Tag Archives: Amy Smith

7 Rules of Low Cost Design

I came across this article that summarizes Amy Smith’s philosophy of design for low cost solutions

Here are her 7 key points. You can read the entire article on Popular Mechanics.

  1. Try living for a week on $2 a day.
  2. Listen to the right people.
  3. Do the hard work needed to find a simple solution.
  4. Create “transparent” technologies
  5. Make it inexpensive.
  6. If you want to make something 10 times cheaper, remove 90 percent of the material
  7. Provide skills, not just finished technologies.

Some of Amy’s inventions and designs are also described with diagrams in another article Small, Low-Tech Inventions for Big, World-Changing Problems on their website. Amy is an editorial advisor for Popular Mechanics.

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International Development Design Summit

Yesterday I attended the final presentation of the International Development Design Summit at MIT – the brainchild of Amy Smith, MacArthur Fellow and lecturer in MIT’s Mechanical Engineering department. This, now yearly, event brought together nearly 60 students from 20 countries around the world to work together with a team of mentors and staff to tackle a number of design problems facing NGOs and non-profits in developing countries. Continue reading