Saturday, October 20, 2007

Expanding Role of Design

Globalization is linking cultures, economies and people to people. People from the developing nations are getting to see the ‘other’ world and panoply of consumables. To articulate the needs of this changed new world, designers are taking center stage equipped with their design tools. Design today is seen not only as a tool to make products aesthetically pleasing and desirable, but its dimensions are playing a key role in business, society and in people’s lives.

Design has the power to redefine our socio-economic thread. Its methodologies are at the core of business and innovation as it helps creating value and exploring new market opportunities.

In the business realm a good design would help increase sales, build brands which can meaningfully engage with people, find new markets, and innovate new products.

Well designed systems can qualitatively improve the standard of living of those at the bottom of the pyramid. By finding better ways to do things, design can solve needs and add value to people’s lives.

Design should encompass cultural relevance by binding cultural values with the form to make it accepted by the people who are going to use it. Today’s design should strive to be sustainable.

Friday, October 5, 2007

The Tongue Sucker

‘Tongue Sucker’ which received the first prize from INDEX Awards in the ‘Work’ category is an amazing life saving device. It is designed by a team of four design students from Imperial College and Royal College of Art after the London catastrophe in 2005. The research done by them reveals that a person in dearth of oxygen can die or suffer brain damage in four minutes. When a person gets unconscious, there is a tendency for the person’s tongue to fall back on the throat covering the trachea. There are chances of death by suffocation due to blocked trachea.

The tongue sucker consists of a round red-colored suction bulb made of rubber along with a tube. To use the device the rescuer has to squeeze the bulb, place it over the tongue to the unconscious person and then release the bulb. The bulb sucks the tongue of the victim in the tube facilitating free airway. The red bulb which remains outside the mouth is distinctly visible to the paramedics such that they can reach for help.

The user research conducted by the design team validated that one size of this device fits all the age groups of causalities.

This simple device is economical and can be used by untrained people by reading the instructions on the packaging.