Madhurya Katragadda

MA 22/23

I am a multi-disciplinary designer with a keen interest in strengthening and enhancing communities. My passion lies in crafting experiences that combine user-centered design and futures thinking. I aspire to drive service innovation by leveraging my background in architecture, which has equipped me with extensive experience in leading cross-functional teams, identifying human needs, developing research-backed solutions, collaborating with stakeholders from diverse disciplines, and managing projects from conception to completion.

Prior to pursuing my master's degree, I spent 8 years working as an architect and spatial designer in India and Oman. During this time, I worked on a wide range of projects, including residential design and public sector initiatives.

During my time at RCA , I had the opportunity to collaborate with partners such as UN-Habitat and Age UK. This invaluable experience allowed me to work on projects in the public sector and contribute to social impact initiatives, all through a futuristic lens. Throughout this period, I gained expertise in employing design tools and methodologies to enhance processes within these sectors. I am driven to leverage my design expertise to explore innovative approaches that foster resilience in diverse contexts.

Final Project

Society often associates individuals with their age. They are expected to behave, set goals, and have a routine solely based on their chronological age. However, can a mere number truly define how a person should live their life? This issue is particularly pertinent to older people, as societal perceptions restrict their opportunities and choices. These ingrained perceptions also influence the regulatory bodies and support systems available to older individuals, resulting in predominantly reactive approaches that limit current services being restricted to the medical needs or functional needs of older people.

One fundamental problem lies in the general categorisation of anyone over the age of 60 as "old," leading to services primarily focused on assistance and care. However, the reality is that older individuals' needs are evolving and are different at various stages of their later years. Prior to reaching a stage of complete dependence, they aspire to pursue ambitions, explore new careers, and engage in new hobbies. Despite their strong will, diminishing functional capabilities often prevent them from utilizing regular services. Consequently, older individuals grapple with various emotions, including fear of the unknown, denial of the need to change everyday habits to support their needs, and self-consciousness regarding perceived incapability.

How can we effectively support older individuals during their transition period and help them lead the lives they envision for themselves? With the ageing population projected to double and reach nearly 10 million within the next 15 years, addressing these needs becomes increasingly urgent. It is crucial to move beyond the reactive lens and develop comprehensive support systems that accommodate the evolving aspirations and challenges faced by older individuals.

WIP project 2022