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Cooper Hewitt in NYC is going to have a great exhibit in May of beautifully ugly products designed to help people in developing countries—things like water pumps and pots and heavy-load bikes. It highlights the work of designers focussing on the needs of people at the bottom of the pyramid, especially getting clean water.
Yes, the One Laptop Per Child will be there and many less obvious products as well.
Let me quote:
The exhibition will feature design solutions for the poor and marginalized around the world, ranging from the LifeStraw®, a mobile personal water purification tool, to furniture made from hurricane debris through the Katrina Furniture Project, which works to rebuild the economic and social capabilities in New Orleans.
Exhibition objects include the Pot-in-Pot Cooler, a storage container that doubles the amount of crops saved while extending their shelf life; the Big Boda Load-Carrying Bicycle, which can easily carry hundreds of pounds of cargo or two additional passengers at a substantially lower cost than other forms of human-powered utility vehicles; MoneyMaker Pumps, which families can use to irrigate fruits and vegetables during the dry season, allowing greater crop yields year-round; and Nicholas Negroponte’s One Laptop per Child project, an inexpensive, universal laptop computer to be used as an educational tool for children.”
The Cooper Hewitt, also known as the National Design Museum, is doing very impressive work in design, design education and design thinking these days. It has opened its board to a larger design community, including people trying to push design and innovation in business.
And it has a great shop.
Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.