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Leonora's POWERPOINT PRESENTATION september 19th 2002


Front/ Intro Page'''

I wish you, reader of this story, a long life. But -as a start- please realize, you are going to share this planet in your old days with 10 billion people. 5 billion of whom are expected to be unacceptably poor. Will your old day be a quiet one?
Ecologically it seems impossible -making use of our current commercial and industrial system (think again over 40 years, in 2040) to raise the income or welfare of these 5 billion people to our current level.
Sharing our affluence with them, we will not do. Our globalized market system does not allow that.
Can we maintain our democracy, integrity as a nation and safety in the public domain? Can we maintain our moral standards, while their life standard is unacceptable? It doesn't seem probable.
So there is a problem. Is it a design problem?


Sustainable Culture as a Design Problem

Subtitle:
Findings of Demotech's action research in "Design for the Real World"

Immediate targets

  • Promote more joy per person
    The reduction of personal strain in daily life, through design innovations as the big teaser to go for sustainability
  • Promote trust in the future
    Regain trust in the future, only a sustainable world offers joy and relaxation
  • Promote swift repair of the environment
Repairing of environment must happen swiftly and dramatically, regarding poverty and super-consumption as one and the same problem, to be solved by design with the target:

create more joy per person


Section 1 What creates 'joy per person'

1. More joy per person by self-reliance
Subtitles (independence & enabling people)

  • Enjoy the niceness, the challenge and the freedom of doing your own thing,
  • Be less afraid for the risks, be aware of the safety of being less dependent
  • Find solutions, share solutions, use the solutions of others through Internet, millions are in a similar position as you are.
  • Enlarge your group or join others, share and enforce your freedom.
    Examples:
    • Women in Kampala create income for the infancy they run and for themselves by starting a factory for rope pumps,
    • Be free from paying rent by building your own house through creating a party.

2. More joy per person by Reduction & Repair, regarding pollution, waste, recycling
Subtitles (Five target levels for designers (no one is not a designer))

  • Reduction of cost (cost = use of non-renewable resources + environmental damage) to nil.
Replacing a product with a working method or a service. In this way the environmental load (footprint) is reduced to nil. Often possible right away by sharing (transport, care, facilities) It asks for design of social structures.
  • Reduction of cost(=use of to one single percent of the industrial/commercial cost
    Do this by using only the means and materials generally applied within poverty. Find out you can then do the same things as industry, sometimes even better, often different (see rope pump, hydraulic ram pump, IziGo urban transport system
  • Reduction of cost to five percent of the industrial/commercial cost
Experts state 5% of current level of energy consumption and use of non-renewable sources is sufficient for permanent sustainability. This is FIVE times more than two billion people in poverty survive with! Designers use design space to circumvent the psychological blocks of our commercial culture
  • Reduction of cost to twenty percent
The Brundland report expects twenty percent to be the maximum possible reduction of the environmental load within a normal economic development. Not less that twenty times more pollution and waste than people survive with in poverty. Could such abundance be the maximal reduction? Better study carefully how much joy is generated within poverty compared to the joy produced in rich countries and go from there!
  • Reduction to "Feel Good".
Do feel good when you design some gadget a little less wastefull, but ask yourself if it of any good. Could it be a sleeping pill to doze off, while sustainable social structures are corrupted into dependance on having more and having the latest?

3. More joy per person by the use of the most Appropriate Technology
Subtitles (products for both 1st & 3rd world)

  • As Victor Papanek, check out "What people really need”
  • Design a product in a general way, but easy to adjust to local preferences .
  • Be aware of local skills and abilities of men, women and children alike to construct, operate and repair.
  • Design so that it can be constructed with locally available materials
  • Create a appropriate technology by careful re-design. Rely on innovation, based on local and traditional technology using local means only. Check if this leads to a permanent and valuable improvement for its users and -through information transfer- also for other potential users.”

4. More joy per person by the use of Information as Currency
(LETS scheme, exchanging services & knowledge)

  • Mutual assistance, used as currency. Make mutual assitance a circular movement, where by your help for one person leads to help for another, going round and coming back to you.
  • The exchange value of mutual help is decided between partners (example: re-thatching of Demotech's roof in exchange for preparation and guidance for the local thatcher's use of his laptop).
  • Design schemes to make mutual assistance more effective like "eco-friendly building"

Section 2, Demotech Design approach

1. Create basic concept to go from

  • Check if poor people's problems can be solved with western (ppr-?) products e.g. mercedes benz.
  • Check the value of 'Living Lite'. People who have everything they could possibly want, are they yes or no happier than those who are considered to have “nothing”?
  • Check the value of availability of basic services (health care, safety in the public domain, support of justice etc) for feeling well.

