An agent for trans­for­ma­tion

The an­nual Open De­sign Fes­ti­val is back in town. Gar­reth van Niek­erk picks three de­signs that are mak­ing life bet­ter for all

CityPress - - Trending - On dis­play will be nom­i­nees, fi­nal­ists and win­ners of the In­dex Award – a R7 mil­lion prize to en­able the growth and de­vel­op­ment of win­ning ideas. One of this year’s fi­nal­ists on show is the So­lar Class­room in a Box de­vel­oped by Aleu­tia Com­put­ers, a compa

Cape Town’s Wa­ter­shed ware­house will be­come an in­cu­ba­tor of so­cially use­ful in­no­va­tions next week as the De­sign for To­mor­row show­case at the an­nual Open De­sign Fes­ti­val kicks off its city-wide ex­plo­ration of how hu­man-cen­tred de­sign can im­prove liv­ing con­di­tions, build hu­man cap­i­tal and drive job cre­ation.

wa­ter ATM The Grund­fos wa­ter dis­penser – pop­u­larly known as the wa­ter ATM – was an In­dex fi­nal­ist in 2013 and will also be on show this year.

Us­ing smart cards or mo­bile money, cus­tomers can buy wa­ter from mo­bile dis­pensers that con­nect with wa­ter­man­age­ment ser­vices across the coun­try.

With­out plumb­ing in some dis­tricts in Nairobi, res­i­dents had pre­vi­ously re­sorted to buy­ing wa­ter from street sellers, who dragged hand­carts loaded with cans or oil drums into back al­leys.

That wa­ter was of­ten dirty and some­times taken il­le­gally from bro­ken pipes. But Grund­fos ma­chines al­low peo­ple to pur­chase cheaper and clean wa­ter.

In con­trast to in­or­di­nately ex­pen­sive con­fer­ences like De­sign Ind­aba, the Open De­sign Fes­ti­val is al­most en­tirely free. This is an im­por­tant part of its man­date to shake the ex­clu­siv­ity of these events and make de­sign ac­ces­si­ble to ev­ery­one.

This year, De­sign for To­mor­row has teamed up with In­dex, a Dan­ish

in a box not-for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion.

CEO Kigge Hvid says: “There are more than enough white teacups in the world right now. That’s why we only fo­cus on de­sign to im­prove life.”

De­sign for To­mor­row asks how de­sign can add value as an agent for so­cial, en­vi­ron­men­tal and eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion.

De­sign for To­mor­row is on at the Wa­ter­shed at the V&A Wa­ter­front un­til Au­gust 23 from 9am to 5pm. En­trance is free

ma­ter­nity train­ing The Mo­bile Al­liance for Ma­ter­nal Ac­tion (Mama) sys­tem con­nects with ex­pec­tant moth­ers around the world via SMS and sends them free, adapt­able mes­sages in­formed by ex­perts in ma­ter­nal, new­born and child health.

Cell­phones could pre­vent the deaths of about 800 women who die from preg­nan­cyre­lated com­pli­ca­tions ev­ery day, or the 3.1 mil­lion new­born deaths that oc­cur ev­ery year. The pro­gramme was put into ac­tion in South Africa in 2013 and has reached more than 700 000 women and their fam­i­lies with age­based and preg­nancy stage-based health mes­sages.


RE­SOURCE­FUL Wa­ter ATMs make the re­source avail­able in ru­ral ar­eas HIGHER LEARN­ING The So­lar Class­room in a Box can be in­stalled in a day


MO­BILE MOM In­no­va­tive SMS so­lu­tions could curb the high rate of preg­nan­cyre­lated deaths

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