November 27, 2013
Even though Studio H has moved across country from North Carolina to California, their legacy and impact on rural Bertie County lives on in the documentary “IF YOU BUILD IT.” After a successful Kickstarter campaign to edit and produce the film, the first screening launches on January 8, 2014, in–most appropriately–Raleigh, NC, before moving to the IFC Center in New York City on January 10th. If you were able to attend the pre-screening at Public Interest Design Week earlier this year, you know that it is a film not to be missed. Director Patrick Creadon describes the multidimensional story best:
The making of IF YOU BUILD IT was an extraordinary learning experience for Christine and me. Not only was this a challenging film to produce and an extremely nuanced and difficult story to tell, the lessons that all of us learned in Studio H—students, teachers, and filmmakers—went far beyond the lessons of how to design and build things… Imagine a world with better, more creative problem solvers. That’s what Studio H is about, that’s what IF YOU BUILD IT is really about, and that’s why we are so thrilled to share it with others.
Click here to learn more and find a screening near you for IF YOU BUILD IT, online at IFYOUBUILDITmovie.com.
November 26, 2013
The fourth and final product initiated by WIRED Magazine and Bill Gates is a small yet potentially transforming product for preventative care. Fuseproject–designers behind the Jawbone series, One Laptop Per Child, and Whole World Water, amongst many other products–created the Kernel to combine medical tests, cloud-based data collection, and treatment schedules for areas with limited access to doctors and health centers.
In many regions, the nearest doctor is days away by foot, making preventive care impossible. Kernel, a Bluetooth-connected diagnostic amulet, skirts that problem. It’s embedded with medical tests, taps doctors for remote health consultations, and lets patients continuously monitor their health.
The compact unit slides open to reveal a micro-perforated pad divided into four quadrants: red for blood, yellow for urine, blue for saliva, and green for breath. The pad absorbs biosamples and then transmits test results to a mobile app via Bluetooth.
November 26, 2013
Acumen–the global non-profit implementing ‘patient’ long-term investments to alleviate poverty-related issues–is now accepting applicants for it’s seventh call for Global Fellows. The twelve-month fellowship encompasses two months of leadership training, nine months of work placement in India, East Africa or Pakistan, and finally one month (and beyond) to develop post-fellowship career plans. A highly competitive and rigorous application process, Fellows come from diverse backgrounds with the following identified common traits: strong business experience; record in leadership and management; grit, courage and perseverance; and a demonstrated passion and commitment to creating positive social change. Seth Godin explains the transformation he’s seen in previous Fellows:
Once you say to somebody, I’m pinning this on, like the Wizard of Oz, I’m giving you this diploma, they blossom. And I have seen people come and, in just a few weeks, transform from that shy person who does good work into someone who’s willing to look someone in authority in the eye and say, ‘No, try it this way instead.’
Sound like you? Get going now because applications are due December 13, 2013.
Click here to read more and apply to Acumen’s Global Fellows Program, online at Acumen.org.
November 25, 2013
“In developing countries, up to half of neonatal deaths occur within 24 hours of delivery.” With the help of Bill Gates and WIRED Magazine, Frog designed a comprehensive Healthy Baby Kit to assist expectant mothers from pregnancy to postnatal care. Using iconography and symbolic instructions combined with built in rewards and check-ins with Community Health Workers–trusted community members who ‘adopt’ pregnant women–expectant mothers are given guidance to help have a healthy newborn no matter the circumstances.
Frog realized that addressing the litany of causes, ranging from low birth weight to hypothermia, would require smart interventions before, during, and after the delivery. The firm’s comprehensive kit takes expectant mothers through their pregnancy and beyond and is bolstered by continuous rewards that encourage them to stick to the program.
Click here to read more about Frog’s Healthy Baby Kit, online at WIRED.com.
November 22, 2013
Yield, the second of four world-changing products initiated by Bill Gates and WIRED Magazine, takes inspiration from a Star Trek device–the tricorder–to offer ‘real-time crop intelligence’ to farmers. New Deal Design encapsulated sensors, data collection, a camera, and a microphone within a basic form–the stick–to create a product that is more appropriate for farming conditions.
A smartphone with sensor prongs is poorly suited for the rigors of farming… So Yield has a metal tip with sensor channels inside that detect moisture, nutrients, and pH level. You activate them by jabbing it into the ground. The data then uploads to a local soil database.
Users can ask for help in any circumstance by talking into the staff’s microphone. They access different modes using a control ring, which lifts up to reveal a camera for recording and sharing crop conditions.
