Edan Weis is working on his PhD research project; Design for Social Wellbeing: A Case Study of Normative Design Thinking, see the work in progress here.
“This research is a comparative study of the design process accross several organizations designing for/with the poor, specifically the early concept/ideation stages of product development. I’m interested in the way designer’s “frame” their problems according to their individual perspectives, and how this affects their design process. In “social design”, perspectives are often as contested as the development theories they are associated with. The aim of study is to devise methods and practical approaches for design focused on alleviating poverty by examining the design process itself, rather than through external discourses of development economics, sociology of technology, or innovation studies. The research assumes that such discourses—while still important in understanding social design practices—exert a greater influence at the practical level of designing than has been previously recognized.”
“This study investigates industrial design practice which aims to contribute to poverty alleviation and economic development in poor nations. The practice of “Design for Social Wellbeing” (DSW) generally operates in four capacities: 1) product/service design consulting for/with local businesses and individuals; 2) commercial product/service development for low-income markets; 3) education for formal/informal manufacturing or crafts sectors; 4) implementing national industrial and economic policy. ”
Edan is currently looking for BOP product developers / inventors / design firms interested in participating in a case study for his PhD research project.