Our Gallery at One Market just set up twelve new exhibits that come under the heading of Design in the Public Interest. These exhibits feature products, places, and processes where design is used for common good instead of monetary profit. In a series of twelve blog articles over the next few weeks, I thought I would pick them off one at a time. The first three I covered were:
Our next one is Making Sanitation Safe.
- Autodesk Inventor // more
- Architizer: Architects, You Can Help Save The World! See 5 Remarkable Projects From New Autodesk Exhibition
Cholera, a disease often spread through inadequate sanitation, is on the rise. According to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), West and Central Africa have been particularly affected. Which is why scaling up safe sanitation is a central concern of public interest design.
Here is a compelling statistic:
- 70% of people in Sub-Saharan Africa don't have access to modern sanitation.
Working with Unilever and Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor, IDEO.org, the nonprofit spin-off of famed design and strategy firm IDEO, piloted a sanitation system called "Clean Team" that could help prevent the spread of cholera in some of the world’s poorest regions. As a test market the team chose Kumasi, Ghana, where less than 20 percent of the 2.5 million people have access to in-home sanitation. They first interviewed families, and then placed various prototype toilets in households. This human-centered design approach involves learning a target population's true needs, behaviors, and beliefs, rather than proceeding based on the designer's presumptions.
After many iterations, the basic system is this: a low-cost, lightweight, in-home toilet that features removable cartridges that are picked up regularly by trained technicians. But the work isn't over. IDEO.org was challenged to get the word out to Ghanaians, many of whom had never before had in-home sanitation. The team used everything from radio spots to toilet stickers, with a goal of reaching 12,000 households by 2013.
Thanks to Global Content Manager, Matthew Tierney, and Brand Marketing Manager, Grace Hom, for content contained in this blog article. This is just one of the many exhibits in the gallery at One Market in San Francisco. The gallery is open to the public on Wednesdays from 12 pm to 5 pm, and admission is free. Visit us.
Safety is alive in the lab.