DESK M.A.T.E.: Rapid Prototyped Desk for Teaching in Developing Countries and Emergency Situations
Authors: Massimo Di Nicolantonio, Emilio Rossi, Alessio D'Onofrio, Raffaella Massacesi
Abstract: Issue of schooling in developing countries and in areas experiencing emergency conditions represents an important opportunity for the design research community. Contributing to the pupil’s growth, education and development, and increasing their potential, is part of the objectives of the human rights treaties, the United Nations Charter, and the values of the UN Convention about children’s rights. Disadvantaged communities require smart design interventions, sustainable and inclusive strategies, aimed at defining original and functional solutions, with account of the context, how these artefacts can be manage with respect to social, cultural and environmental backgrounds. Communities must look to the improvement of knowledge that goes from the aid of available or new technologies, the possibility of supplying and processing raw materials, know-how related to self-production, management, waste disposal; bad waste management in developing countries and in countries that are in emergency conditions represents one of the main problems that require clear lines of action to reduce the environmental impacts. Among the possible interventions, this research explored the concept of 3D rapid prototyping of sustainable furniture for teaching in developing countries and emergency situations – DESK M.A.T.E., which considers diversified insights from the student community ranging from 6 to 18 years, as well as elements from ergonomics, safety, and hygiene domains. It also brings attention on the purchasing factors affecting the school furnishing in these areas, which are almost exclusively guaranteed by humanitarian associations. Specifically, this paper focused on using natural fibres and vegetable resins, CNC (Computer Numerical Control) production processes, to adhere with the circular economic models.The result presented in the paper provides evidence and validity on the use of rapid prototyping technologies for sustainable design and production, as well as evidence on the development of intelligent solutions adaptable to those situational conditions affected by negative circumstances, with the aim of opening up to new research avenues for the design community.
Keywords: 3D prototyping, schooling, circular economy, emergency conditions, developing countries
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