Design for the Other 90%

On view in the Arthur Ross Terrace and Garden, this exhibition highlights the growing trend among designers to create affordable and socially responsible objects for the vast majority of the world’s population (90 percent) not traditionally serviced by professional designers. Organized by exhibition curator Cynthia E. Smith, along with an eight-member advisory council, the exhibition is divided into sections focusing on water, shelter, health and sanitation, education, energy and transportation and highlights objects developed to empower global populations surviving under the poverty level or recovering from a natural disaster.

Design for the Other 90% is an exhibition at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum.


The Q drum

“The real stars of the show, though, are the stories behind the designs.” microscopiq, May 17, 2007

They don’t need a handout. What they need is an opportunity.
. . .
A poor person actually only cares about one thing: making more money. If they have more money, they can get ahead, take their family out of poverty.
— Martin Fischer, Kickstart International

The introductory video also provided an opportunity to explore an additional range of themes that may not be as apparent, running through the exhibition and this area of design: open source options, leapfrog technology, economic impacts, community building, testing and end-user research, low-cost innovations, social enterprise, humanitarian entrepreneurship, improved democracies and multiple calls to action.

In Their Own Words,” Design for the Other 90% blog, May 14, 2007
Design for the Other 90% (web site), an exhibition at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum through September 23, 2007. Cooper-Hewitt, web site, 2 East 91st Street, New York, NY, M-Th 10 am – 5 pm, F 10 am – 9 pm, Sat 10 am – 6 pm, Sun Noon – 6 pm. $ Admission fee.

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