“Progress is born of doubt and inquiry” – Robert G. Ingersoll

Developing a sustainability mindset and being curious about new ways to shape the future was the essence behind the Design for Good Challenge- Where participants used composite sheets from recycled Tetra Pak Cartons to build their models. Today, we’re going to talk to Rutika, the Winner in the Community Space Design category and find out more about her experience.

Let’s get into it!

  • Tell us about yourself?

Hello! I’m Rutika Patil from Pune, a 4th-year college student at MKSSS BNCA College of

Architecture. I love the complexity of the course and the idea of spending late nights whilst finishing your projects. For this challenge, I designed a bus stop as it’s an active landmark to spread awareness for recycling, given the footfall it sees each day! Sustainable materials such as composite sheets from recycled Tetra Pak cartons, bamboo, waste bottles, recycled paper blocks were all incorporated into the design. Moreover, given the time we spend waiting for the bus, people could ride a cycle mounted with a battery, and this would generate electricity. The shower lights would be powered by solar panels, and encouraging green slogans would be written all around. Moreover, there’d be boxes for the collection & distribution of food to the needy, organized bus routes, and recycling bins for the public. Re-imagining what bus stops should be like was my goal!

I’m a nature lover, love adventures, and also a trained classical Bharatnatyam dancer. 

  • What inspired you to take up designing?

Each of us is overwhelmed by the number of options we have to pursue our career post 12th standard. The same was for me. My brother offered me advice by emphasizing that the field I do choose should be something of my interest, something I would enjoy working for hours together! Given my personality, I was drawn into designing because of the freedom it offered to put forth your opinions, ideas, and concepts in such beautiful projects. Even though the course covered some of these ideas, many things were way different than what I expected them to be. Which was a pleasant surprise, but I managed to work around it like everyone!

  • How was your experience with the Design for Good challenge?
  • What motivated you to participate in this?

It was a great experience. All of the Design for Good team members were kind and always supportive. To think back, I think this challenge helped me realize that I was always surrounded by sustainable technology. I did not know till I registered for this challenge that my own house had stuff made from recycled Tetra Pak! With my curiosity to learn more about the functioning of the material and how to work with it, I was motivated to participate in this challenge. 

  • Were there any times you felt challenged during the competition?
  • If yes, how did you overcome them?

Initially, the design stage did not offer any difficulties, since I had some experience with it. However, the model-making was a completely different story! My model was a hybrid with bamboo and composite sheets, and it required a lot of thinking, reflection, and calculations from my end to make it work. There were times I felt like giving up, but I powered through it reminding myself why I started. The cutting process was interesting as it gave me some exposure to different types of tools that people used. Lastly, I never thought couriering the model would be a problem, but this has taught me a thing or two about the real world.

  • Has this challenge helped you in your career plans for the future?
  • Either in terms of mindset, new technology exploration, etc.?

Like I was saying, I had to be practical and pack my model in a wooden box, and meet different specifications. It got done, but I realized if I swapped a few materials, things would’ve been a little easier for transporting! This has helped me visualize and lay more emphasis on the bigger picture. I have developed a keen eye for new technologies but also think about their execution.

  • Any words you’d like to tell our readers/design aspirants?

Everyone can make a difference by inculcating a green mindset. I believe that our ideas and the values behind our work that drives us. Focus on your interests and work on the execution!

Exploring your curiosity and re-imagining things is the path to innovation. Rutika’s Sustainable Bus stop concept is a perfect example. 

The whole team of Design for Good Challenge wishes her the very best in all her endeavors!


Design for Good Challenge | Category – Community Space | Winner – Rutika Patil

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