Before becoming BLUElab Metro, our team was called the BLUElab India Project. The BLUElab India Project (BLIP) was a multidisciplinary student organization at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor dedicated to co-designing sustainable, appropriate technology with the rural communities of Dolatpura and Barola, which are located near Kalol in Gujarat, India.
The focus of this team was to co-design solutions to several different community-identified needs. The co-design process involved working directly with community members with the development and design of our technologies, to ensure the successful implementation of culturally-appropriate and sustainable projects. Some of the needs explored included excessive smoke from cookstoves, lack of usable toilets, and the health problems associated with transporting drinking water.
During the pandemic, our team decided to refocus our areas of collaboration to local communities due to travel restrictions and the finalization of projects in India. We are excited to make a meaningful impact in our local communities while still staying true to our history of co-design.