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Of all the social design projects, this one makes quite the impact!
Donor Cable Project – brainchild of Y&R Moscow partnered with NAR Mobile is a bracelet that can be used to donate power from one smartphone to another. A bracelet was provided on purchase of a new android phone at all NAR mobile outlets. Inside the bracelet, a simple message that drove the idea home ‘Donate energy to save a phone, and donate blood to save a life.’


Situating the project in Azerbaijan, which has the world’s highest number of children born with the blood disorder thalassemia, a hereditary disease primarily found among Mediterranean cultures. The illness requires extensive blood transfusions for babies, and hospitals often lack the needed amount of donated blood. The project is said to have driven blood donation up by 335%

What is interesting is that at the core of the project, it’s not just the cable but the advent of a new habit: battery donation. It could create a community around new way of charging a phone – charge donation. And to connect it with the blood donation, translates the idea in a real life social situation. Critical design has always been about the creation of alternative visions. Designs that cause reflections. Donor Cable forces reflection among the users of the device and aims to provoke other ways of being. It is a model that proposes the change in ethnography of the area. A powerful project that could alter culture and behavioral practices of mobile phone using community.

#rmt4

 

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All along in my undergraduate studies and up until now, I’ve always looked at design as a problem solving tool.
There is a problem. Identify it. Address it. Design for it.
So when along came Dunne + Ruby with the idea of design as a tool to question and not answer, my foundations were a little shaken.

Design as a provocateur?

Their work to me borders on the fine line between satire and parody.
Having said that, it walks a fine line between being a ‘design’ and being a ‘piece of art’. What differentiates the two, in my opinion, is the work’s ability to relate to everyday functionality. Design as an inherent part of life.
The Statistical Clock from the series “Do you want to replace the existing normal?” is my favorite piece. For as long as I can remember, the morning news has been a ritual and elemental in my growing up. If you didn’t start the day with a brush through the newspaper, it seemed incomplete. Back in the days politics and business formed the main content of such a publication or broadcast but increasingly news of murder, rape, accidents, death have been crowding the first page/headlines.
How many of us want to start the day on a morose note?

It is then only but ironic that the same newspaper report about ‘Happiness Quotient’!

Thought provoking indeed.