Sure I post a lot of crazy things that all have merit but truth be told, I’m not really into most high-end design other than eye-candy. Furniture design mostly bores the shit out of me..’product design’ is usually pointless or wasteful..automotive design is relatively stagnant..and overall, the most so-called industrial design is only concerned with commercialization and catering to only about %15 of the total world population. Sure, people need jobs but there is plenty of money and opportunity to be made by doing good and charitable things as well. (hint* governments, charities, philanthropists…) The stuff that really matters to me is the stuff that actually does something good and positive for people that need it most. The industrial design profession a whole lacks actual visionaries with the drive and passion to do something good for anyone besides themselves and their own careers all for the sake of money. Which is probably why some of the best actual industrial design comes from scientists and engineers who are sincere about doing good and are empathetic to people’s needs. A prime example is the Life Straw that is helping millions of people to have cleaner drinking water and thus be healthier (those scientists are PAID!!). The OLPC program is also worthy of mentioning as well as the Play Pump program in Africa.
Anyway, what you’re looking at is an amazing invention that is enabling thousands of people with bad eyesight to see clearly again. A scientist at Oxford developed a way to make an easily modifiable lens with two thin membranes that shape according to the amount of water in-between them. The patient can do it themselves and adjust each lens to what’s best for them by pushing or pulling a water-filled syringe. Once adjusted, they just take the syringe off and tighten the screw. The overall costs are immensely cheaper since they only have to produce one lens and this also saves huge amounts of money and time with distribution. The intent is to distribute 1 billion pairs over the next 11 years with a target cost of only $1. Oh, and he’s just doing this to do it and takes no money from this project. Surely, these form of these glasses could be refined but all things considered, this is a great design. Read the article.
Labels: design, politics, rant, science, thoughts