Completely inspiring design. African’s designing completely within African culture for specific needs. Some of it a cool blend of Western “culture”.
you are an idiot savant.
you are an idiot savant.
Hmmmmm…I have been known to be an idiot. I have never claimed to be a savant (a savanter is a person of learning, especially one of great knowledge in a particular subject), and I can definitely be an asshole. The term idiot savant is actually an Oxymoron, of which many of my ideas during my lifetime have been.
So, it leaves me to wonder, was this an insult?
I am definitely curious as to what provokes this attack. Not that I give a shit as to your opinion of me, but more to what it is about a post to a website that shows common displays of design in Africa that pidgeon-holes me into this definition of yours.
My first professor and mentor, the late Victor Papanek, spent a major portion of his life designing for UNICEF, pro bono, in the belief that the ‘designers’ are obligated to help the people of the third world pull themselves out of povery, and disease.
He did not specify where the designers should come from.
definitely cool! do know why yayo has caught feelings over it…
why did he feel that it was designers obligation? rather than everyones’ obligation?
YAYO… There is no reason to be so hostile.
A few of the things on there are pretty cool. I thought the coffee maker made out of a mortar shell was pretty smart, as was the home made wind mill, and the fold away house.
The iPod holder was a bit odd…
Lmo_ I think I know what you are driving at. I agree, we should help out where we can. I also think it is great to point out when cultures take an active part in helping themselves. A person in a particular situation knows exactly what they need, vs someone who might have never experienced their needs first hand. The best solution is probably working together to combine both knowledge sets…
It would be cool if there was a craigslist of design volunteer opportunities. Like when Habitat for Humanity does their design competitions.
I wonder about this as well.
I take a bit of a different tack than Papenek, however. I tend to believe that it is the individuals, like those discussed on the AfriGaget blog, that are going to pull themselves out of poverty and disease. I can’t do it for them. A fine line.
Does anyone know of an organization that mentors, educates, and finances entrepreneurs in Africa and other developing countries?
My thought is the idea of bringing individuals from Africa, having them work here on a 1 year visa in a trade or field that they can take learned skills back home with them. Also while they are here, educate them on the business and management aspect of running a business. Lastly, finance them in an endeavor back in their home land that employs individuals and fosters economic growth.
Yo, it was specifically the windmill that I found to be very cool. Turning found objects into a generator for the neighborhood. Especially the comment within the article that the windmill powered peoples cell phones.
I still remember being dumbstruck when standing at 15,000 feet on Kilimanjaro and hearing my guide’s cell phone ring…5 years ago.
It was also the iPod holder that caught my attention as the blend between African and western “culture”. (The quotes were intentional)
I was attempting to keep it brief; Mr. Papanek’s world view was that we are all responsible, not just ‘designers’. As a designer, that was what he believed was his share of the obligation. And re passed it on to his students. Or at least that is the sense I came away with.
A person in a particular situation knows exactly what they need, vs someone who might have never experienced their needs first hand.
Funny how that works, isn’t it?
it was specifically the windmill that I found to be very cool. Turning found objects into a generator for the neighborhood. Especially the comment within the article that the windmill powered peoples cell phones.
One of the devices designed by Papanek was an AM radio powered by cow dung. Knowledge (learning) is power, and by extention, so is communication.