

  • One of the research project I am working on right now is to make native Indian language writing easier on mobile phone.
    In starting the project, we wanted to understand the patterns of language use people had.

    We recruited literate people for our tests. One of the tasks was writing the consonant table in Hindi – the 36 characters called Varnamala. Minimal level of education of 64 people who participated was 11 years. But only 35% of the participants could complete the consonant writing test. As you can see in the picture – this person is jumping the writing order as he was struggling to fill in the table. As people generally have such limited opportunities to write their own mother tongue, their level of literacy –especially the ability to write was in the decline. Even though the majority do not speak English, there is a big aspiration that you SHOULD be able to – often at the expense of the local language. So while people are most comfortable with their mother tongue, their school may not have stressed the local language learning much.

    What does this mean for the industry and society? From industry’s point of view, they are already reporting the flatlining of SMS revenue – despite new subscribers. It is an indirect proof that english speaking population is saturated. For society – I am not in the position to comment – but I see the birth of pigeon language. I heard my driver saying ‘thank you’ while speaking Kannada, the local language in Bangalore. So I asked him ‘what’s thank you in Kannada?’. He forgot. He could not recall as he never used it in local language.

    Photo: A research participant completing the Hindi alphabetic table. Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, India. Younghee Jung, 2010.
  • In starting the project – we had several ideas for how to address this serious problem of majority of indians not being able to use text input on mobile.
    But we settled with the most important inspiration – the alphabetic table that people learn the Hindi alphabet with, especially the varg system.

    Even though people did not do well in alphabetic table writing test – it was evident that people were all aware of the notion. For those who are less confident, the familiarity of ‘at least I know what it is’ was an important safety blanket in daring to try something new.
  • This is still a research prototype but we have implemented on full touch screen devices a new text input layout that is targeted for first time mobile texting users. The base keypad layout resembles the basic alphabetic table. There is little hidden logic with this, so that we do not crush people’s confidence level by overwhelming them with ‘smartness’ of the ‘high tech’ device.

    But the work is just starting. In the course of this project I learned a great deal about the dominant perception and aspiration associated with language competence. Speaking English has almost symbolic importance as a potential to succeed in life – not necessarily for happiness index but for the social mobility of climbing up the ladder of economic class.

    Therefore this is the market that we need to make emerged: make Indians more literate and use their local language more, creating the missing link between the modern gadget and the culture from thousands years of history. And it is quite difficult to push it if your organization does not have the vision to make changes – believe in its long-term effect. And we start small here, as there are a lot of enablers to allow people take advantage of new technology other than text input as well.
  • I worked for Nokia for 10 years, in teams exploring the future, and understanding the various aspects of human life.
    I worked on a range of projects including what would excite the geeks in particular (I say geeks with love) – like gestural interaction, dual display, mobile projector, location based services, context awareness and mobile social computing. Needless to say – very few of them are in the market.
    What strikes me most among a few things I learned in my career is the importance of adoption and adaptation. This point simply gets stressed more in emerging markets.

    These pots are from the roof garden of our house in Indiranagar. We planted lots of things – from seeds or seedlings from nursery. Trees from the nursery did not work out very well. I am not allowed to call them sticks – but among several tree sticks – only the fig started to show the sign of life. On the right – it’s supposed to be Neem tree, but it still does not get out of the stick stage. We are still learning why.
    I see more work from research and design and technology all together – to play the role of the gardener to give life to the baby trees planted in the new soil, taking the climate, culture and the nature of the tree into consideration. Rather than inventing new tree genes. And we should free our mind from the newness syndrom – as often innovation is not about how new it is, but how relevant and timely it is.

    Photo: Plants growing on the roof of a residential house. Bangalore, India. Younghee Jung, 2010.
  • I wanted to share with you one sketch from a participant in our community design competition called Nokia Open Studio. We ran it at 3 shanty towns around the world. Participation was completely voluntary, and the theme was to design your ideal mobile for your identity or for your community.

    This is from a Liberian refugee camp called Buduburam in Ghana. He is 25-yo computer student.
    He wanted solar charging, big keyboard with voice-aided keypad for his grandmother who has bad eye sight. He also thought it would be useful to use the phone when there are no lights – as is often the case in the electricity scarce refugee camp.
    When asked why the shape of the foot – he answered “because the foot is the symbol of development”.

    We are in the business of aspiration and ultimately happiness – lets use our position well.

    Photo: A Nokia Open Studio particpant in Camp Buduburam. Accra, Ghana. Nokia, 2007.
  • // This is a presentation and note for the Industrial Design Summit in Cannes, France, 2010.
    // The talk is largely based on my observations and reflections, along with a few projects done for Nokia.
    // Contact: jung@younghee.com / jabbaby@gmail.com
    // http://younghee.com

    1. 1. Photo from http://www.life.com
    2. 2. Photo from http://cbsnews.com
    3. 3. 35%
    4. 4. 35%