The Icon 20/20 Designers: Cynthia Smith 01.05.09

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Big Boda load-carrying bicycle by WorldBike, 2005

One of the most promising areas of global design is the study of appropriate technology in the developing world. Industrial designer turned writer and curator Cynthia E Smith has championed this area of design through the book and exhibition Design for the Other 90%, which was launched in 2007 at the Cooper Hewitt in New York and is now touring the world. Following in the footsteps of designer and activist Victor Papanek, regarded as the founding father of socially conscious design in the late 1960s, Smith focuses on finding contemporary applications of Papanek's ideas, such as Fuseproject's XO computer for One Laptop Per Child, the solar-powered hearing aid by Godisa Technologies and the Big Boda load-carrying bicycle by Worldbike. Design for the Other 90% can be viewed as a sourcebook for socially conscious design and it serves as a vital reminder that this field is where we need to see the most efforts in design in the coming years.

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Big Boda load-carrying bicycle by WorldBike, 2005



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