Having understood the scope of the project, a system design approach was applied. It was not possible to target discipline-specific solutions. The Mandi is a multi-layered system, each with different users and stakeholders. Thus, systems drive and user-centric approach was applied to the redesign process. Our goal was to develop a model that worked for the farmers of Uttar Pradesh, and provided them the tools and technology needed to upgrade to the new paradigm.
The project aimed to re-align the core objective of the Mandis to serve the farmer as a primary stakeholder. So, we looked at the problem from different perspectives, including system and service design, architecture, urban design, visual communication, and a re-design of the management policy structure.
The project was defined within different phases of observations, analysis and design directions. The observational phase of the Mandi consisted of visits to several Mandis in India across Gujarat, Haryana, Maharashtra, Delhi and Punjab in addition to around twenty Mandis in Uttar Pradesh itself. It also included a brief look at two of the world's largest marketplaces for food namely, The Rungis International Market near Paris and the Floraholland Market in Netherlands. From here, the analysis phase was taken up to finally lead to design directions.