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Design for the bottom billion

We live in a world where the gap between rich and poor is becoming bigger and bigger. While the western world regards products as throw-away goods, people in the third world have to live under life-threatening circumstances. This Master’s thesis is looking for answers to the question of how design can improve the living conditions of the bottom billion and how this is different from classic development aid. The practical part explains the area of social design through the development of a water filter. More than 60% of Africans do not have access to clean water. They have to walk distances of several kilometers in order to reach sources of clean drinking water. Despite the high value of clean water, it usually is discharged after having been used for washing clothes for example. Here, a water filter can help: it treats and recycles the water which afterwards can be re-use for washing.