Design: Masho Margishvili

Supervised by: Juozas Brundza | VDA; Architecture and Design Faculty; Product Design Department

Reviewer: Sarunas Slektavicius

Supported by: Ruta Birgelaite | Aleksandr Dubickij | Ieva Ridzvanaviciute 

Year: 2012


IDAAF is pleased to present the social project by Georgian designer Masho Margishvili, prepared while studying at Vilnius Art Academy [VDA – Vilniaus Dailes Akademija]. This is her diploma work. The original name of the project was “Design for vulnerable people under poverty level”, quite long but appropriate. The main idea, as Masho says was to create the design for such people and to help them feel themselves as a members of the society again and from the other hand to awaken the wish for support to the homeless people in the society.

The project is based on the several months research and number of experiments.

Here are some more details about the project from the author herself, including its physical and conceptual sides.

Ever since I started studying design I have been told that the problem solving is the essential part of design process. I have been reading, hearing and watching designers maintaining the same idea all over again; some of them even define design as “an approach to solving problems by understanding users’ needs and developing insights to solve those needs”. 

But unfortunately nowadays not everybody keeps the statement in their minds. I see the tendency of creating objects more for comfort than for need. There are plenty of problems that still need our attention and consideration. Instead of orienting their work towards various existing problems, most of contemporary designers create objects for luxury and then try to find a problem to backup their design. I believe that such approach usually ends up in a waste and is not an environmental-friendly attitude.

As I was given an option to choose a topic for my final thesis project, I decided to work on a real social problem and try to play a small role in helping people under the poverty level with my design item. The picture of vulnerable people that we see every day has been bugging me for a long time and I believe that small attention such as my object could be a small step that ordinary citizens can make for the ones needing help. With the wish to help others I decided to challenge myself and come up with a helpful design.”

The author based on the research picked several types of items, which homeless people need crucially and have to look for them even in garbage. “STEP 1” is a container with a structure that provides the special space for exact sort of items, these are: bottles and cans, clothes, stationary and food. It is intended to be located in the street as a standing object or the modules can be individually attached onto the vertical surfaces. In case of the vertically developed option the construction starts with the biggest box and ends with the smallest one.

“My aim is to cut connections between homeless and the garbage.

Before I started working on the idea of street containers I had to see how the idea of would actually work. So, I decided to make an experiment. I put two cardboard boxes near the garbage bins; I was observing them during 3 days, was photographing each box 2 times a day. First day I put the bag with clothes and wrote the idea and function on top of boxes. Next day one box disappeared, but somebody took the clothes bag from the second container. Second day nothing changed. But the last day somebody else put the bag with clothes inside and at the evening the homeless took it. It meant that the experiment worked and the result gave me enthusiasm to design better and clearer boxes for a better interaction.”

The design includes even smallest details for better fulfilment of the function, such as ergonomic door handle, weather protective elements, and pictograms showing what’s inside. Material is also chosen from the functional point of view, it is metal. The budget of the project is considered, as mostly this type activities are financed by the government and the funds are never high.

“I believe a smaller-scale solution could be in planting the hope by making supporting system easier. The social support would mean a lot for homeless people.”





Author: Tata Alkhazashvili



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