Human Centred Design

Human-centred design is an approach to problem-solving that emphasizes prioritizing people over technology.

CDD’s innovation, demonstration, and mainstreaming approach is rooted in a human-centred Approach. We strongly believe that anything that cannot be maintained should not be built. Understanding what can or cannot be maintained requires a deep understanding of the context. Human motivations and behaviour shape the context. By understanding and articulating these factors, technology can be designed to serve people effectively.

When we innovate, we make assumptions about real-world system functionality. The first innovation tests these assumptions, but one context is insufficient to determine system adequacy due to complex human behaviour. To gain a higher level of human-centeredness, we deploy the innovation in multiple contexts, shedding light on initial assumptions and hypotheses. For a solution to become mainstream, it must overcome multiple barriers and succeed in many areas. 

Some of the aspects under consideration while designing the program are :


  • Aspects to determine whether waste generation behaviour will likely remain consistent or change and what factors influence it.
  • Selecting a system with simple operations and maintenance requirements, regardless of the operator’s skill level, helps to minimize the learning curve.
  • The treated resource should be understood by the end user, whether a farmer, gardener, or toilet user.
  • The administration requirements include costs and aesthetics, which should be adequately understood.

 Human-centredness does not develop quickly. It requires continuous engagement, a new perspective on each problem, humility, and listening. The more one practices this approach, the more skilled they become. Solving unsolved problems is the best way to learn, as it means the human aspect of the problem has not been fully understood.

What is unique about CDD's Human-Centred design approach?

Human-centered design encompasses various aspects, but CDD focuses explicitly on two crucial elements:

  • The system should be designed to be convenient for the operator. Maintenance of sanitation systems is not an easy job. We try to minimize hindrances for operators. Inspection chambers should be easy to lift. Access points should be wide and accessible. We try to use gravity to move wastewater. This avoids the need to check levels or use pumps, especially in remote areas.
  • Aesthetics play an important role in wastewater treatment systems. By incorporating beautiful and green designs, and cleverly utilizing landscapes, the community can be pleasantly surprised and develop a connection with the system, leading to a sense of ownership.

Our flagship projects, such as the Arvind Eye Hospital, the Devanahalli FSTP, and the Treatment system at Mahadevpura Lake, have proven to be successful in their functionality as treatment systems while incorporating elements of artistic design. This demonstrates the positive impact of technology on people.