Archive for October, 2011

Design was made to be “beautiful”. But Design is often taken with high-class skill, upper income matter and modern life. What we call Design in industrial tracks seems particularly the crafting, building and a whole process to “define a creation environment that makes life and goods and services more smart, useful and profitable for the end-user”. Now some kinds of use are so simple that we think they don’t “need” Design at all, like something complicated and expensive.

Any doubt?

Check out at all these awesome initiatives done with the poor and above all, from the bottom roots…of desperate lands. No you can’t stop initiatives and control the path that guides to innovation. No wealth can replace the willingness and local solutions, facing misery, fell apart when you have no resources to use, but brain and collaboration. Simple ideas can sometimes burst poor’s destiny to help them, but especially when they have no other choice to cope with it, alone. And yes what we call “Design” can change their world. Using wastes to make in function local and shared open-air ovens, text messaging to prevent from disease, explain sanity or water use or like in Bangkok to replace old crap houses, they used recycled wood to build stronger and safer habitations.

But also facing a huge need for mobile work, the ability to build “mobile schools” on a bus or a boat, that can hold education, following the whole migration of households lead to rootless work to survive. Then, the famous design museum “Cooper-Hewitt” started with UN, a huge exposition “design with other 90 cities” with this tremendous thema, in NYC this fall. This exposition allows to introduce the design into several parts of communities, using it as: include (lose people, recovering the social link into ghettos), transform (wastes or the way to consider things and buildings for a better local welfare), exchange (a huge way to barter skills and local knowhow for moneyless people), reveal and adapt (habits make sometimes lazy, avoiding us to recreate new environment with less resources), prosper (with all the global dynamic through this whole initiative, leading to local economic raise and employment for new ways of “working”).

What called Schumpeter “innovation”, seems to drafted here as “something in pulse, moving economics and social, creating new products, things or services with the whole dynamics of organization (in this case local and poor groups, probably fell apart and helpless populations)”. He believed a lot in entrepreneurship as a real source of innovation for economic dynamization, and we can see in all these examples, the “force of nature” and the potential in the willingness to change their local world. But entrepreneurship doesn’t mean “a restricted way inside huge companies, brands or startups”. Some used it their own way, with lean management, aside with local communities to overcome their needs: kind of proud, willingness to live better and especially count only on their own…and destiny. It used to work with developping nations, when investment from richest countries disappeared, leading local groups to another way of subsistance: using and creating new oceans to live, with redesigning landscapes, habits and means.

Obviously, a particularly sharp and interesting lesson for us, balancing between bright, opportunism and ideas sourcing for a better world. Don’t miss the curve because it’s full of insights for developped world too, while earth is aching and resources seem to be compromised…

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