Join our network of non-profits, companies and individuals who believe social change can happen through design.

Become A Member

Douglas Best

Brooklyn, New York, United States

Member since September 08, 2008

  • Design Brief

    Communication, Industrial Design


    I am using design to heighten social awareness of noise pollution in New York City through a cell phone case which allows the user to escape the persistent noise of the city as well as keep ones own noise pollution under control.

    Key Research Findings:

    • Since the 1950's standard room-to-room reduction has been steady at a Sound Transmission Coefficient of 34-40. Meaning that approximately 34 to 38 db of sound reduction is achieved by the walls we live within. This is not sufficient to keep noise from a loud conversation at 85 db from penetrating a wall.

    • The Department of Environmental Protection received 49,221 noise complaints in 2008, an increase of over 21,000 since 2004.

    • The Department of Environmental Protection has recorded noise violations from 2004 to 2008. Each year the number of noise violations has increased. In 2008 there were 3,420 noise violations as compared to 2004 where there were only 1,449.

    • "Noise is the number one Quality-of-Life complaint in New York City" Mayor Bloomberg said this on June 13,2004.

    Target Audience:

    25-35 year olds, working professionals who use cell phones for business as well as networking purposes.

    NFP: Noise Pollution Clearinghouse "Good neighbors keep their noise to themselves."


    New York City Where there is noise, and where there is quiet, challenging cell phone etiquette in public places.

    Target Market:

    Mass Market

    Age Group:


    Cost/Marketing Techniques:

    Production costs will be comparable to existing silicone cell phone cases This cell phone case will represent the sonic environment in New York City, it will create a dialogue about its necessity, to block out the noise from the city, as well as respect those we subject our conversations to in public.

    Evaluation/Prototype Testing:

    Experimental prototypes will be used to evaluate users understanding of noise pollution in the city, and their own noise pollution.
    Observations in the City of people using cell phones in public will be video recorded to show the use of cell phones in the city. After each prototype is made it will be tested randomly with cell phone users, and then tested with an organized group of users to define a particular need.


    I will be making prototypes with EVA sheet material because it behaves similarly to silicone.

    Production Process:

    The product will be cast in silicone, ideally injection molded.

    Packaging/Distribuition Method:

    Packaging will be utilized to communicate the function of the case as a sonic tool in our society. One will learn how to use it to keep one's own noise pollution to a minimum, as well as how and when to use it in particularly noisy environments.

    The product would be marketed towards young urban professionals, and sold in high end design stores, to initiate a trend, which considers the greater good.

Leave a Response

Fields marked * are required

No file selected (must be a .jpg, .png or .gif image file)

Once published, you will have 15 minutes to edit this response.



Contact Douglas Best

My Interests

  • Industrial Design
  • Environmental Design
  • Communication Design
  • Fashion Design
  • Audio/Visual Design