We recently featured the BoGolight here at Inhabitat, showing you an example of product design focused on helping the world’s poorest. The idea of designing for the rest of the planet is not new, and with the focus on global warming and sustainability it seems like more and more designers are focusing on designing low-cost solutions for the most basic of needs. This is the focus of Design for the Other 90% exhibition currently on view at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City.

Design for the 90% features work by innovative designers and artists that have the aim of creating affordable and socially responsible objects for those in need. The exhibition features five main areas of interest: water, health, energy, education and shelter. As Dr. PaulPolak mentioned in an interview with the New York Times, “A billion customers in the world,are waiting for a $2 pair of eyeglasses, a $10 solar lantern and a $100 house.”

One of the featured inventions on the show is the Pot-in-Pot cooling system by Mohammed Bah Abba. The system, which essentially consists of one pot inside another with a layer of sand and water in between them, cools down the vegetables inside the pots. The life of an eggplant, for instance, gets extended from 3 days to about 28, extending the life of the vegetable and allowing people better access to better food for longer periods of time.

For those of you who cannot go to New York to the exhibition, the website provides a lot of information about the designers on the show, and it’s well worth a look.

+ Design for the other 90%
+ Design that solves the world’s problems @ NYT

+ Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum