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

Become A Member

Leah Waldman

New York, NY, United States

Product Design

Member since September 08, 2008

  • MAP IT.



    I chose 5 objects to map and analyze: food-aid packages a rock garden in north India designed by Nek Chand fruit juice packaging by Naoto Fukasawa banana leaf plates limited edition vases by Hella Jongerius


    Formal: Simple box structure to house the food. Usually made from paper or cardboard. Color varies depending on manufacturer. Size depends on emergency.

    Functional: Manufactured and distributed to victims following of a natural disaster or war.

    Ethical: Does not always reach the victims, often due to political reasons or lack of funds for delivery. The food options may not always be sensitive to the user’s taste. There may not always be enough being distributed.

    Cost: Manufacturing costs are not high, but distribution to the victims can be expensive. However, the victims do not have to pay for the packages.

    ROCK GARDEN (by Nek Chand in North India)

    Formal: Landscape/garden of sculptures of humans and animals. Extremely colorful. Sculptures are made from post-industrial waste. There are numerous sculptures, covering approximately 40 acres.

    Functional: The garden is a tool to make the world aware of the waste that we create, and an alternative to how we dispose of that waste.

    Ethical: Everyone has access to the garden, enabling individuals from every sector of society to experience Nek Chand’s vision of finding an alternative to disposing of our waste, and also to make people aware of the amount of waste we create.

    Cost: It is extremely inexpensive to visit the garden. The creation of the garden was also inexpensive as Nek Chand built it solely from post-industrial waste that he found and collected.


    Formal: Rectangular cartons. The texture and color resembles banana skin. The cartons contain juice enough for just one person. The packaging indicates what the product is, eliminating the need for any text.

    Functional: Juice cartons for banana juice. The packaging, which resembles banana skin in the color and texture, does not need text to indicate to the user what the product is. Unfortunately, this product was not released in the market, but was a promotional item.

    Ethical: Packaging eliminates need for text- less steps required for manufacturing, no need for toxic inks; simple, clean, minimalist design. Great example of form follows function.

    Cost: Promotional item.


    Formal: Banana leaves harvested from banana trees. Slightly textured, typical leaf shape. Green when fresh, but olive green/brown when dried. Size depends on the tree’s age. Sturdy and durable to eat off.

    Functional: These banana leaves are harvested specifically to either cook in, or to serve food in. They are not coated with any chemicals to make them user-safe, but are simply washed before they are used.

    Ethical: 100% biodegradable- no waste is created, easy to dispose of. Can replace paper and Styrofoam plates. Not available all over the world, so there would be shipping costs if it were to be used globally.

    Cost: Inexpensive to harvest. Cheap to buy.


    Formal: Resembles a tall skinny urn. Comes in various colors. Limited Edition. Slightly textured, revealing the seam marks of the mold.

    Funtional: Limited edition vase.

    Ethical: Commentary on limited edition and desire to own one-of-a-kind objects.

    Cost: Expensive to buy, but this is not balanced by the price to manufacture the product.

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.


My Interests

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