The design site Core77 has announced the winners of its first competition, which — with categories like DIY/Hack/Mod, Service Design, and Never Saw the Light of Day (our favorite) — took a refreshingly inclusive approach to the standard judging process. Case in point: The Product/Equipment winner isn’t a magazine-ready, industrially produced piece of technology but a low-cost, ergonomic carrier for improving the working conditions of global laborers.
[Worn one way, the pushcart works as a backpack…]
Designed by Vikram Dinubhai Panchal at the National Institute of Design, in Ahmedabad, India, the Load Carrier for Labor adapts to three common modes of lifting and carrying: above the head (for light loads), on the back (for medium loads), and by pushing and pulling (for heavy loads). The device has two major parts, one that holds the load and the other that rests on the shoulders, thereby reducing strain on the back and neck. The modular construction and two knobs allow the user to change functions in about a minute.
The carrier can be made by local craftsmen with readily available materials such as cane, plastic, and metal, and Panchal estimates the total cost at 300 rupees, or $6.80, making it a decidedly real possibility in India and other developing countries.
[…and for spillable, lighter items, it can become a head platform…]
[…or simply function as a hand truck over shorter distances for very heavy items.]