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Design Futures

Haochen Zhang

Haochen Zhang is a Designer from China, who is good at interdispinary reserch and collaboration. He would prefer to call himself a mediator rather than a product designer. In his values, designers should create peace and balance for the " target organism ", not just consider to provide a perfect product as a solution.

Throughout his design works, they usually filled with local and interdisciplinary characters which often help him more possible to discover more practical problems and find solutions in more dimensions to better serve the target group. Talking to people from different professions and backgrounds is the most inspiring and fascinating for him.

Educational experience:

BA: Beijing Institution of Technology, Product Design

MA: Royal College of Art, Design Futures

Show Location: Battersea campus: Studio Building, Third floor

According to the IPCC, 4 million people have been displaced by climate disasters in Bangladesh, one of the countries most affected by climate change. And the trend of global warming and frequent extreme weather is still increasing.

This project tells the fiction story of how the people in a Bangladeshi river nomadic community in 2050 help each other and maintain their livelihoods through frugal innovation with low-cost technology. The aim of is to provoke the audience to reflect: rather than the climate problem itself, should we think about how to provide means to increase their resilience under the climate crisis to help them live better? There are people who live well in any climate, and it's more important to find ways to increase their capabilities.

The artefacts: Frugal innovations by local people
In 2050, many people living on the southwest coast of Bangladesh have lost their homes and fields due to extreme weather, becoming climate refugees. Fishing for small freshwater fish is one of the few ways they can get protein. However, rising sea levels have severely salinized many inland rivers, leaving them with a double shortage of freshwater fish and drinking water.
1. Climate risk alerter radio published for Helping people without smart devices to avoid extreme weathers at minimized cost
2. Limitation of official aid: Predicting climate risks alone will not keep people from going hungry, they need livelihoods.
3. Hot folk business: Radio retrofits and freshwater collectors
4. From alerter to river information sharing device: the new power of radio
5. Manpower allocation and layout of communication network
6. Fishing route planning: scope and sequence considerations
7. People from the community start working in groups
8. A member of one team is testing water information of a reach of Mongla River and sharing it by radio
9. One team discover an unfishable reach
10. Colour code of Mongla River in June
11. Colour code of rivers: a secret group language
12. The entire river information map in June collected by the community
13. The second year: they are considering where is the best palce to fish based on the first year's collection
14. Over years, they developed unique migration patterns through their collaborative approach to sustain their livelihoods.

Testing and iteration of the drifting kettle (fresh water collector)
Making process of the turbidity and salinity hydrometer