Solid Waste-Design Alternatives

Design Alternatives for Solid Waste in Bangalore

February, 2013 – April, 2013

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Garbage disposal in Indian cities have largely relied on dumping – in street corners, in rivers and lakes, and in landfills. Bangalore now faces a crisis of waste. For the last couple of months, the city has been struggling to find alternatives to dumping garbage. While the disposal of solid-waste is problematic in most Indian cities, the problem in Bangalore has become particularly acute with the closure of two landfills in near the city.

Project Objectives and Outcomes:

  • At a time when the city is searching for alternatives to dumping vast quantities of waste into streets and landfills, how can designers – product and systems designers, visual communication designers, craft and media designers, respond to the challenge and propose ways to alleviate a crisis of solid waste? Solutions proposed for Bangalore could hold important lessons for other Indian cities as well. The project aims to produce exhibition material for the BBMP and the general public.
  • A 10 day workshop will be conducted in Bangalore, bringing in students from GSAPP, Columbia University. The Workshop will be interdisciplinary and collaborative to map and visualize the landscapes of solid waste disposal, and to propose design alternatives to better manage waste at the neighborhood level. Rather than focus on municipal systems, the Workshop will explore the creative potential of waste for improving communities and neighborhoods. The Workshop engages with a broader discourse on design and planning for sustainability. As a catchall term for a wide range of approaches, practices, and technologies, what does engaging with sustainability mean in particular places?





The students produced several visual communication design outputs including exhibition posters on the importance of addressing waste and recycling in Bangalore, detailed investigation and mapping at neighborhood level to understand and document waste disposal patterns and gaps between intention and reality.

Finally, the students designed a range of flyers/brochures/website for Bangalore’s residents aimed at encouraging them to segregate and recycle their waste and assist in their efforts.

To view the Documentation of the project, please click here.

To view the Project Communication Material, please click here.