There was an error in this gadget

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Design With the Other 90%: Cities


For the first time in history, most of the world’s seven billion people live in cities. However, close to one billion of these people live in informal settlements, crudely referred to as slums or squatter settlements. Many of these people are forced to live on only 2 dollars a day, and as a result there are many societal problems that arise. “Design With the Other 90%: Cities” is an exhibition that helps to solve these issues through design. It is currently on display in Portland, the only West coast city to host the exhibit. Take a day to walk to the two display locations and you will see what an expansive project this is.

Organized by Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, “Exchange, Adapt, Include” can be viewed at the Museum of Contemporary Craft. A short stroll to the MercyCorps building and you can see the “Reveal, Prosper, and Access” portion of the exhibit. Countries in Southeast Asia, South America, and Africa are the primary focus of the design work. Design professionals from around the globe collaborated with residents to create a new infrastructure for the poor that fosters and accelerates innovation.

            There are 60 projects, proposals, and solutions on display at the two venues. Individual objects such as; portable vendor stands, solar lanterns, and community kitchens help shine the spotlight on entrepreneurship and innovative approaches to the needs in these rural communities. There are also broader strategic solutions for farming, irrigation, urbanization, teaching, and shelters. Each project is displayed through use of; video and photo documentation, full scale artifacts and models, and statistical data. The projects are presented beautifully and are visualized throughout the exhibition to further contextualize the challenges met by the design solutions. It is an extremely worthwhile way to spend your Saturday.

1 comment: