December 28, 2012
Fast Company‘s Co.Design–edited by Cliff Kuang, profiled among our “Public Interest Design 100“–today published an inspiring roundup of “10 Of The Year’s Best Designs For Social Good.” The article, authored by Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghen, showcases 10 new designs, only a small number of which have been field-tested and brought to market. We’re hopeful that a few months or a year from now, all of these will see the light of day. The 10 designs previously profiled by Co.Design, with their direct links, include:
Click here to read “10 Of The Year’s Best Designs For Social Good,” online at FastCoDesign.com. Caption: Foot-powered washer developed with residents of a slum outside Lima in partnership with design students Alex Cabunoc and Ji A You.
December 27, 2012
Shortly before many of us signed off to celebrate the Christmas holiday, Cliff Kuang of Fast Company‘s Co.Design once again made good on his “Public Interest Design 100” recognition. On December 20, Kuang and Co.Design introduced to the world a young Vietnamese architect’s prototype for low-cost, beautifully-designed housing along the Mekong Delta. The article–titled “For Less Than $4,000, A Permanent Home For Low-Income Families“–was written by Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan and profiles the work of 36-year-old architect Vo Trong Nghia and partner Masaaki Iwamoto. According to Campbell-Dollaghan:
The 70-square-foot home is a series of amazingly efficient design moves. It’s arranged to be built in pairs or trios, with families sharing a detached bathroom, which minimizes the amount of necessary services in the homes themselves. A simple steel frame that requires little special welding holds in place an envelope of transparent fiber-reinforced plastic, which lets in natural light through a series of bamboo louvres. “Both materials are available everywhere in Vietnam and are cheap, light, and replaceable,” explain the architects. The angled roof…is designed to facilitate rainwater collection.
Click here to read “For Less Than $4,000, A Permanent Home For Low-Income Families,” online at FastCoDesign.com.
August 3, 2011
An up-and-coming film, currently seeking backers through Kickstarter, seeks to put a face on design-thinking, a term generally attributed to IDEO co-founder David Kelly, also of Stanford d.School fame. Self-described as “one of the very few documentaries on design, and certainly the first about the impact design thinking has on the world,” the film is expected to launch in 2011. As of this writing, the film’s Kickstarter campaign is already 2/3 funded with 31 days to go.
“Design & Thinking” is a project of the nonprofit Taipei Design Center U.S. and Muris Media, both based in San Francisco. Interviewees to date have included the likes of the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum‘s Bill Moggridge, AIGA‘s Ric Grefe, the University of Toronto Rotman School of Management‘s Roger Martin, and Metropolis Magazine editor Susan Szenasy.
Thanks to Co.Design for bringing this to our attention.
July 4, 2011
Earlier this year, Co.Design published a provocative, sometimes comical, and overall insightful infographic, titled, “Designers, Should You Work for Free?” The dizzyingly intricate flowchart immediately went viral among designers as it perfectly encapsulated the ambivalence and frustration so many feel about being repeatedly asked to do friends a solid without any compensation, at best, and without any consideration as to how much time and energy good design actually takes, at worst.
One common catchphrase was used loosely, if sparingly in the handiwork of Brooklyn-based designer Jessica Hische: pro bono. But contrary to popular opinion, pro bono doesn’t mean for free. Its literal Latin translation is “for good,” shorthand for pro bono publico, “for the good of the public.” (The accurate Latin phrase for “free” is actually gratis.) All that said, pro bono work usually involves professionals reducing or entirely waiving their fees, hence the confusion, but the focus remains on work for the public good.
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