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Eight Principles Derived From the Engineering Literature for Effective Design for the Developing World

[+] Author Affiliations
Christopher A. Mattson, Amy E. Wood

Brigham Young University, Provo, UT

Paper No. DETC2013-13108, pp. V03AT03A041; 12 pages
  • ASME 2013 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 3A: 39th Design Automation Conference
  • Portland, Oregon, USA, August 4–7, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5588-1
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME


This paper reviews the findings of several engineering researchers and practitioners on the topic of design for the developing world. We arrange these findings into eight guiding principles aimed at helping those who are searching for effective and sustainable approaches for design for the developing world. The findings reviewed come from the mechanical engineering discipline, as well as from other engineering disciplines. For each principle, we provide references to various studies as a means of supporting the principle. We also provide a detailed example of each principle. Finally, based on our own experience and based on the many papers reviewed, we provide a succinct list of suggestions for using each principle. Ultimately, we believe that the stated principles help overcome the challenges of design for the developing world, which are often dominated by designer unfamiliarity with poverty and foreign culture, as well as by the constraint of extreme affordability.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME



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