— The Comic and Sans

A Case for Design: The GiraDora

GiraDora 1

GiraDora 2

GiraDora 3

GiraDora 4

I think when anyone in the design industry tells people that they’re a designer, one of the first reactions we get get is usually “Oooo, fun!” or “That sounds so much more fun than what I do ….” Those reactions have always sort of pissed me off — reducing the essence of the design industry down to an “Ooo, fun” (i.e. “You pick out colors and fun things while we do the real work.”) while overlooking the importance of design and how it literally touches everything we come in contact with.

Maybe it’s an American thing??? I always look back on my year working in Europe and feel like design was more respected in the workplace over there. Designers seemed a little more well-respected and design departments seem to work a little more autonomously from their marketing counterparts. It just felt like the design-by-panel, you’re-just-here-to-know-Adobe-program bullshit that I got so much in New York was a little less prevalent over there.

Anyway, every now and then, a design project comes along that completely illustrates how smart, thoughtful design can actually improve life and, in turn, win us a little more respect. This project, the GiraDora, is one of those. Designed by Alex Cabunoc and Ji A You, GiraDora is a user-powered washer/dryer unit for developing nations. The washers 1) use less water than traditional hand washing, 2) relieve pain from the bending and scrubbing during hand washing, 3) partially dry the clothes reducing drying time by weeks in some cases, and 4) free the users up to do other tasks while sitting and pumping the washer. Great, effective, and innovative design.

There’s no doubt that this is another one of those damn-I-wish-I-thought-of-that projects and a lot of people are recognizing that — Cabunoc and You were given a grant of $19,500 to further develop their product. I’d love to see this product produced and made available — there’s no doubt it would have an impact but, I also have to admit that it’d be great if only for selfish reasons: 1) I’d have another case to cite when defending my industry and the professionals (we’re not hobbyists because you think it’s fun!) who work in it and 2) there’s a chance I wouldn’t have to cross the street, sack in hand to do some long-overdue laundry.

(via Co.Design)

  1. casadmin says: July 27, 201210:41 am

    Whoops, typo fixed! Keep us updated on the project, would love to revisit it down the development road.

  2. Alex Cabunoc says: July 26, 20126:53 pm

    Awesome article! I like that you’re fighting the good fight in defense of design. One minor correction. My name is with an “x” not a “c”. But otherwise thanks for taking an interest in my project! I really appreciate it!

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