3D printing meets humanitarian design research: Creative technologies in remote regions

IGI Global
Publication Type:
Creative Technologies for Multidisciplinary Applications, 2016, pp. 54 - 75
Issue Date:
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This chapter provides an introduction to the discourse informing humanitarian design research practice and a context for evaluating problem solving strategies in this area of research. Advances in the development of creative technologies, and in particular 3D printing, are stimulating innovations in approach and practice. This chapter is based on a design research project that uses advances in digital technologies to address the logistical challenges facing Oxfam's Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) projects in East Africa, whilst simultaneously responding to current design theory in humanitarian design research. It takes into account people, process and technology in developing a response to the opportunities provided by creative technologies that offers a new approach to achieving an appropriate balance between paternalistic and participatory design research in this discipline. The field study informing the research took place in Nairobi in 2014/2015 and was principally supported by the Humanitarian Innovation Fund.
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