Motivation for do-it-yourself in rural base of the pyramid communities and the changing landscape

Prarthana Majumdar*, Sharmistha Banerjee, Jan Carel Diehl, J. M.L. van Engelen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Making is a creative experience of imagination and tinkering through which one finds resourcefulness in surrounding objects and materials. The propensity to make has been widely studied through Ryan and Deci’s self-determination theory that sheds light on how makers are driven by intrinsic and extrinsic motivational factors. However, most of these studies have focused on do-it-yourself (DIY) movements that originated in the West such as the maker movement, the steampunk movement, and regenerative living. In this paper, we focus on the Base of the Pyramid (BoP) community from rural India and present a study that investigates into the motivational tendencies that catalyze DIY in such communities. We studied DIY practices in five BoP communities in rural India (Assam, a northeastern state of India) through contextual enquiry using semi-structured interviews. In the light of practice theory that considers skills, images, and stuff as the three components of a practice, we analyzed the motivational factors that give meaning to DIY in rural BoP communities. Furthermore, the observed inter-generational trend(s) showed how the linkages between these interconnected elements are changing over time and how new meaning might be required for DIY practices to sustain in such communities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch into Design for a Connected World - Proceedings of ICoRD 2019 Volume 2
EditorsAmaresh Chakrabarti
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)978-981135976-7
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event7th International Conference on Research into Design, ICoRD 2019 - Bangalore, India
Duration: 9 Jan 201911 Jan 2019

Publication series

NameSmart Innovation, Systems and Technologies
ISSN (Print)2190-3018
ISSN (Electronic)2190-3026


Conference7th International Conference on Research into Design, ICoRD 2019


  • Base of the Pyramid
  • Do-it-yourself
  • Intrinsic motivation
  • Making
  • Practice
  • Prosumption
  • Rural BoP


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