90/90 Vision

The Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum (NY) is showcasing life-changing works from designers out to make a difference. The exhibition Design for the Other 90% features innovative designs from individuals, organizations and private companies with the objective of providing most needed solutions to underserved populations, especially from Third World countries.

Modern design largely benefits people who are in the position and opportunity of access, unfortunately, this is a minority as 90% of the world’s population stuggle even with the basics to survive, such as food, shelter and livelihood. Admirably, a movement has been gaining steam as more and more designers desire to address this imbalance and invent products that not only would be gratifying, but sustainable and productive.

Six areas are covered by the exhibit: Shelter, Health, Water, Education, Energy and Transport. Start here for the product briefs.

Three favorite picks:

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Q Drum: “Millions around the world, especially in rural Africa, live kilometers from a reliable source of clean water. Water in adequate quantities is too heavy to carry. The Q Drum is a durable container designed to roll easily, and can transport seventy-five liters of clean and potable water; rather than lifting and carrying it, this eases the burden of bringing water to those who need it.”

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Pot-in-Pot Cooler: “Consists of two pots, a smaller earthenware pot nestled within another pot, with the space in between filled with sand and water. When that water evaporates, it pulls heat from the interior of the smaller pot, in which vegetables and fruits can be kept. In rural Nigeria, many farmers lack transportation, water, and electricity, but one of their biggest problems is the inability to preserve their crops. With the Pot-in-Pot, tomatoes last for twenty-one days, rather than two or three days without this technology. Fresher produce can be sold at the market, generating more income for the farmers.”

Best of all, a product designed in 2005 and has been reaping awards left and right since then for its revolutionary application:

lifestraw.jpg

LifeStraw: “About half of the world’s poor suffer from waterborne diseases, and more than 6,000 people, mainly children, die each day by consuming unsafe drinking water. LifeStraw, a personal mobile water-purification tool is designed to turn any surface water into drinking water. It has proven to be effective against waterborne diseases such as typhoid, cholera, dysentery, and diarrhea, and removes particles as small as fifteen microns.” And this nifty gadget costs only $3.00 each!

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Explore posts in the same categories: cool stash, design, gizmo

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