Dan Formosa of Smart Design argues that the other 90% exist right here at home in the USA in his presentation to the MidWest Design Dialogue Conference this year in St. Louis. His argument is that designers only want to design for the New York and LA fringes of the country and that the whole of middle america represents the "other 90%" to most designers.
He may well have a good point! And if this is true then it certainly stretches the size of the other 90% even more!
There is a great program that started at Northwestern University to apply the creative research-and-development skills of designers to realistic entrepreneurial projects in the healthcare, education, and environmental sectors.
In 2007, massive floods displaced some 60,000 farmers and fishermen in the Budalangi district of western Kenya. Unfortunately the tragic incident was not unique for the region...the waters of the River Zoia flood annually, destroying crops, displacing families, and spreading water borne diseases such as cholera.
Women contribute half of the world’s population by virtue of an accident of birth, perform two-thirds of the world’s work, receive one-tenth of its income and owns less than one-hundredth of its property.
In other words, the Model T Ford of the twenty first century. Henry Ford set out to make a vehicle for the masses (in his case the US population were the masses he designed it for) that would be affordable and easy to maintain and transport a family of 4. Take a look at the image above shot recently at the Henry Ford in Dearborn Michigan where they have exploded out the main components of the product.
What: In the second of the 2011 Design for the Majority Section Webinar Series, Kara Pecknold will share her experiences, lessons, and methodologies for designing with women in Rwanda in a talk entitled Dialogue Through Design. Open to both IDSA members and non-members.
Designers today, from all parts of the world, are seeking more meaningful ways to use their design skills. One of the pioneers in the field of social design (or humanitarian design, if you prefer), Project H's Emily Pilloton, shared what she has learned about the potential of injecting design into the public education process during the first year of her work teaching design to and designing with high school students in rural North Carolina. Moderated by Leslie Speer, IDSA, chair of the Design for the Majority Section and professor at San Jose State University.
In Spring 2009 the Design for the Majority Interest Section hosted a webinar with Jason Morris of Western Washington University called "Design With the Majority: The Collaborative Design of a Cargo Bicycle for Uganda." Jason is an Assistant Professor of Industrial Design at Western Washington, and he talks about the process of creating a bicycle especially for couriers in Uganda, which he did in close collaboration with the couriers themselves.
In January 2007, the Design for the Majority Interest Section hosted a webinar with Ken Botnick and Deb Johnson. Ken is a graphic designer and publisher of limited editions books who's publications are in collected worldwide, and he is a Professor of Art at Washington University in St. Louis, and has taught at various institutions in India.