A lot of infants in the third world die from lack of basic medical equipment—like incubators. So how do you build sophisticated gear without advanced medical tech? You use what you have. Like broken car parts. It works.
The team at Design That Matters cooked up a brilliant (and brilliantly simple) solution to a big problem for the tiniest humans—many children in poor nations are born and home, and out of reach (literally or figuratively) of incubators, which run up to $30,000. And, if a family is lucky enough to have access to such a machine, when it breaks—it can be lights out for a while. Repairing 1st world equipment in the 3rd can be an insurmountable task.
So you don't repair advanced technology. You don't even use it in the first place. Instead, you do something clever, like design the NeoNurture, an incubator created with salvaged parts from broken down cars. Headlights, air filters, filaments—the guts of the car become the life of the fully-functioning incubator. And if you need a new part? You just pull it out of another junker: "I don't know where you get a replacement incubator filter in a remote Nepalese village," explains a member of the NeoNurture team, "but you likely can find someone there who can replace a car's air filter. That's where this idea really has virtue."
It's an elegant approach that ties together smart design, recycling, and of course—saving babies. [NYT via Core77]