How can design change lives...
Published: 28 September, 2018
The typical understanding of ‘design’ is that it has become something to feel and look at. When we think
design we think a cover of a book, a nice clothing item, a website or Architecture. The concept of using
design to change lives and solve real problems is slowly fading, with design becoming a tool available only
to few who can afford it, and less of a tool to deal with everyday real problems. Design is not just a tool for
business, it can also be used to deal with the social and economic issues. Warren Berger states “When
people talk about design changing the world, it tends to sound a little grand and ridiculous, because they
think of design as, in one fell swoop, changing the world and solving our problems. What design actually
can do, it can solve problems on a case-by-case basis around the world. As it does that, it changes the
world, because it changes the reality for people wherever the situation is happening”.
A good example of such an intricate design deals with a global issue concerning the lack of access to clean
- Adam von Haffner states that every year 3.4 million people die from water-related diseases.
The “lifestraw” was designed to combat this crisis, and very few people know about it. The life straw is
design to clean water source as needed on a day-to-day basis, it purifies water through a series of layers of
textiles and copper within the straw which effectively cleans water of any bacteria and parasites as the
water is drawn and passes through the textile chambers. It can filter 1000 litres of drinking water which is
the same amount of water a single person drinks every year. It effectively eliminates 99,9% of problems
caused by the consumption of unclean water.
The world has is full of real issues which need designers to intervene, from renewable energy, pollution,
education, food waste, climate change, internet safety, housing and terrorism many more. Design is the key
to effectively deal with many of these problems, therefore we should consider design to be more than just
aesthetics and just cool ideas, but good ideas that in effect change lives, and create a better society for our
future generations, It is not about one good Idea that fixes all problems. Design is a social responsibility it
is about dealing with on issue at a time within a given or immediate environmental issues. A good design
considers both aesthetics and function, keeping in mind that form follows function. It considers the
environment and the economic implications related thereof.