'3D-Printed Inclusive Modular System for Underprivileged Communities

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Emilio RossiMassimo Di NicolantonioAlessio D'OnofrioRaffaella Massacesi

Abstract: The term ‘underprivileged communities’ describes groups of people experiencing some form of restrictions, such as economic, social, and political, which later lead to producing extensive forms of social exclusion. Although this phenomenon is mainly visible in crisis scenarios (i.e.: refugee camps), or emerging countries (i.e.: slums), some relevant examples can also be found in western countries. Accordingly, horizontal interdisciplinary socio-economic factors may produce remarkable disabling conditions affecting communities and producing non-inclusive situations for present and future generations.Unprivileged communities require intensive design interventions, from services to products, from housing to logistics, from shared goods to networked systems. Therefore, the design research community can start using unprivileged communities as a testing ground to experiment sustainable-based and inclusive-oriented design strategies to improve the quality of life of people living at the margin of society, as well as providing original solutions to improve the economic, social, and environmental qualities of such living ecosystems.Among the possible interventions, we explored the concept of ‘Inclusive 3D Printing’ by applying recent theories developed within Sustainable 3D Printing studies. Thus, an inclusive 3D-printed modular system for unprivileged communities is presented and discussed as the result of a rigorous research process connecting the main data found within the socio-economic literature with promising design trajectories and experimentations allowed using this new manufacturing technology. The design results presented in the paper provide evidence and validity on the use of sustainable 3D printing to design smart solutions, alongside initial reflections on the design opportunities to make a change, beyond mainstream markets.Discussions and considerations are provided to reinforce the need to work holistically and through interdisciplinary design approaches to opening new research avenues for the design community.

Keywords: 3D Printing, Inclusive Design, Modular System, Unprivileged Communities

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1001586

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