Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The doors of perception conference 8 New Delhi, India.

Hello everybody, today I want to share with you my experiences that I had in the last 5 years in India. I got an opportunity to tour New Delhi, India in 2005, it was amazing to see how people live and do business etc, but the prime reason to visit India was to attended the doors of perception conference and showcase the work of Nairobits. I had both good and bad experiences while I was in India with my colleague Geoffrey Otieno ( trainer - Nairobits).

Catch up with me for more fascinating stories about the food, travel, people etc.

For report this is what I/we wrote in 2005; source

About the conference

It was on a Saturday 19th March 2005 when Wilson Masaka and Geoffrey Otieno flew a way to New Delhi, India to represent NairoBits in the Doors of perception 8 conference which was going to bring participants from all-round the globe that are in different disciplines like architecture, media and communication, engineering, fashion, industrial and product design. During the period we were in India we were able to get contacts from people around the globe and the locality, this was a great impact NairoBits made through brochure which we circulated and exchanged business cards as a form of networking.

The proceedings

There were pre- workshops which took place in and around Delhi for 3days which talked about media and communication, architecture among others. Also on the list during the conference were speakers who presented their project and we got the opportunity to learn about the latest development in new media, cultural research and the wire arts. For example we had the Human factors International who presented their project. Basically their mission is to improve the interactions that people have with computers and other digital systems. They offer end –to-end solutions for web/internet and internet-based applications among other things and help make their client existing offerings more user centric, optimized and efficient.

Above is Aditya Dev Sood one of the speakers in the conference, He’s the CEO of CKS (Center of Knowledge Society) consulting PLC.

Social innovation Salon

The social innovation salon brought about 20 – 30 design and research projects from the all over the world. Here is where projects like NairoBits, Butterfly works, Nokia, HP, Human Factors International and Center for Knowledge Society among others were able to show case their work to the general public and the participants who were attending the doors of perception conference. The Out come of the exhibition was great and NairoBits stall had a great honor to present their work to people like Jogi panghaal who is a senior research fellow, Doors of perception, New Delhi. He is also a co-founder life tools, which provided product design and communication design services to communities, both rural and urban, that needed design help.

Above: Geoffrey explaining to some of the guest who visited the NairoBits stand.
Other stands at the exhibition hall.

Informal Meetings / interactions

During the Doors of perception we were invited to the Holi Bruch which was going to bring the participants and some Indian community to celebrate together the Holi -day, by the way this is a national event/holiday in the Indian culture. Again this was an ideal setting for people to get together and interact with people from different places around the globe. This also was some sort of cultural exchange.

Meeting with Debra Solomon and Cybermolla

During the conference we happen to meet Debra Solomon who is an Artist/tutor at the Amsterdam Institute of Arts and also Vivek who is one of the Cybermollah staff members. Cybermollah which is a project within a research organization called Sarai ( which stands for an enclosed space in a city or a place to rest when in a journey.

Basically Cybermollah which is the project we visited have setup experimental media-labs that run on free software in 3 working class settlements in Delhi, this innovative project is run by young people of the locality to record local history. We had the opportunity to visit their premises and later we went on to visit one of their media lab setups in the southern suburbs of Delhi called Sarva priyah vihar, where we met one of the trainers called Aniruddha Shankar Karim whom we had a lengthy talk with, Part of what we talked about was how they have incorporated the use of free software (Open source) to the communities around Delhi.

They also have computers with only the motherboard and no drives and can only work through a network server (Linux) which is also free software. So generally they are trying to promote the open source community and face off the stereotypical copyright - rights managed systems that don't allow innovation and introducing a technical venture of free software which they call Copy left.

The same day we had a meeting with Sarai/Cybermolla, in the evening we met with Debra Solomon. She was so interested in what NairoBits does and was very enthusiastic about coming to Africa to work on an exchange with African youths about Creativity/Innovations in Art among other things, she said that most of her inspirations come from cultural activities and exchange with other public domains around the world. Being the only people from Africa we were honored to be ambassadors of our country and Africa as a whole. Debra and a group of students will be visiting Nairobi in 2006 hopefully. Still we have some contacts with her on when, where they will like to visit while in Kenya.

Thanks giving

We take this opportunity to thank the Ford Foundation, NairoBits crew, Butterfly-works and everyone who made our trip a success to New Delhi, India. Thanks guys and NairoBits will never be the same again!!

This was five years back and I have achieved a lot since then, in the next article I shall share with you my achievements in the month of November 2010. Keep on reading...

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