Sir Ken Robinson once told a story during one of his TED talks,

“I heard a great story recently, I love telling it, of a little girl who was in a drawing lesson, she was 6 and she was at the back, drawing, and the teacher said this little girl hardly paid attention, and in this drawing lesson she did. The teacher was fascinated and she went over to her and she said, “What are you drawing?” and the girl said, “I’m drawing a picture of God.” And the teacher said, “But nobody knows what God looks like.” …

My next book, “Finding Your Beebo” has a purpose- to help the readers find and preserve their connection to their inner child and to engage in a dialogue with it. The book was originally written for children. Elementary school teachers, Parents and children between the ages 5–13 contributed to creation of this book through their constructive feedback over the past nine months during which the content was under development. Through this process I discovered scientific rationale for helping both children and adults engage in a curios and open minded dialogue with their inner voice. Psychologists call it Self-Talk.

Self talk…

A collage of ideal life and job made by one of the students

I just finished teaching a graduate level class “Design Thinking, Human-Computer Interaction & User Experience Design for Managers (HCI)” to a group of software engineers. It was as much a learning and clarifying experience for me as it was for the students. Thanks to the flexibility of the leadership of the Integrated Innovation Institute of the Carnegie Mellon University, I was able to introduce my personal perspectives on co-creation and what it means to understand human experience as the defining framework for Human Computer Interface design.

Before the first class I conducted an online survey with the students to understand…

This morning I took a moonshot at the future as I would like it written in history books when it becomes ancient. I used ancient architecture as a reference point to explore my thinking.

Old Fort in Delhi

As I looked at the history of ancient architecture, I realized that it mirrors ancient ethos. Especially it reflects the type of society and leadership existed at the time. Strong rulers have showed an obsession to build monuments to establish their presence in social memory. Some rulers built grand temples of worship for their communities, others built ostentatious palaces for themselves. Some built gigantic infrastructure projects…

What engineers can learn from dancing

When you hold a brush in your hand to paint or a pen in your hand to write a letter, what’s on your mind?

For me it’s the emotion I am trying to express, the image I hold in my imagination, and the relationship I am creating through the creative act between me and the source of my inspiration.

What role does the brush or the writing instrument play in my experience of painting or writing a letter?

The instrument plays the same role as my feet do when I am dancing. I pay…

“Your have a unique responsibility towards your children. You want to be mindful of the consequences of the digital experiences you create. You do not want your children to be deprived of the real world sensory experiences that leave an imprint on our memories. You want them to grow up capable of tapping into the abundant resources our environment has to draw meaning and inspiration from.” I pleaded to my class yesterday.

I have been teaching a class, Design Thinking, Human-Computer Interaction & User Experience Design for Managers (HCI), at the Integrated Innovation Institute of the Carnegie Mellon University, Silicon…

The first child to embrace Beebo

My first book, a book of poems, “A window for a home without walls” has a mission- to give design back to people by evoking in everyday people curiosity, compassion and creativity. The success of this book has prompted me to take desogn to the younger generation- 5–12 year old children.

As I continue working on “Find your Beebo”, I am continuously seeking feedback from children and their parents. Beebo the central character of my book, is the child inside all of us, that we never want to lose.

Last week I showed the…


Here is a story of community life in India. Since the day I was born, a number of vendors came to our door to sell goods (primarily food). There would be a vegetable seller, biscuit seller, idli-vada seller, and a fisherwoman amongst many who I have seen at our door selling their goods to my mother. They knew my family and were aware of every event in our house, up until I got married and eventually moved to the US.

One amongst them was Shanti- the fisherwoman. I have never seen her give a sales pitch. She just decided…

Curious without fear

I believe that curious, open minded, mindful and fearless individuals will eventually lead us to a better future. Regardless of whether you are working for a global corporation, or running a boutique enterprise, being curious and fearless will help you have a greater influence on making of the future and a sense of accomplishment.

A month ago I was on a zoom call with a friend who is also a senior leader in the design industry. I was sharing with him some of the stories of the most valuable feedback we routinely receive from our clients. Specifically…

Creating a space for communication

Lockdown has give me the opportunity to observe, sense, and reflect about how we communicate and collaborate. Here are some observations;

  1. Creating a common space for cultivating a shared understanding (not necessary agreement) is the most important objective of any communication, especially for those who want to collaborate and co-create.
  2. Listening is not enough. One must observe, feel, empathise and try to imagine what someone means.
  3. Spoken words do not provide a complete picture of what someone means. Words are shaped by different cultures, professional disciplines, and personal orientation. …

Uday Dandavate

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