Redefining Waste for the Twenty-first Century: A new role for interior designers

A new role for interior designers


  • Agnishikha Choudhuri Srishti School of Art, Design andTechnology



Interior design, Waste, Urban, Designed spaces


The notions about waste developed over centuries have had a significant impact on the way we relate to it.The transfer of responsibility for waste disposal from the individual to the public, the notion of disposability arising out of the need for sanitation and the rise of environmental awareness have contributed to the creation of waste as a ‘problem’. Resignation and guilt, the impulse to treat our waste as invisible or with disgust, the inability to acknowledge the normalcy of waste, these are some of the outcomes with which we live.

Rather than implementing further problem-solving actions, which have up till now returned limited results, a transformation of individual relationships to waste is required, leading to new ways of viewing and handling what we must discard.The practice of design has expanded its scope from being governed by market forces to impacting social change. Interior designers can contribute to this paradigm shift, borrowing from the principles of persuasive design to include designed spaces for waste management in urban homes in order to empower individual responsibility while diverting significant quantities of waste from the waste stream. Eventually, waste management can gain a permanent space within urban homes, thereby legitimising the existence of waste, acknowledging individual connections to its substance and embracing ownership of management.


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Author Biography

Agnishikha Choudhuri, Srishti School of Art, Design andTechnology

Agnishikha Choudhuri is a designer and educator, currently heading the Furniture and Spatial Design Program at the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore, India. She teaches courses in spatial design, design history, exhibition design and occasionally, creative writing. Her interests in urban waste management have led to several interactions with the city as well as collaborative student projects to impact long-term change locally.




How to Cite

Choudhuri, Agnishikha. 2013. “Redefining Waste for the Twenty-First Century: A New Role for Interior Designers: A New Role for Interior Designers”. Idea Journal 13 (1):142-53.



Design Research Paper