Jugaad, India-genous creativity

by | Sunday, September 07, 2008

Jugaad is a Hindi word which does not have a straight forward equivalent in English. I guess the closest phrase I would say would be “situational or indigenous creativity,” the ability to make do creatively with the tools/resources one has at hand.

On Jugadu.com I came across a pretty good definition:

Jugaad refers to an improvised or jury-rigged solution; inventiveness, ingenuity, cleverness. It means creative improvisation and finding alternative ways of doing improbable things. It reflects on a person’s ability to think out of the box and optimize resources in the best possible way.

This is a great example…;

Jugaad has a long history in India, though I had a hard time coming up with documented examples. This posting is a beginning in that direction.

  • Wikipedia article on Jugaad
  • Here is an article in the Times of India with some examples: Makeshift miracles, the Indian Genius for Jugaad.
  • Jugaad as a Business buzzword, and in the software industry
  • Some good examples, with photographs, from Tripti Lahiri’s India journal,here (though you may have to scroll down a bit to the section titled “Indian D-I-Y (December 31, 2007)” get there)
  • Some photographs on Flickr that may be of interest: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16
  • In an educational context, the idea of Jugaad is quite close to the idea of “repurposing technology” that I have often argued about. In India, the Hoshangabad Project had an initiative called Kabaad Se Jugaad, literally “Creativity with Rubbish” where found objects or discarded objects were used to create educational kits or toys. (Here and here are some Flickr photos of people engaged in Kabaad Se Jugaad.)

A few randomly selected blog posts…

What can design do for you?

TPACK involves understanding the capabilities of technology - understanding how we make meaning with it, how we can manipulate it to communicate, engage and teach. I include below an extraordinarily powerful use of media, created with the simplest of tools, one...

Developing a culture of creativity: Research news

Developing a culture of creativity: Research news

Danah Henriksen and I were featured in a recent news story on the MLFTC News titled: Developing a culture of creativity, instead of compliance, in educators. The article provides an overview of our work over the past few years. Given the nature of a news article, it...

Interesting links

Here are some links that came up during our discussion today regarding web-based software for education. Shodor foundation Curriki Gizmos from Explore Learning Illumination genetics tools

Breaking free of academic publishers

It appears that the arts and sciences faculty at Harvard are considering publishing all their scholarship freely online. Here is a NYTimes story titled At Harvard, a Proposal to Publish Free on Web. This is truly wonderful news and long overdue. I have been doing...

New triplet Ambigram (Now in 3D)!

A few weeks ago I had shared a few triplet-ambigrams I had designed. For the uninitiated a triplet ambigram is a 3-d shape that cast different, and interesting, shadows depending on where you shine light on it. For instance here's a triplet ambigram that casts three...

SITE 2008, Google & Creativity

At SITE 2008 Mike DeSchryver and I presented a paper titled Pre-Service teachers and the web: Does access to the Web enhance creative thinking about teaching. Abstract: This study examined teacher creativity and its relationship with emerging technologies. Eight...

Neuroscience, downtime and creativity: New article

Neuroscience, downtime and creativity: New article

In this article, in our ongoing series on Rethinking technology & creativity in the 21st century, we interview Dr. Jung. Dr. Jung is a neuro-psychologist, brain imaging researcher, and a clinical professor of neurosurgery at the University of New...

MSU Fight Song: MAET style

The summer of 2015, there were 133 students and instructors in the hybrid and overseas components of the MAET program. These people were spread out across three locations: East Lansing, MI (with 2 cohorts, Yr1 and 2 of MAET); Chicago, IL (with 2 cohorts of the...


  1. Playskool Alphie


    Thanks for the inspiration article.

    Kabaad Se Jugaad, what an awesome way to be creative!


  2. Punya Mishra

    Thanks Bernie. Great resource. Keep up the good work. ~ punya

  3. Major Fun

    This concept is a great gift to the world. You might also be interested in the Junkyard Sports Community – http://junkyardsports.com/community – where we take this idea into the invention of new, informal sports.


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