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design for emerging markets

Tomorrow afternoon I'm taking a siesta from focusing on porta-potties (my thesis) to spark a conversation about design for emerging markets. I'm giving a presentation at the meeting of design for..., a student-run group of kids who like to talk about design for the sake of talking about design. I approve entirely.

The practice of putting together a presentation on a topic I am passionate, but not super-duper knowledgeable about, was a good one. In working out how to communicate ideas to others, I almost always gain a much better understanding on my subject matter. I'll post the presentation here after the meeting tomorrow; wouldn't want to ruin any surprises.

Big break-throughs for me, though...
Social design and design for emerging markets are not necessarily one and the same. Design for emerging markets is booming now because of the economic opportunity, not because of the great social injustice and need..
I'm also curious if the overlap between social design and design for emerging markets is a product, happy one? I feel like it is incredibly difficult, if not impossible, for a Western designer who has not (naturally) interacted with members of an Eastern community, to design for that community. Culture, people, and places are just too different. It would practically be difficult for someone from Ohio to design for someone from California. A growing idea seems to be that it is best to share design methodology with members of the communities in emerging markets. Does that not take some of the job share away from Western designers in a world that is becoming increasingly saturated with stuff?

I loooooove this because it gets the old 'noggin working! Comments are welcome and much appreciated!


  1. Wish I could have been there for the presentation. Mom


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