Friday, January 8, 2010

New Life for Design for the Other 90%

The Rockefeller Foundation just awarded the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City $600,000 to make its 2007 Design for the Other 90% exhibition into an ongoing series. Many design exhibits focus on products for the wealthiest 10% of the population but, with this award, the Cooper-Hewitt will be able to highlight more of the sustainable design for the developing world like water purifying straws (left) and new ways to transport water (right).

Design for the Other 90% (2007) highlighted low-cost technology for the developing world with designs centered on sustainable solutions for people without clean water, cooking fuel, electricity or practical transportation. In 2007 the Cooper-Hewitt exhibit highlighted devices like the Solar Ear, the LifeStraw water purifier and the Portable Light.

The next version of the exhibit will be in the Fall of 2011 and will be titled “Critical Mass”. It will again focus on things like sanitation and water, climate change and urban planning. In addition to the exhibition, the field work done by the museum will be available in an online open-network database.

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