Archive for the ‘industrial design’ Category

Design for Social Wellbeing/BoP design

October 4, 2009


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.

Via BOP Source, @bopsource. Image from Edan’s Research Proposal (PDF).

Posted via email from Design in Africa

Nokia and education, part one

April 23, 2009

Met some really interesting students who are designing and exploring education delivery on handheld devices.

‘Project Nokia.Expand aims to create a learning platform for children in developing countries in the form of a mobile device. The device will be durable, low-cost, light-weight, easy to use and contains components that enable the children to interact with their immediate environment. The example applications are based on extensive user studies across multiple countries and continents. They will support learning, communication, and playful interaction within and outside a school. We believe that learning happens through interacting with the world. Technology supports that.’ Design Factory.

More to come after the opening of the Product Design Gala.

See and download the full gallery on posterous

Posted via email from Design in Africa

Blogging for Readymade

February 23, 2009

Photo Credit

I am writing for Readymade‘s Illustrated Weekly World of Design, topics include the design process, innovation, design news from South Africa and all the other stuff in between.

Posted via email from Design in Africa

Nokia Life Tools; Inform, Involve, Empower

November 4, 2008

Latest from Nokia; ‘Inform, Involve, Empower – Nokia’s service mantra for emerging markets with Nokia Life Tools

“Filling in the information gaps in agriculture and education withNokia Life Tools, we strive to contribute towards empowering people with the right tools to help them make informed decisions in their daily lives,” said Jawahar Kanjilal, Global Head of Emerging Market Services, Nokia. “Nokia Life Tools was developed to help bridge the digital divide in the emerging markets.”

What stands out for me is the commitment Nokia is showing towards education; ‘The Education service of Nokia Life Tools aims to give students a decisive advantage by boosting their English language and local, national and international general knowledge. Language lessons, quizzes on English words and phrases, and the general knowledge information were designed – together with EnableM for the pilot – to give students
an edge. In future, the Education service will also come with information on higher education and career guidance and tips, exam preparation, quizzes and access to exam results.’

Nokia also launched their cheapest phone today, the 1202, which should come in at €25. Features include a flashlight, 9 hour talk time and has multiple phone books and time and pre-paid tracker.

Nokia shows how its done once again.

Posted by email from Design in Africa (posterous)

Project Masiluleke and Frog

October 25, 2008

Image credit

One of the stakeholders/partners in Project Masiluleke is Frog Design, see their take on the project here and have a look at their presentation.

Posted by email from Design in Africa (posterous)

Project H-Hippo roller redesign

October 15, 2008

Image credit

As mentioned before, I am really interested in how Project H is going to redesign the Hippo Roller. Looks like they have been doing some user testing and figured out they have to go back to the drawing board.

Some ideas that caught my eye, were localized manufacture and using alternative parts. That said, designing for severe conditions where skilled people are scarce if a product needs repairs, it would be better to minimize the amount of moving parts and simplify the product and its manufacture.

In order for this product to be accepted by people, lowering barriers such as cost and ease of use are critical. Just looking at how difficult it is to pull the roller up a relatively even slope and pouring seems to me that weight and size are the biggest issues here. Perhaps it would be a good idea to determine exactly how much water a family needs, how often they need it and what is the actual value a Hippo Roller delivers versus the difficulty of using it.

Posted by email from Design in Africa (posterous)


September 22, 2008

Willowlamp is a small company in Johannesburg that produces very unique lights, particularly chandeliers. A combination of laser cut steel and ball chain (which is the what keeps your bath plug attached to the bath) creates beautiful organic shapes.

Posted by email from Design in Africa (posterous)

Cape Craft & Design Institute

September 17, 2008

The Cape Craft and Design Institute is a joint initiative of the Western Cape Provincial Goverment, AMTS, DST and CPUT. The CCDI incorporates a Fabrication Laboratory (Fab-lab), this laboratory is a high tech facility with open-source design software linked to digital desktop manufacturing technology.

This means that people in the emerging creative class will have access to improve their economic situation, grow their business and learn new skills.

Erica Elk, executive director of CCDI says ‘We aim at design that makes a difference to quality of life in our developing world.’ from South African crafts: style and social investment, Pingmag 2006.

One of the success stories is the range of wire tables and stools produced by Willard Musarurwa and developed by New York designer, Steven Burks, as part of the Aid to Artisans programme. They are being marketed in Italy and Europe by Enrico Basson of Artechnika and are availabe at Weylandts in South Africa.

Posted by email from Design in Africa (posterous)

South Africa as part of a global product production community

September 9, 2008

In a recent article in Business Day, Roelf Mulder MD of XYZ Design, discusses using offshore toolmakers while manufacturing in South Africa. The benefits are increased product quality and export competitiveness.

South African manufacturers ought to see themselves as part of a global product production community that combines the best resources from around the world to take a product to market, rather than trying to keep all the processes onshore’

The Condom Applicator won the ‘Winner of The Most Beautiful Object In South Africa 2007 Award‘ at the 2007 Design Indaba.

Posted by email from Design in Africa (posterous)