Media Lab Asia: Kanpur Lucknow Lab


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First meet of all IIT labs of Media Lab Asia at IIT Kanpur on 5th March 2003

Academicians from IIT Kharagpur, Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi and Kanpur met on 5th March at IIT Kanpur to discuss and present various projects undergoing at their respective labs. The Chief Executive Officer of Media Lab Asia along with his team including all general managers also was present in the meet.

Since this was the first meet of this kind, the project investigators of various projects presented their views and it was decided that Media Lab Asia should encourage similar meeting in a broader platform in future and meet should include researchers and students also.

Some members also visited the live demonstration of Digital Gangetic Plain project (IIT Kanpur) at Siroha on 4th March.

Some interesting features come out of this meeting were that interaction between different groups proves very useful as it helps to exchange and deseminate information horizontally. Also it was observed that some common research is going on between different labs and those could be brought under one platform.

Prof. Sanjay G. Dhande, Director, IIT, Kanpur initiated the discussion. He made a conference call to Prof.Alex Pentland in MIT, and all other members took part in the discussion.

In his concluding address, Mr.Bimal Sareen invited suggestions from team members and thanked the participants. He also announced the best demo award to DGP project, we take this opportunity to congratulate Dr.Pravin Bhagwat, Dr.Dheeraj Sanghi and other team members of this project for an excellent performance.

The proceeding was recorded and will be available online shortly from IITK web site.

  Visits and Talks

Professor Neil Gershenfeld, from the Center for Bits and Atoms at Media Lab MIT, gave a talk on "The Physics of Information Technology" on December 9, 2002. He also interacted with the Kanpur Lucknow Lab people and gave some valuable criticism and suggestions.
Professor Deb Roy from the Cognitive Machines Group at Media Lab MIT, visited IIT Kanpur on August 21-22, 2002, and held discussions with Kanpur Lucknow Lab people. He met all research groups and discussed in detail about various issues involved in each project. He also took great interest in seeing the the demos about KLL activities. Prof. Roy also gave a talk on "Speech and Language Technologies" which provided an insight into the work done by his group at Media Labs, MIT.
Professor Ramesh Jain visited the Kanpur-Lucknow lab and conducted detailed discussions with staff and faculty. He has committed some time for collaborating with some research activity.
Professor Sanjay Dhande visited Satyam Computers in Hyderabad. He made a presentation on behalf of Media Lab Asia. For the project of 100 villages of Balaji Foundation of Satyam Computers, a keen interest has been expressed for sponsorship in Media Lab Asia.
A presentation was made to Shri Arun Shourie, Honorable Minister for Disinvestment, when he visited IIT Kanpur on May 27, 2002. For sponsorship activity, Kanpur-Lucknow lab has held discussions with IDFC, Mumbai, Samtel, New Delhi and the state governments of UP and Uttaranchal.


Two workshops have been conducted successfully in Bangalore for evolving the details of M. Des. Program. These workshops were conducted in collaboration with Srishti.

Goals of the workshop

  • Experimenting with the untrained (free-er, less structured) creativity that comes from grass root practitioners.
  • Combining the skills of professionally trained communicators with the practical experience and ground reality awareness of social activitists.
  • Finding and creating common ground between people from diverse fields by bringing people together from communication, education, public health, enviromental activism, human rights and development organizatons.
  • Increasing the awareness of diversity created by new technologies and developing and awareness of new realities and possibilities that new communication technologies give for people to use their own voices to shape their own lives.

About 150 persons have been trained. These persons have been trained in ICT based design methodology. The high quality of these programs have been appreciated by all. A group of three faculty members have completed a successful tour of design schools in Italy, Netherlands, France, USA and Japan. This team visited 12 schools and have studied in details the design and media education programs. The proposed program of M. Des. which will be adopted by IIT Kanpur a3d Media Lab Asia will be based on the tour report of this team as well as the workshop reports.

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