Monthly Archives: February 2008

Social Design

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“The majority of the world’s designers focus all their efforts on developing products and services exclusively for the richest 10% of the world’s customers. Nothing less than a revolution in design is needed to reach the other 90%.”

—Dr. Paul Polak, International Development Enterprises

I came across this design book during a critique session with a few design students from Central St. Martin who are working with us to imagine the future of eco-resorts. From May to September 2007 the Cooper-Hewitt Museum of Design in New York held an exhibition called Design for the other 90%. Products were developed in particular for the 4 billion people on the planet who live on less than $1 a day. The designers came from leading universities, design consultancies and non-profit organisations in the developed world. Design for the other 90% explores several projects which reflect the growing movement and desire among designers, engineers, students and professors, architects, and social entrepreneurs to design low-cost solutions for the other 90% of our population.

Perhaps further proof that sometimes design can really matter.

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