A PARTICIPATORY FRAMEWORK TO CATALYZE DEVELOPMENT INTO MERGING ECONOMIESDevelopment in Merging Economies
Savannah College of Art and Design
In the developing world, poverty forms wicked problems which have not been adequately addressed by existing humanitarian design methods. All too often these methods fail to account for the values, aspirations, and tacit needs of users. The primary purpose of this study is to devise a participatory design methodology for product development in emerging countries. To develop a participatory design methodology, the Island of Ometepe in Nicaragua represents an ideal case-study location because of its unique environmental and economic factors. The intent of this case study is to involve the emerging communities of Ometepe in the design process and foster indigenous innovation. The secondary purpose of this study is to design affordable, scalable and sustainable solutions for energy poverty. The tertiary purpose of this study is to benefit local by catalyzing microenterprise and infrastructure development. Findings from ethnographic research indicate opportunities for low-cost decentralized power solutions, and consequently, microfinance packages that make these solutions affordable for local entrepreneurs with limited available capital.