ICoRD'13 pp 1433-1444 | Cite as

Designer’s Capability to Design and its Impact on User’s Capabilities

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering book series (LNME)


Extending the dictionary meaning of ‘capability’ as individual skills or abilities, the current paper adopts a Capability Approach (CA) based definition. Accordingly capabilities are effective (operational) options available to an individual to be and do as aspired, in leading a life of value upon reflection. This concept primarily evolved in development economics, and has remained confined to the Bottom/Base of the Pyramid, wherein the capabilities of the poor are envisaged to be leveraged upon in alleviating poverty. Design for the BoP aims at designing appropriate products to serve as means to realize or augment the capabilities of the poor. However, the designer’s role as an individual with capabilities is taken for granted. Here, the designers capabilities to design are the effective options/resources available for the designer to design effectively. The current paper extends the concept of CA to the designer, and evaluates the related capabilities for its impact on designing products aimed at the BOP to alleviate poverty.


Design BoP Capability approach Capability space 



This research has been made possible with a research grant from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) for the project ‘Technology and Human Development—A Capability Approach’


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Copyright information

© Springer India 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Product Design and ManufacturingIndian Institute of ScienceBangaloreIndia

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