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Should designers save life? According to French designer Philippe Starck it should be the focus for designers now and in the future. In Frame Magazine, Issue 86, page 148-151, Starck reflects on this matter. He realizes he can't do it himself anymore but he is hoping for young talented designers to make the first move.

While reading this article I had to think of a recent graduate project by one of our students. During our exhibition in Milan this April she was one of the 50 students featuring our graduate exhibition. Thinking about Starcks words it was no coincidence that this project by Hikaru Imamura was mentioned in a New York Times article about the Salone del Mobile highlights. Imamura is a perfect example of how design can save life. The recognition for her project indicates that our students are strongly connected to the world we live in and have the need to think, feel and act beyond personal needs.

What did Imamura design? The Heat Rescue: Disaster Recovery
The project can make a vital difference to survivors of disaster. In the aftermath of a disaster, the presence of a heat source is vital. Bearing in mind the lack of electricity or fuel in such cases, Hikaru Imamura has designed a metal storage and transport drum that contains relief goods and can be transformed on-site into a stove to burn any scraps of wood or refuse. Her Heat Rescue: Disaster Recovery stove thus provides physical warmth as well as hot water for drinking, cooking or sterilizing. “The availability of warmth directly improves the quality of life for refugees and offers them mental solace, as it acts as a social meeting point,” she says.
Read more about the process at Imamura's website...

In reference to Starcks wish for future designers' perspective - saving lives - I applaud all young designers who apply their creative knowloedge and talent to worldwide issues. In addition, not only designers, but anybody with a sense of human wellbeing should look at his or her ability to act beyond a 'private economy' using all talents given to rescue eachother and our common heritage of humanity.

Posted by Didie Schackman - Manager Communications DAE

Published: 06-May-2012 16:47
  • Save life?

    Heat Rescue (DAE)

  • Save life?

    Hikaru Imamura (DAE)

  • Save life?

    Heat Rescue (Photo Hikaru Imamura)