Case Study: Awareness About Electricity

This ​project​ is​ an ​attempt​ to​ create ​awareness​ about​ electricity​ conservation​ among children of age group 7- 10 years.

This is an illustrated children’s book which focuses on the following-

  • To help children identify the misuse of electricity.
  • To help children see the solution around them and do their bit.
  • To introduce children to the concept of generation and distribution of electricity around them.

Initial Thoughts

​ We​ care​ about​ the​ money ​we ​spend​ on​ the​ resources,​ which is​ not​ wrong​ after ​all.​ But ​the ​moment ​we​ start​ understanding ​the​ reasons ​bigger​ than ​the​ bill amount​ we​ pay,​ our​ efforts​ will​ make ​more​ sense.​ The​ motivation ​to ​improve ​the​ world​ will over power ​the​ doubt​ that ​we ​raise ​every ​time ​we ​are ​asked ​to ​be ​more ​responsible​ regarding the​ privileges ​we​ have ​in​ our life.​ Electricity​ is ​one​ such​ privilege ​in​ the​ modern ​living,​ let’s​ give ​a larger ​meaning ​to​ switching​ off​ that ​one​ switch​ when​ you ​leave ​the​ room. 

It ​is ​important​ to​ sensitize ​the​ new​ generation​ at​ an​ early ​age,​ so​ that​ they​ can ​associate the​ impact​ of​ consumption​ of ​resources​ that ​are ​at ​their​ disposal.​ Also​ inculcate​ the​ sense of ​responsibility​ and​ common​ good ​for​ others​ in​ them. 

Research

As a part of research interviews were conducted with children as well as adults, it was clear that there are many things that are required to bring about a change in our society. Before focussing on the society as a whole, it is important to understand why do we as individuals, behave in a particular way. Many interesting assumptions came across. A few are listed here-

  • If I can afford to pay, I can consume as much as I want.
  • If I have to pay, only then I would try to save.If I can afford to pay, I can consume as much as I want.
  • I am aware of electricity consumption as a major problem, but an individual effort doesn’t have much impact.
  • Only government can solve the issue of over consumption of electricity.

At this point of the research, it was clear that behaviour change is also an important aspect of the project.  Thus giving a concrete direction to proceed in the design process.

Core aspects to be addressed were decided on the basis of literature review, primary and secondary research, and the available material on the topic for children’s education.

  • The importance of individual effort.
  • Identify the scenario of over consumption of electricity around us.

Target group

The aim of the project is to create awareness about electricity conservation among children. Stages of development of the child vary with age. It was crucial to select a particular age range for the project, and design the content accordingly. Hence, with the reference of Jean Piaget’s theory, it was decided to focus on the Concrete Operational Stage, 7-10 years of children as the target audience. 

Objective

The first step to change is to acknowledge the fact that the problem exists. Many of us are unaware of it and as a result find it difficult to motivate ourselves to change. Also, according to the research it was easy to understand that individuals doubt the impact of their efforts. The little efforts we ignore daily, make it even more difficult to curb the problem.

  • To help children identify the misuse of electricity.
  • To help children see the solution around them and do their bit.
  • To introduce children to the concept of generation and distribution of electricity around them.

Design Process

The design process included multiple iterations for the narrative, with the aim to make it interesting and fun for young children and also being informative at the same time. Storytelling is a very powerful medium. It helps in sharing emotions and experiences. It is great way to encourage and channel the curiosity of children into a learning opportunity. For the project I decided to write a fictional narrative that evokes a sense of responsibility among children. Helping them to interact with visuals and build curiosity through the narrative.

A story about a little boy Ishi, who goes on an adventure and becomes a superhero.

Final Concept of the narrative –

To create a narrative that depicts electricity as a character called Elec. He visits a little boy, and explains how electricity is produced and what is it. Also making sure that the boy understands that electricity is powerful as well as dangerous too. Since the child is exposed to school and home primarily, the story revolves around that. Elec makes the boy realise, the difference between use and misuse of electricity. And what can a child do to help in conservation of electricity.

Initial sketches

Storyboard

This was a very exciting as well as challenging project for me. Writing the narrative, interacting with children, creating fun visuals and coming up with a fantasy character was super fun. I learnt a lot about individual behaviours and habit patterns. Most importantly I am glad I was able to create something for our times, something that would bring about a change.