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The 6 Graduate Designs that May Change Our Lives

Published 6 years ago

Six graduate designers come up with powerful design solutions addressing issues and concerns specific to particular cities, countries, and regions in the world ahead of the Global Grad Show. The globally unique exhibition of innovation, inventions and technology that will transform our future, all showcased by the world’s next generation of design talent. With 135 projects from 51 of the leading universities in 30 countries on six continents, Global Grad Show is the largest and most diverse gathering of designers ever to take place and will offer unparalleled insight into the visions of the designers of the future, and a glimpse into our world as it might be tomorrow.

“Different localities bring new and exciting solutions based on their particular cultural and material conditions. My goal for the exhibition is to give visitors a glimpse of projects that identify poorly addressed problems, provide new tools, and demonstrate new ways of thinking,” said Brendan McGetrick, curator of Global Grad Show.

1. Peter Alwin (Umeå Institute of Design, Sweden) designs a health monitoring device for India

Peter has designed a simple-to-read, solar-powered device, ‘ASHA’ (in reference to Accredited Social Health Activists), enabling the measurement of vital statistics (such as body weight and temperature) to monitor vulnerable young children in rural India where low birth weight is common and child mortality high at 20% – a simple tool with the power to ultimately save lives. In the form of a blanket, ASHA comes with a built in growth chart that helps keep track of the baby’s progress. The baby is placed inside the blanket and weighed by suspending the hook of the device for an accurate result. Workers can then cross check against an average chart and advise mothers in case of low vitals. This device is powered by solar panels in the display that doesn’t need any recharging or battery replacement. This simple tool not only gives ASHA the credibility she deserves but also helps to save thousands of lives by providing on time care at the grass root level.

2. Charlotte Noël du Payrat (L’École de design Nantes Atlantique, France) designs an interactive educational game for India

Charlotte’s interactive game, ‘Let’s talk about sexuality’, could be distributed in schools to help educate children on the taboo subject, particularly in relation to sexual abuse. It provides tangible answers to questions from parents, teachers and children with fun, age-appropriate activity kits that are developed and distributed in schools by NGOs.

3. Ilteris Ilbasan (Umeå Institute of Design, Sweden) designs a low cost containment bed for West Africa

‘Ubuntu’ by Ilteris Ilbasan is a test of how good design can better build confidence in poor healthcare systems. It addresses 2014’s Ebola outbreak in West Africa (which led to 11,323 deaths out of 28,646 known cases) when contaminated and contagious patients were sent home due to lack of beds, and ended up infecting their communities. Ubuntu is a reaction to this: a proposal for quick, low cost and dignified beds in case of an epidemic outbreak. The bed is made of Tyvek paper (on a roll), bamboo, and colour-coded plastic zip ties for rapid assembly – resources that are lightweight, durable and easily accessible for rapid response anytime. Once the bamboo sticks are on-site, it takes just an hour to build a containment bed by one person. Furthermore, the artwork printed on both mattress and barrier uses the region’s traditional and cultural graphic styles in order to comfort the community and build familiarity and trust through design.

4. Dina Samara (American University of Sharjah, UAE) designs a refugee shelterfor Jordan

Dina explores the idea of extending the living spaces available for families in the Jerash Refugee Camp in her low-cost built intervention. The Jordanian camp is the site of a fast-growing population living in a very dense urban fabric, where extended families live together, sharing a kitchen, toilet, and an outdoor space. The concern about privacy and the growing density of the camp have resulted in rigid boundaries between public and private, indoor and outdoor. Dina’s ‘Shelters’ blur these boundaries. By adding inhabitable roofs and support structures, housing designed for a single family can expand to include extended family members in communal spaces for shared activities while still allowing for interior privacy and maximum floor area in living spaces. The shelters follow an open plan organisation where the multi-use areas are for living during the day and sleeping at night. The roof has a variety of functions and experiences that include a family meeting area, a children’s playing area, a cooking space and a roof farm, in an attempt to bring back the communal outdoor life that the refugees once had.

5. Aaron Nesser, Lynn Linn and Jonathan Roberts (Pratt Institute, USA) design fruit vendor street carts for Havana

Fruit and vegetable vendors are a regular vision and occurrence on the capital streets of Cuba and as a cool solution to navigating handcarts, as well as packing and storing fruit, New York’s Pratt Institute collaborated with Havana’s Higher Institute of Industrial Design (ISDI) to produce two different types of space-saving mobile fruit trolleys called the Organicart. The carts three-tier design optimizes display space, and gives the customer a higher degree of visual and physical organization, giving a sense of increased quality and freshness. Organicart’s hinged, V-shaped folding design makes off-hour and overnight storage far easier than that of larger, platform-style carts, which must be stored outdoors or in a garage.

6. Jan Libera (Royal College of Art, UK) designs city trailers for London

Jan’s aim was to make a versatile and simple cargo trailer for Londoners who choose cycling instead of driving. And, one that is compatible with both the bicycle-sharing system of docking stations and those that are privately owned. Jan based her research on the fact that though goods are often transported over very short distances (less than 5km), the vast majority of transport within cities is carried out by vehicles instead of cargo bikes. Hence, a shift in usage would have an enormous impact on quality of life in the city.

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Ubuntu, Ilteris Ilbasan, Umeå Institute of Design

Ubuntu, Ilteris Ilbasan, Umeå Institute of Design

Shelters, Dina Samara, American University of Sharjah

Shelters, Dina Samara, American University of Sharjah

Organicart, Aaron Nesser, Lynn Linn and Jonathan Roberts, Pratt Institute, USA

Organicart, Aaron Nesser, Lynn Linn and Jonathan Roberts, Pratt Institute, USA

Asha, Peter Alwin, Umeå Institute of Design

Asha, Peter Alwin, Umeå Institute of Design

Let’s talk about sexuality, Charlotte Noël du Payrat, L’École de design Nantes Atlantique

Let’s talk about sexuality, Charlotte Noël du Payrat, L'École de design Nantes Atlantique

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