4 Asian Design Projects, #2

#1 – Solar powered, Biochar Creating Toilet


Designer: Karl Linden and his team at CU-Boulder
Client: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation ($777,000USD initial grant in 2012, $1,000,000 since then)
Rationale/Concept:A clever system to heat human waste to a high enough temperature to sterilise it, and create biochar.
Who is it for? 2.5 billion people without access to sufficient sanitation, hopefully.

#2 – Japan Institute of Design Promotion


Client:Japanese Industrial Design Industry
Rationale/Concept: Industry body for the promotion and dissemination of Japanese Industrial Design
Who is it for? Japanese Industrial Designers and interested parties worldwide.
Anything else?

Growing out of the creation in 1957 of the G Mark system, or the “Good Design Products Selection System”, JIDP has grown into a position of respect and influence. Current chairman, Mr Motomi Kawakami, is charting a positive path forward design and Japan in general after the tragedies of 2011.

“Our perspective has shifted from an initial focus on helping Japanese industry rebuild, through more competitive products, to a public-minded viewpoint that recognizes how design can enrich culture and bring harmony to environments at many levels.

As society matures, the scope of design naturally broadens. Instead of merely making things more convenient, design should afford a sense of contentment that comes from living in tune with nature.

Although times may change, the enduring essence of humanity does not, and as our post-disaster society reflects on the path Japan has taken, we have seen initiatives to get back to basics. In design and other fields, people are objecting to many aspects of the status quo, turning toward locally rooted globalism, and reviving traditions in various ways, attempting to redefine Japanese ideals.”

Screen Shot 2014-03-16 at 7.53.19 pm

#3 – Huangbaiyu Sustainable Model Village

Photo via http://www.shannonmay.com/Huangbaiyu_Press.html
Photo via http://www.shannonmay.com/Huangbaiyu_Press.html


Designer:William McDonough, and Deng Nan
Client: Chinese Provincial Government
Who is it for? Local Villagers
Anything else?

A project led by William McDonough, and Deng Nan (the daughter of China’s former leader Deng Xiaoping) that was an attempt to promote sustainable development in China and build an eco-village based on cradle-to-cradle principles that by all reports has been a failure. One example of design thinking that didn’t quite hit the mark was the addition of a carport on every home, even though none of the intended residents owned, or was likely to ever own, a personal car. Apparently, none of the houses built so far face south, as would be expected to passively take advantage of the sun for heating.

It’s also a case of what can happen when implementation diverts from a plan; every home was supposed to be of hay & pressed earth; but the builders only used that for 3 of the 46 homes, using pressed coal dust bricks for the rest that may or may not be hazardous.

Hopefully lessons are learned, and the next attempt meets the extremely difficult challenge of sustainably urbanising a rural population.

#4 – 3D Medical Organ Simulator [CARDIO Simulator Project]



Designer: crossEffect, Inc. Design Team Leader Kazuyoshi Kamekawa
Client: Various
Rationale/Concept: Precise 3D organ models and the Pulsating Cardio Simulator can be used to hone medical techniques in any environment in ways unavailable until now.
Who is it for? Educators, medical professionals, and researchers
Anything else? Winner of the 2013 Good Design Gold Award from Japan’s G-Mark


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