Design with intent

India has a huge crisis with toilets. With a population of 1.3 billion people, they simply doesn’t have enough of them. Which means most people, particularly in rural areas, end up defecating outside which spreads into the water supply and leads to diseases.

Diarrheal diseases (from poor sanitation) in India leads to over 126,000 deaths every year, making it the 5th leading cause of death in India.

Over the last several years, 30 billion dollars has been poured into building 110 million toilets. So, why do so many toilets still go unused?

Because sometimes people are charged to use them, many don’t have water, some are physically not safe for women and many are just a hole in the ground with some walls put up.

Here’s the lesson:

We design through the lens of our own imagination. Which makes it extremely difficult when we are designing for someone else who lives a completely different life than us.

Who’s it for? What’s it for? These questions must be asked over and over again.

HT Jacqueline Novogratz