I wrote a response to the various dialogues that emerged around humanitarian design and its potential to be categorized as the "new imperialism."
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Project H Design
Well-being, Community, Aid
Dear Project H supporters and friends:
Hello from South Africa... I have just returned from delivering the Hippo Rollers to Kgautswane! So much to report- and I could go on for days about the amazing week I have spent here- but I'll just give you the highlights and let the photos tell the story better than I possibly could.
I arrived in Johannesburg on Monday and was greeted by Grant Gibbs, the man behind Hippo Roller, and welcomed into his family's home just outside the city. After visiting the manufacturer and learning about the rotational molding and material processes behind the rollers' production, we loaded up the trailer and headed out to Kgautswane, a rural community of upwards of 130,000, 5 hours drive from Johannesburg in the overwhelmingly picturesque Mpumalanga area of northeastern South Africa.
On Wednesday afternoon, we handed over the rollers to households selected by Clara Masinga, Kgautswane's community leader- an amazing woman who really has been a voice and an inspiration to the whole community. On a side note, I gave Clara one of Project H's "designcanchangetheworld" t-shirts, which she wore from sunrise to sunset on Thursday.
I spent the following 2 days with Grant and Clara, interviewing community members about the Hippo Roller (thousands of which are currently in use throughout Kgautswane), particularly regarding the way it enables families and quite simply, makes life easier. As we drove down the dusty roads around dusk, children rolled t...
Posted March 31, 2008
By No Profile Exists
H is for Hippo The big news was the launch of the H is for Hippo campaign, through which we have funded 62 (and counting!) Hippo Rollers, which are amazing water transportation devices we'll be delivering to Kgautswane, South Africa. I'll be leaving March 22nd for the trip, will hand over the rollers, and remain in the community to do interviews, research, and to see how we as Project H can continue to work with them on larger water design projects (filtration, irrigation, reclamation, etc). Thanks to ALL of you who so generously donated to this initiative- I'm so grateful for your support. And if you haven't had a chance to contribute but would like to, there's still time! Check out all the information at www.projecthdesign.com to see how you can sponsor a Hippo Roller and be involved in this great project.
Project H: Design for Education summer studio We also confirmed plans for our first Project H summer studio, which will run as a class at the California College of Arts in San Francisco from June 2nd to August 2nd. It's called "Project H: Design for Education," and we'll be looking specifically at how product design can serve elementary education needs, provide products and tools for global curricula, etc. The two case studies will be a local Northern California school district and a school for AIDS orphans in Uganda (which I'll also be visiting on my Africa trip). A big part of this initiative is public collaboration- between designers, educators, design stude...
Posted March 03, 2008
By No Profile Exists