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Sustainable Design in the Developing World California Institute of Technology ME/E105 Product Design 9 November,‘04.

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Presentation on theme: "Sustainable Design in the Developing World California Institute of Technology ME/E105 Product Design 9 November,‘04."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sustainable Design in the Developing World California Institute of Technology ME/E105 Product Design 9 November,‘04

2 SEC Ltd--M.Rosberg 2 Purpose of this Lecture To consider impact of socio-economic factors upon sustainable design in the developing world

3 SEC Ltd--M.Rosberg 3 What’s the INTENT (ie expected impact) of Sustainable Design in Developing World??? Participants: please supply answer

4 SEC Ltd--M.Rosberg 4 Scope of Presentation To determine: – What constitutes SUSTAINABILITY in the Developing World (as it relates to design) – How to achieve sustainable designs in the developing world (Design, per se, will not be discussed)

5 SEC Ltd--M.Rosberg 5 Sustainable Design Process For example: – Find a third world colleague with a good idea (needed, profitable) – Jointly develop the concept – Become joint owners (ie profit from it) – Find financing – Market it profitably – Laugh all the way to the bank

6 SEC Ltd--M.Rosberg 6 Overview of Presentation Metaphors & development – Assumptions shape design strategies – Eg. People are right-handed –-scissors  Design strategies delimit success – Realistic designs for real-world interactions – Includes cultural factors (e.g. Lorena Stove) A design project will be presented which requires a strategy – An effective procedure for achieving sustainable design in the developing world Conclusion to be drawn: – Sustainable design is development

7 SEC Ltd--M.Rosberg 7 Metaphors and Development Similes are – Comparisons used to comprehend reality: e.g. “Oh my love is like a red, red rose.” DANGER!! (for design product developers): a) Similes may become METAPHORS : e.g. “Oh my love IS a red, red rose.” a) We may act on our (mis-)understandings: e.g. “Lemme smell yer petals, Baby…” (…and get pricked by the thorns… ) based on: Greenfield, Sidney M. Introduction to M.Rosberg. November The Power of Greed: Collective Action in InternationalDevelopment. Edmonton: University of Alberta Press.

8 SEC Ltd--M.Rosberg 8 A. Current Operating Metaphor A. Current Operating Metaphor (Society is corn) Social Change is Organic growth * Immanent (seed) * Unilinear (1 rte) * Unidirectional (1-way) * Cumulative (Σ of events) Nisbet, Robert A. Social Change and History: Aspects of the Western Theory of Development (Oxford University Press, 1969) Undeveloped  Developing  Modern (WW Rostow) – Establishment Strategy: Fix things up – Antiestablishment Strat: Revolt/Re-build Hence, DEVELOPMENT = perfecting the imperfect (ie a MORAL model)

9 SEC Ltd--M.Rosberg 9 Problem with Organic Growth Metaphor ie. Striving for the idea of modernity (ie. mine) Ignores Realities of Third World – Patronage (ie Supplying assistance downwards- ENSURES ALLEGIANCE) – Clientelism (ie Pleading upwards for assistance & being grateful- ENSURES SECURITY) HENCE, real-world Patron/Client systems differ from the organic growth metaphor

10 10 Sustainable Poverty Sustainable Poverty © Michael Rosberg, 2004

11 SEC Ltd--M.Rosberg 11 Two-way Minimaxing Two-way Minimaxing (i.e. ‘Dynamic Stasis’) NB: This is ‘mean’ behaviour – there’s a distribution out there…

12 SEC Ltd--M.Rosberg 12 Survival strategies produced by patron/client relations Survival strategies produced by patron/client relations (Examples from Belize) Bad Mouthing – Spoil reputation Blue Crab – Retard success End Run – Ally w/ superior In Your Face – Expose opponent’s flaws Uncle Tom – Betray allies Clearly such behaviours affect your sustainable design plans

13 SEC Ltd--M.Rosberg 13 The Role of Politicians in Clientelist Economies Niches Investment Import/Export Local Markets Transport Roles Screen loans Supported by existing companies Supported by larger vendors Supported by larger transporters

14 SEC Ltd--M.Rosberg 14 What to expect ‘out there’ Effects of Patronage  Low trust and solitary action  Low self-esteem  Idealization of outsiders Manifestation  Fragile, shifting alliances  Reticence, ‘laziness’  Dependency, canonization of foreign engineer

15 SEC Ltd--M.Rosberg 15 Survival strategy operationalized (e.g. Caltech grad works w/ Belizean colleague) ‘Mean’ Belizean colleague will be engaged in bilateral, opportunistic relationships within a clientelist context – ie Belizean colleague will be ‘minimaxing’ for survival with local peers – To be successful: Caltech engineer will have to define a effective strategy for him-/herself

16 SEC Ltd--M.Rosberg 16 B. Darwinian Metaphor of Populational Decision-Making B. Darwinian Metaphor of Populational Decision-Making (Society as a herd of buffalo) 1. Individuals form populations (herd,Americans) 2. Means and variations can be abstracted statistically —we call these ‘institutions’—eg.marriage 3. But only individuals have reality (herd preferences & “’normal” Christian marriages between a man and a woman’ are both statistical abstractions) 4. ‘Best’ strategy ‘wins’; followers adapt (natural selection, decision-making) 5. Change results (Disease resistance, social change) SOURCE: Greenfield, Sidney M. and Arnold Strickon, eds Entrepreneurship and Social Change. Washington, D.C.: University Press of America

