We have grown accustomed to two beliefs: the first, that only experts can be designers; the second, that our everyday activities are harming the natural world. Yet, with new platforms, digital communication and engaged online communities, the products we can now design – and truly need – can be made by anyone for social and environmental good. Social design can see that primary school children learn to code, and uses local information in off-grid locations to create global change. Open-source design is enabling us to re-make our world right now.
Structured into eight areas of application, from healthcare to education, this book showcases over sixty projects – not the kind you see in glossy magazines or online, but the ones that have made a genuine difference to communities and lives around the world. Rather than being client-driven, as commercial design often is, each project here is the result of designers who reach out, communities who get involved and the technologies that helping people to realize ideas together. From a playground-powered water pump in South Africa to a DIY budget cellphone, each of these groundbreaking projects is presented through fascinating and life-affirming stories, diagrams that reveal the mechanisms and motivations behind each design approach, and photography that celebrates the humanity of the endeavour.
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