“Believe you can and you’re halfway there” – Theodore Roosevelt

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 Madhura, the Winner in the Gifting and Utility Items category and find out more about her experience.

Let’s get into it!

  • Tell us about yourself?

Hi! My name is Madhura Karad and I’m a fourth-year architecture student at Rachana Sansad’s Academy of Architecture. I designed the “Dynamic Closet”- which is a multipurpose, scalable product. It can be used to store small everyday items such as stationery, jewelry, kerchiefs, etc. It can be used in both a home or office setting, and the nature of design enables it to be scaled to multiple sizes with different combinations! 

My hobbies include photography, painting, art & crafts, and Stone collection! My curiosity to try new things works well, as I’m also a quick learner.

  • What inspired you to take up designing?

To be honest, I wasn’t sure of what I wanted to do, and like many others, I just went with the choices that my parents seemed fit, based on my abilities. However, the commerce field didn’t appeal to me as I felt like there were other areas where I could contribute more. The aspects of problem-solving, cultivating a user-based mentality, and material exploration are what drove me to take up designing.

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

Like many others, I too have faced some lows in my life. I had to drop a year and felt a lack of motivation and self-confidence. It was around this time that the Design for Good challenge was announced and I decided to take part in it, my first competition ever, in order to stand back up on my feet. Material exploration was something that always excited me and the simplicity and effectiveness of this challenge motivated me to participate in this. It also had a greater purpose as we were working with materials that were good for the environment and nature. To work on my presentation skills, I took up an online session by Karwaan, and that was the starting point for me. From there, all that was left was to execute it at the Design for Good Challenge!

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

In the beginning, I wasn’t confident in asking someone to join me and form a team. I approached my brother, and also entered the competition in two categories. I was surprised the one in the Gifting & Utility Item got selected. Here the calculations I had to make over and over again were a little challenging. But the real difficulty was replicating the model with recycled Tetra Pak composite sheets because I’d practiced with another material. Moreover, I never thought the smaller things such as magnets or hinges would also give me some trouble. 

I had to approach some carpenters outside to help cut the sheets and searched around for the magnets. Nonetheless, it all came together in the end. That felt really good, completing something that I had started!

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

Career-wise, I think this challenge and the online workshop have shaped me to be more self-confident in my abilities. Working with new materials, running around for all the groundwork for the smallest things has helped me understand the importance of attention to detail. In the end, when the results were announced and I saw my name there as the winner, the proud look on my parents’ face, and the fact that I’d come a long way was very rewarding. These important life lessons are something I’ll always keep with me.

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

Be yourself, every one of us have a gift! Things don’t happen overnight- it’s the journey that teaches you more than the destination. I would advise people to not dwell too much on their lows, but use that as motivation to stand up and move forward. If things are difficult now, it is only going to get better from there! Every one of us can make a difference. It’s the combined effort of all – a series of dots that make a line. A series of lines that form a surface. And a combination of surfaces that can form something even as big as the Sun.

 As long as you give back to nature more than you take from it, you’re doing something right!  

The only thing that’s constant in life is change! The “Dynamic Closet” and Madhura’s journey encapsulate this perfectly!

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


Design for Good Challenge | Category – Gifting and Utility items | Winner – Madhura Karad

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