dHive Rural Design StudioBringing Children to the Forefront of Social Innovation



A network of self sustaining low cost makerspaces, that enable rural children and youth in developing local technical solutions through design thinking. Emphasis is given to use of local resources and materials. They engage in all design steps from ideation to fabrication to documentation, ensuring a holistic and self-sustaining education and development.

Many technical interventions by government schemes and NGO programs fail to get adopted by the community as the designs made by urban based engineers or designers don’t adhere to complex socio-cultural factors prevailing in remote and underserved communities.

Designers around the world use various design methodologies and co-designing tools. However, the benefitting community still play a little role in such methodologies and the solutions tend to largely biased by the designers. dHive model engages the community, through children and youth to solve local issues locally.This calls in for the need for a participatory development and co-creation between children and the adult members of the community. The project also aims at providing livelihoods through redistributed manufacturing of products (developed by the children) by women Self Help Groups.

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The work was widely recognised and gave me the opportunity to share it in leading forums of India. The project was also selected as top 19 social innovators of the country, at the National Conference on Social Innovation (NCSI) 2016 and became its only success story, securing funding from Department of Science and Technology (DST- Govt of India- S and T).

I took the opportunity to share my experiences with schools and college students, on 'How children and youngsters can be the changemakers of the country'. It was a privilege when I was invited as the guest speaker at the Reserve Bank of India, to discuss about 'Social Innovation and Rural Entrepreneurship'.

The work was recognised with the Social Impact Award 2018 (BAIF Development Research Foundation), 3M CII Young Innovators Award 2017 (Runner-up: 13th India Innovation Summit) and Best Youth Award 2016 (Auroville).It was a privilege to be invited as a Special Guest to the Nobel Prize Series 2018 (Goa) and take part in the discussions with Nobel Laureates on 'How Science Impacts Lives'.