Design Solutions

Using the design process as a problem-solving tool, the Design For Development Society works with communities in need to address problems that are a consequence of and/or contributor to poverty.

Our aim is to design solutions that are sustainable and that support self-reliance; we focus on working with the end-user, utilizing local materials and means of manufacture, and on maximizing opportunities for skills transfer and education. During project implementation, DFD provides training to local tradespeople in the manufacture of resulting designs as well as in basic design and marketing skills.

Our hope is that the projects provide solutions to the problem at hand, as well as provide problem solving skills so that community members are able to address future issues with skill and confidence.

A bicycle-pulled ambulance for villages and health workers in southern Africa is the focus of our current Design Solutions work.


We focus on:

  • Solving specific problems that are a contributor to or consequence of extreme poverty.
  • Meeting the needs of the end user.
  • Using technologies appropriate to the communities we're working with.
  • Providing learning opportunities for project participants.
  • Increasing self-reliance of project participants.
  • Listening to user feedback and responding to it.