17 SEC Ltd--M.Rosberg 17 Example of Social Change Example of Social Change (Darwinian)

18 SEC Ltd--M.Rosberg 18 Advantages of Darwinian Metaphor of Social Change 1. Doesn’t impose irrelevant models upon local reality (undev  dev’ing  modern) 2. An ECONOMIC model (costs & benefits) 3. Focuses on initiatives of individuals 4. Examines distributions as well as mean behaviours 5. Considers strategies to be function of conditions (memories+natural environment+ other actors)

19 SEC Ltd--M.Rosberg 19 Circumventing 2-way Minimaxing (By Using the Darwinian Metaphor) 1. Problem:A must exploit B to survive 2. Result: ‘dynamic stasis’ - A & B punish one another 3. Problem: Foreign engineer enters a battlefield: alliance with A alienates B 4. Result: appropriate design lost to B in ensuing warfare-innovations don’t impact broadly 5. NEEDED: way to engage develop appropriate design within context of clientelism

20 SEC Ltd--M.Rosberg 20 Design Development Design Development (Clash or Collaboration??) A. Clash Organic Growth Metaphor- Confrontation: US (developed) vs. THEM (developing) B. Collaboration Decision-Making Metaphor- Economic Engagement: Mutual advantage-taking (for mutual benefit)

21 SEC Ltd--M.Rosberg 21 3-way Minimaxing 3-way Minimaxing (Creative environment w/in clientelism)

22 SEC Ltd--M.Rosberg 22 3-way Minimaxing Enables ‘Sustainable Design’ Design engineers can work profitably with local counterparts to: Develop and market innovative designs (ie. Products in demand)

23 SEC Ltd--M.Rosberg 23 Characteristics of ‘Sustainable Design’ (1/2) Helps break bonds of dependency (i.e. security substitution) Responds creatively to greed Pre-costed entrepreneurial strategy Maximizes effective collectives (e.g. Caltech engineer, him/her, others?)

24 SEC Ltd--M.Rosberg 24 Characteristics of ‘Sustainable Design’ (2/2) Converts private greed into collective benefits (3-way mechanism) Straddles multiple strategies (iterative liberation) Evolves relationships from benign dictatorship to democracy (balance of power: you and him/her), and Elicits cross-class business alliances (local investors)

25 SEC Ltd--M.Rosberg 25 Applying the Model to a Design Challenge Design Example:Small Farm Solar Powered Food Dryer Design concept: Lloyd Pandy-Pueblo Escondido Organic Farm

26 SEC Ltd--M.Rosberg 26 Applying the Model to a Design Challenge Design concept: Lloyd Pandy-Pueblo Escondido Organic Farm

27 SEC Ltd--M.Rosberg 27 Why not just come up with a good design?? Objective: Increase small farmer income 1. One farmer has submitted the request 2. S/he competes with neighbouring farmers (2-way minimaxing)      3. Assisting him/her exacerbates tensions 4. This farmer lacks skills as industrial entrepreneur (produce/market device) 5. The innovation will be ‘horded’ and won’t bring economic benefits to small farmers

28 SEC Ltd--M.Rosberg 28 Specific Obstacles Bad Mouthing Blue Crab End Run In Your Face Uncle Tom Neighbours will denigrate solar dryer farmer (sdf) Actions taken to frustrate sdf Farmer’s employees may ally with hostile neighbours Direct confrontation with sdf Neighbours get authorities to bring charges against sdf

29 SEC Ltd--M.Rosberg 29 What to do instead What to do instead (3-way Minimaxing) 1. Pull together a ‘business team’ of small farmer-investors (joint owners of concept) 2. Develop the concept together 3. Involve local financiers (bank/credit union/capitalists) 4. Leave door open for additional investor members 5. Lock everybody into an iron-clad, legal body 6. Include issues of production, packaging and marketing in the design (the patrons are ‘circling’) 7. Arrange nationally for appropriate skills training (Directors/Management, etc.)

30 SEC Ltd--M.Rosberg 30 A Couple of Final Points Relevant design: – Uses affordable, local materials – Easily operated; locally repaired – Builds on known mechanisms Effective relationships: – The Great, White, American paternalist is not welcome – Determine others’ strengths; maximize them; relate to peers w/ differing skills

31 SEC Ltd--M.Rosberg 31Summary ‘Sustainable Design’: more than an engineering challenge – Affected by: learned behaviours + environment + social interactions ‘Clientelism’: – Often evokes: 2-way minimaxing (‘dynamic stasis’) 3-Way Minimaxing: trumps dynamic stasis – Facilitates: Liberation from patrons (ie development) ‘Sustainable Design’=‘socio-engineering’

32 SEC Ltd--M.Rosberg 32 The End Sustainable Design in the Developing World Thanks !!


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