The African Bicycle: Design in a Development Context-Practice and Involvement
The mainstream of design practices now address ‘sustainability’, and seek ways to use design to achieve optimal sustainable solutions. In alliance with this direction, the Interdesign-2005 initiated practices that incorporate the active participation of ‘rural village people’ to understand their needs and desires, and then fulfils these by creating sustainable solutions. These practices target solutions to the needs of sustainable rural transport, job creation, and improving the quality of life for rural communities in Africa. Recently this practical example keeps developing, in 2006 the new designs vehicles are building and tested, and there is hope at the end of 2007 to construct first workshop for production. This study addresses these cooperative efforts between national and international designers in presenting this practical example of the role of design in the context of sustainable development targeting the rural African village. It is also a reflection on how my involvement in this context has contributed to my practice as designer and researcher.
Keywords: Design, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Rural Transportation, Design Practices
PhD Candidate-Industrial Design, School of Architecture and Design, RMIT University