Click here to read more about New Deal Design’s Yield, online at WIRED.com
November 21, 2013
With much delight, we are pleased to share a new public interest design nonprofit AzuKo. International designer Jo Ashbridge, who recently presented her work in Bangladesh at the RIBA headquarters in London, has joined up with UK architecture firm Ryder to form the organisation. They are focusing efforts around five programmes–community, health, housing, materiality, and outreach–that will be initiated locally in the UK as well as internationally.
The AzuKo approach will be based on gathering the right data, understanding that there are no universal answers and that significant progress can be made through an accumulation of small steps based on careful analysis of unique situations. Informed research will lead to thoroughly developed solutions.
At all stages human centred design methods will be adopted. This process recognises the capacities of local populations and will ensure a concrete understanding of behaviours, aspirations and needs to facilitate sustainable architecture related interventions.
Click here to learn more about AzuKo, online at AzuKo.org
November 21, 2013
Just in time for the holiday season, WIRED Magazine has made a few wishes come true. Those wishes belong to Bill Gates, who “has tons of ideas for products that would improve lives” in the developing world. Four top-notch product design firms were enlisted to tackle a few of Gates’ ideas, which resulted in a collection of four product prototypes ready to be tested in the field. We will be featuring each prototype in a series of posts over the next few days.
First up is the Juice Box, created by Seattle-based Artefact, which addresses the challenge of creating a portable, all-purpose power source for the 1.2 billion people living ‘off the grid.’ The design combines a multitude of energy inputs–electrical grid, solar, car battery, and kinetic–with multiple USB and DC outputs to power a variety of electronics.
You can transform lives with just 10 watts if you can provide it at any time—that’s enough to power a tablet, a refrigerator, and lights for studying at night… The Juice Box turns any power source—from a windmill to a microdam— into a battery charge. There’s even a lantern attached.
Click here to read more about Artefact’s Juice Box, online at WIRED.com.
November 20, 2013
In the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, New York Institute of Technology architecture students’ upcycled roof design could not come at a more appropriate time. The team of professors and students are raising $4000 via Kickstarter to construct and test a prototype, which is just the first step in a bigger vision for the SodaBIB project. With two years of research into the design and business plan, the team is well underway into creating a real world product that could provide relief for millions affected by natural disasters every year. The campaign ends November 26th.
The HOME₂O Roofs are designed for use in tropical climates, where they can passively cool the buildings they cover. The roofs overlap bottles enough to protect even from driving rain, but are perforated enough to let hot air escape across the entire roof membrane. At any place that people will receive emergency water, they will be in need of shelter too.
November 20, 2013
If you are a regular GOOD reader like us, Jon Fein’s post “Why I’m Filming a Documentary About Social Impact Design” most likely caught your attention. If not, we urge you to read more about Fein and fellow cinematographer Roger Grange’s vision for the documentary film series entitled “For Good…“–which could include the work you have done or are undertaking right now.
Documentary filmmakers tend to see things that the general public may not notice and illuminate them so that people can better understand their lives and their world. This work takes tenacity and a strong belief that your efforts will have meaning and effect. You have to be an irrational optimist…
By introducing the public to the concept and practice of design for social impact we aim to spur increased support for this work. At the same time, these designers can serve as role models as pragmatic idealists so that people can envision paths for fulfilling their potential while making the world better. Our project has the working title, For Good…
We welcome suggestions for refreshingly innovative products and systems aimed at improving lives and for remarkable people to profile in the series.
November 20, 2013
Are you interested in tackling poverty-related challenges? Do you want to gain expertise in human-centered design? How about travel the world while connecting and designing with individuals and communities firsthand? If you said yes to any of these questions, then take a look at IDEO.org’s Global Fellowship. Over the past three years, IDEO.org has brought together leaders in business, design and social sectors to tackle social impact challenges around the world. Now they’re seeking the best new talent to tackle more beginning in Fall (or Autumn) 2014. The deadline for applications is January 6, 2014.
The IDEO.org Fellowship Program enables future global leaders from the business and social sectors to spend a year working full-time with experienced designers on social impact challenges in the United States and around the world. Fellows will create solutions for nonprofits, social enterprises, and foundations on an array of topics, like agriculture, water and sanitation, health, financial inclusion, unemployment, and more. Collaborating in small multidisciplinary teams, Fellows learn, grow, and innovate to make the world a better place.
Click here to learn more and apply for IDEO.org’s 2014-15 Call for Global Fellows, online at IDEO.org.