Playful Look At Trash

Öğretmen Ağı
5 min readJun 10, 2022



In India, the origin of Gilli Danda dates back to the period of Mauryan Empire. Historical references suggest that common people played the game on the streets, sometimes being accompanied by members of the royal family. Over time, social stigma made higher social strata to abandon it, making it common man’s game.

Sustainability, Easy to make, Serves long term were the key thing we had to make the base for our ideation. The initial stages involved research through which the designers gained insight into things like ; the history of the game, the cultural aspects and how it has spanned borders to be played in similar forms in different countries.

Having provided a strong foundation to build the understanding of Gilli Danda on, the desktop research transformed to real life research where interviews with people of all ages unraveled the stories behind the game and gave a fair idea of the experience with the sport. Some had built a life around it whereas some considered it to be a crucial part of it even if short-lived- all of them longing to experience it once again. Then with all this information and findings, we were then in a better position to look at the game through ‘How Might We’ questions; inquiring how we might enhance the experience, eliminate risk. And with all those ingredients, a prototype was built aiming to address as many user requirements as possible, at the same time using resources and raw materials sourced from supposed ‘waste’. Requirements that were met and further tested with a nostalgic session of Gilli Danda which was majorly a joyous experience for all involved but also included an examination of the downsides of this new experience for further refinement.

Iterative decisions were proposed which included product strategies, marketing strategies and a revival of the game of Gilli Danda in a sustainable way.

Fig.1 Gilli made out of two used Coca-Cola peg bottles.

The initial phase of research started with interviewing all groups of people to reiterate the core values and the experience of playing Gilli Danda. The Interview not only helped us to come to conclusions for the solution for the game but also to experience the meaning and bonding that it had created in general. We came across some amazing stories, Insights and even stereotypes, problems in the game. We also learnt how to make people comfortable to express their thoughts freely by thee play and story telling as this game had been played by them very often in their childhood.

Fig 2. Indoor portable Gilli Danda made out of waste boxes & stationaries.

In addition online surveys & votings were also condusted to optimise the data and input collection. Based on these we formulated the HMW questions (How Might We) to spearhead our problem solving skills to find a plausible solution. We observed that everyone loves playing Gilli Danda but the lethal aspect of the Gilli puts a fear while playing it so they avoid playing it. We also found out that neglecting the game is a mistake as it helps to develop hand eye co-ordination which is very vital for growing children. People, especially elderly also wanted to play gilli ganda but their body didn’t allow them to as it was a more of a physical game. The sense of community and camaraderie was one of the greatest aspects of the game and in today’s generation, they are missing out on a lot of communication opportunities through the lack of in-person interaction in an informally competitive environment. The stereotype that was notably obsereved was that Gilli danda is considered as a ‘manly’ game and major gender biases were associated with it even now.

How might we redesign this game in a way that people don’t fear the Gilli?; How might we help the kids and neighbors feel safe while we play Gilli Danda?; What kind of Gilli can be made which is not lethal or harmful to anyone or anything?; How might we redesign Gilli Danda that isn’t as physically taxing?; How might we design an indoor gilli danda game?; How might we help the people to think it as a gender neutral game?

The goal was to make the game much safer to play without losing the actual essence of it. We reiterated the game using trash that can be found everywhere such as peg bottles, Mobile boxes, plastic pipes etc. under the banner of jugaad (. We wanted the user to play the game overcoming the physical barrier and the dangers of it. The resulting solution is shown in Fig 1 & Fig 2. The prototypes were tested with communities. Even though people had lost touch of it, they enjoyed, reviewed and gave many insightful suggestions. The highlight was playing Gilli Danda with dogs which showed a lot of potential to explore as majority population have pets and people getting together in conversations even after finishing the game was a sight to cherish as designers. Based on the community feedback, further reiterations were adopted to the prototypes like adding a DIY manual behind the peg bottle stickers, using rubber gilli instead of pencil gilli in the indoor Gilli Danda, Creating marketing campaigns for Coca-Cola to promote traditional Indian sports.

Fig.3.1 Images from the community play
Fig.3.2 Images from the community play


Öğretmen Ağı; öğretmenlerin, meslektaşları ve farklı disiplinlerden kişi ve kurumlarla bir araya gelerek güçlendiği bir paylaşım ve işbirliği ağıdır. Ayrıntılı bilgi için tıklayın.



Öğretmen Ağı

Öğretmen Ağı; öğretmenlerin, meslektaşları ve farklı disiplinlerden kişi ve kurumlarla bir araya gelerek güçlendiği bir paylaşım ve işbirliği ağıdır.