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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.

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In the world of fast consumerism, ‘Service Design’ is often misconstrued. It is not only about the products/brands but about the people, their needs and aspirations. Services these days have become increasingly synonymous with experiences and experiences with emotions. In context of social design coupled with service design, this project took my breath away.
A group of Brazilian students wanted to practice their English speaking skills while retirement home residents in America simply wanted someone to talk to. CNA language school network launched the Speaking Exchange project with FCB Brasil, which connected students in Brazil with elderly Americans in old-age homes. So beautiful is the result, it moved me to tears.

“It’s exciting to see their reactions and contentment. It truly benefits both sides.”

From the videos posted one can gauge the happiness of both parties. Long distance hugs, ‘I love you’s, and ‘my new grandaughter’ – moving stuff! Social and service design doesn’t necessarily have to deal with a product, nor a grim subject. Sometimes, the simplest ideas are truly the most brilliant.

Absolutely brilliant!

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