• Check where daily life can be improved dramatically through simple improvements to local services and technology

  • Check your basic motives. Is going from those who 'know' to those who seem to lack 'knowledge' the right direction?
  • Check how much joy per person could be created by your design initiative

2. A new approach to design for sustainability
(changing usual perceptions of aid to developing communities, trying not to design from western consumer perspective)

  • Demotech sees to replacement of the need for financial investments to realize production by work methods immediately applicable with local mean. Production can stop when needs are fulfilled. There is no need for 'economic growth'.
  • Demotech designs appropriate solutions for 3rd world in the 1st world seeing them as one and interrelating.
  • Demotech does not integrate aesthetics or lifestyle in her designs, but leaves opportunities for adding them during local making or manufacturing. Thereby honoring local creativity and pleasure in participating.
  • Demotech shows traditional methods of 'development' aid can better be replaced by inspiring to use local resources by making available appropriate information
  • Demotech goes into the field armed only with means to demonstrate a new approach, leaving it to the client to embrace it or not.
  • Demotech forges strong interactive relationships between designer, maker and user through discussion pages in Internet, such as in her website

3. Keep It Local
(should not need to rely on external sources, only need local materials and local skills.)

  • Demotech reconsiders the role of (centralized) high-tech industy versus local crafts and cottage industry. A better use can be made of both special abilities.
  • If technologies are tuned to be produced close to the future user, this promotes cottage industry and generates local economic development, providing employment.
  • Tuning design for local manufacturing also means using locally available materials, recycling scrap metal, rubber, plastic and other natural materials which are locally plentiful and inexpensive.

4. Anyone & Everyone

  • anyone who desires to should be able to make a Demotech design in their local community, after aquairing some specialized abilities, but without the need for large investments.
  • There is no need for payment to use Demotech designs by its user. Such payment is done indirect by support groups that relate to the user (NGO's, GO's)
  • Demotech designs are adjusted to give equal opportunities to both gender groups. Desing for woman is an explicit target of Demotech design.

5. Transfer of Knowledge
(Create methods of communicating message, Education and skills)

  • Communication” is one of Demotech’s most important tools to promote its ideas.
  • Through a website, also using this presentation Demotech, makes its ideas and designs available to as many people across the world as possible.
  • 'Getting the whole message across' is important not only to promote ideas but also to instruct people on how the technologies should be constructed, maintained and repaired without loss of the original quality of the message.
  • Users should get the chance to learn by doing. Many designs have repetive actions and modular construction elements, so they are more easy to master for a novice.
  • Demotech develops new ways of “getting message across”, such as in instruction manual pages tied to a string, enabling a group to assist each other in understanding the new information, while at the same time developing a local assessment of this information.
  • Demotech has designed a next to cost-free reading light, to read in the dark without the need for electricity or naked flame. This reading light offers better chances to study for one billion young people.
  • Demotech uses the Open source principal which promotes the development and free transfer of information. It encourages interaction between designers and users so that users can improve on the designers intitative or give feedback on results they achieved with it.

6. Open Source
(A fast lane for the development of ideas and designs in interaction with the widest possible audience)

  • Information developed by all is owned by all. Information is the main ingredient for making things in a sustainable world.
  • Conditions that prevailed among craftsman in the old ages, the swopping of information and instruction techniques, is the fastest way to develop low-impact techniques for fulfilling sustainable conditions and should return.
  • Demotech applies OPEN SOURCE development to her designs, and trust the good outcome of this initiative.
  • Fast development of sustainable techniques is promoted by “release early release often”. Meaning make small design improvements availableat once to others as source of inspiration.
  • With Open Source there is an increased speed of development and the final result should be of a much higher quality, that can easily outsmart normal industrial product development.
  • Demotech applies the ideas for the development of computer programs of OPEN SOURCE as described in the GNU General Public Licence to the development to the area of design of products and services. sustainable needs that welfare, reduce of poverty and sustainability can be reached by research and implementation of results under conditions of

Section 3, Demotech Design Results

(take text & images from website for each project using edited why and how format)


Page 1: Rope Pump
Page 2: Bathroom Box
Page 3: Nightreader
Page 4: Kitchen Unit
Page 5: DemoCamp Units
End Page (Credits, contact information for Demotech, info on Reinder Van Tijen, direct link to website, and other relevant links)

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