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CAT 124, Social Design Practicum:
for Developing Economies
for Developing Economies
This class seeks to connect UCSD students to the problems and the potential found within the developing economies of the world. Through an innovative syllabus and class structure, this course seeks to provide students the opportunity to design sophisticated technologies for social change. An extension of a Social Design class taught in Spring 2007 (“Social Architectures”), the present course intends to extend the interventionist design discourse to the perceived needs of the developing world.
In this unique course, student teams will analyze a range of past technological initiatives in developing regions. Students will then initiate their own design process for a technology that is intended to generate sustainable social, economic or environmental progress. The class will be taught from Mumbai, India, relying on web technologies and student seminar leaders.
- What is "Development", in the sense of a "developing" country?
- Can technologies be designed to generate a positive impact on the development of transitional countries? What are methods for doing so?
- What are the design characteristics (and socio-economic realities) that have caused previous technological initiatives to fail or succeed in their aims? What are examples of past technologies generating social change?
Remote lectures and structured group discussions will be held weekly at Atkinson Hall, with readings provided before each class. During the course of the class, students will need to form pairs to write their Technology Analysis Paper, and then groups to produce their Design Development Paper/Project (See Assignments).
Student Seminar Leader Schedule
Analysis of Past and Current Technology:
Achievements and shortcomings of past technological initiatives
Mapping relationships between design elements and social impact
Design methodology investigated
Deployment methodology investigated
Schedule is below...
Jookha (reading projection)
SMS political mobilizations
Craigslist/Orkut type Technologies
Condoms, Birth Control: New female Condoms
Open Knowledge Network being advocated by OneWorld in the United Kingdom is an ambitious attempt to generate, catalog, and share salient information among poor nations and underserved populations
Grameen Bank/Grameen Telecom
street-wise wheel chair
rickshaws (CNG and LPG)
card-based light switch
mobile phone repair
Problems faced by developing countries:
Unplanned growth and Slums
Loss of resources due to overuse (deforestation)
Cultural barriers to change
Aids, Malaria and other disease
Insufficient Leisure Time
Lack of Financial Support for Arts and Research
Linguistic Diversity/lack of world language
(Internet is mostly in English)
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