I spent two and a half months in India, based predominantly in Bangalore, researching the use of open source hardware such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi in the Indian cultural context. This involved exploring how the DIY movement and maker spaces contributed to innovation, how people collaborated in design, and the different projects that came out of it.
I wanted to understand whether the open source sharing of knowledge was democratising the technology, and if by bypassing corporate production individuals are being empowered to become more than passive consumers. The open source hardware concept seemed to do well in India thanks to the attitude of ‘making do with what you’ve got’, something that has been termed Jugaad, as the technology is malleable enough to be moulded to both local resources and unconventional ways of innovating solutions.
What I found was a growing community of people that were sharing ideas and supporting each others projects both in person and online. I also found an inclusive technology, and a number of products being created to address socio-economic problems from the ground up.