Project duration: 1 week | 2015


Matka is an Iconic Indian design. Rural women from all over the country use it to carry and store either water or milk. Our attempt was to redesign the plastic matka according to the ease of use, ergonomics and the lifestyle of the target audience. The proposed design was keeping in mind the cost of production, mass manufacturing and the restriction of being manufactured in plastic.


Matka is an everyday household product, which has been used in India for many centuries. While redesigning it, we focused on the ergonomics of the design. Our research spread to all divisions, the history, the purpose, the users, the usability, substitute materials and their sustainability.

The process involved testing the product, interacting with the people who use on a daily basis, studying the way Makta is handled (on the waist or on the head) and questioning if the material and shape was benefiting the design.


After coming up with the final solution, for a better understanding of manufacturing of the plastic matka, we visited a plastic product bulk-manufacturing factory. We found that the material used ( polypropylene) wasn’t a bad option as a substitute because it didn’t break on multiple falls but only got deformed which could be fixed. The drawbacks were the grips o f the rim, side and bottom. Also the shape wasn’t friendly with the curves of the body . So as a solution we decided to go with the original ancient shape of the matka, with a little modification.

Research Process

During the research we wondered how do the women in rural India walk with the Matka on their head or waist, after the long vigorous attempts, I was able t o walk a certain distance with the Matka, followed by other tests and recordings like lifting it with its neck, pouring out the water, drop tests and most importantly observing and learning from the people who do it on a daily basis.

Once the matka is filled, it becomes really heavy, and so while lifting it, the rim gets deformed.

For a better grip, some women make the initial lift like this which polluted the water. Because of the unfinished rim, this leaved a mark on the hands as well.

Before and After the drop tests.

Drop tests were carried out from different heights. One was the waist level and another was from the head.


The spherical shape is friendly to the curve of your waist and smooth protruding center gives grip as the Matka is heavy after filling water. The curve of the neck provides supports and rest to the arm.

The initial design of the matka is generally flattened or rounded. We added a cavity at the bottom as women also carry the matka's on their head. The cavity also provides support and grip to your hand while pouring out the water.

 The cavity would also have a rubber padding which would provide a better grip for the matka on your head.

These are the final 3D renderings made on rhino software