• Beyond "understanding"


    In response to Designing An End to Poverty,
    in the thread

    Design, as a discipline, lags way behind many others in terms of contemporary critical thinking and theoretical rigour. In other fields, "understanding" the communities you want to "help" is an obsolete idea. This is not to dispute Mr. Sachs' well-meant advice, but to caution designers from interpreting it loosely or casually. Western designers, in particular, need to realize that communities in developing societies cannot be "understood" through typical social research methods or worse still, second-hand data.

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