An insight into the world of design through 12 stories, shot across a range of countries, ranging from product design to world-class feats of engineering with a social impact.
Browse content similar to The Designed World. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
MOTORBIKE REVS UP
This is a Triumph Bonneville T100.
Like the later Minis and Volkswagen Beetle cars,
it's a new version of a design classic.
If you're working out where the original Bonneville would be in the all-time great bikes,
it would certainly be in the top ten.
The Daytona 675 sports bike is made by the same company.
We wanted a completely modern cutting-edge super sports bike
that would compete head-on with the best that the world could offer.
At the start of the project, we have a design brief.
It's surprisingly short.
Most people would be surprised that it's only a paragraph or two,
which describes the bike in broad brush-strokes.
The design brief for the Bonneville
was that it should look and feel like an authentic 1960s bike
but should have all the modern convenience and engineering
that a rider would expect nowadays.
You need to keep the feel and the style of the machine
but obviously you don't want a 1960s motorcycle now
because they leaked oil and weren't that reliable.
The first step in designing a new Bonneville
is scheming out the components
so that they work well within the look of the bike you're fixed to.
It's quite a difficult process
because we're starting with an agreed look - the bike has to look like that,
correctly proportioned, yet we have to fit in additional components
that the original designers didn't have to.
There's a lot of real Triumph enthusiasts
who would want the bike to be very close to the authentic bike.
We had to keep certain key styling features,
like the silencers, in a pea-shooter design that start narrow,
get fatter then narrow down again, a very classic styling cue.
It had to have spoked wheels for chromed rims.
It had to have the classic Bonneville fuel tank shape.
It had to have the traditional speedo and rev-counter location, just in front of the rider.
The new Bonneville is a sweet motorcycle to ride.
It's got enough performance for today's road.
The nice thing is you feel relaxed when riding it.
It's just a good all-round package.
On the Daytona project, we started with drawings in profile of the bike.
We chose the best drawing, the one we wanted to continue with.
We translated that into a full-scale mock up of the bike
which is made out of clay and plaster and metal
so it looks like a fully finished bike and it looked perfect.
We said, "That's what we want to make."
We then moved to translating all that information, all those shapes,
into computer models. So we made Pro-Engineer CAD models of every single component
then we moved on to actually making the parts from those CAD models.
Any micro project is a collaboration between usually one stylist,
who works on the parts of the bike that you see
to make it look beautiful,
and a team of approximately 15 engineers
who work on the engine and chassis.
So two separate teams, but they talk to each other a lot.
We decided fairly early on on some major features.
We wanted the silencer under the seat, central above the rear wheel,
instead of down at the side of the bike.
We thought that would give the bike a good look.
We wanted a very functional yet heavily-styled frame
so the frame that goes over the top of the engine is fully styled.
It's not made from straight sides,
it's got lovely curves and swoops.
Basically, the designers are trying to recreate the feeling of a race bike on the road.
So you have incredible agility and the bike goes where you want it to and reacts to the smallest input.
You always feel you're one step ahead of the game
on the 675.
My top tip to anyone who wants to design motorcycles
or if you want to draw a motorcycle, remember the human element.
People have to ride them and want to ride them.
There's no point drawing a streamlined torpedo with a little seat.
Nobody will want to ride that.
Technical Textiles is simple.
It's about putting something into a product - a finish or design element -
to give the customer benefit.
To protect from spills or antimicrobial applications
or even things like NASA spacesuits.
A designer should be interested in new materials, new processes
for designing things that people want.
Something sexy, while at the same time has a low environmental impact.
As a designer you look at these materials and say, "How can I use them?"
Technical Textiles are used in high-tech sportswear to improve athletes' performance.
But similar technology is also used in many clothes sold in the high street.
You can have these high-performance chemicals in designer gear that cost thousands.
Marks & Spencer make that accessible to the average person,
not just as a niche available to a man climbing Everest or Olympic swimming.
This is one of our non-iron shirts, made from cotton with a special chemical finish.
Reduces the need for ironing.
This is a very popular set of blue jeans.
The finish on this keeps it dry when it's raining.
You use Technical Textiles where they make a difference.
You use them in school uniforms, in jeans, in coats, that sort of thing.
You're not gonna use them in dresses or in underwear cos you don't need them.
We've got 60 people here dedicated to putting our products together.
They deal with new fibres, new chemicals, new production processes.
We've just done a big study, this is not Technical Textiles per se,
this is using technology in testing
and proving an argument.
Not necessarily having to put a special finish on a garment.
For example over the last couple of years we've said to people, "Hang on.
"You can wash at 30 degrees." We've done over 1,000 tests on different products, different loads,
different detergents, different washing machines
to prove that 30 degree washes work on virtually everything.
Up to 80% of the lifecycle impact, the environmental impact of some clothes
comes in the clothes washing phase, the use phase.
Anything you can do to reduce that burden is great.
By washing at 30 degrees instead of 40,
it's estimated that somewhere near the equivalent
of 2,500 villages in the UK's annual energy is saved, just by making that small change.
If every single one of us washed at 30 degrees, rather than the 30% of people that do now,
we could save the same amount of CO2 as taking 300,000 cars off the road.
Technical Textiles won't break down in landfill and the environment like natural materials.
There's a big problem with Technical Textiles not breaking down.
They're in landfill for the next 1,000 years. That's a big issue.
However, you can also argue that Technical Textiles are good because they extend the life of the product.
So you get a balance there. They don't come to the end of their life as quickly
but when they do, they're harder to recycle
and they won't break down in the natural environment.
Recycling clothing in future will be vital.
Three billion items of clothes are sold in the UK every year.
It's daft. What can we do to encourage people to recycle more?
First, take it back to a charity shop.
Longer-term we have to find other solutions.
For example, can you take the wool from a woollen suit
and turn it into insulation?
Can you turn it into a growing material to use in a field?
There are lots of longer term things to look at in terms of Technical Textiles to crack recyclability.
In five years, it'll be very difficult for manufacturers to produce stuff
that won't degrade or can't be recycled at end of life.
Can you design a great-looking product at the right price for the mass market
that is also genuinely sustainable with a minimum impact on people and the environment
when you grow it, use it, dispose of it, all at the same time.
If you can solve that, we want you knocking on our door!
Crime happens every day. Designers can play a key role in helping fight against it.
To do so, they must be as innovative as the criminals they are designing against.
The Design Against Crime Research Centre is a crack team of designers, researchers and criminologists.
Our first approach is to look at the products already out there
to see what's good and bad about them.
Then we actually watch people use them
and we observe what the problems are and what could be improved.
Karrysafe range of bags and accessories
responded to the theft techniques we identified.
People get their bags pick-pocketed,
they get their bags slashed.
They get bags lifted simply from the ground.
Some people are attacked.
They go in, open the zips,
you don't notice on a busy tube or something when you're rocking about.
They undo the zip, take what they want out of it.
They can't do that with this bag. Doesn't have zips. The way in is through the Velcro on top.
If someone opens that when it's on your back,
there's a noise.
If that's on my back and someone goes into it, I'll hear it.
They won't get in like they would with a zip.
They take a blade, slash along the bottom while it's on your back.
They take what they want. You're left with an empty bag.
This has a wire mesh between the lining fabric and the outer fabric.
So they can't slash their way in.
This is the Karrysafe Screamer. It's a laptop bag.
If someone tries to grab this bag off me,
I want the bag to go with them so I don't get injured.
That's the advice of the police and self-defence experts.
This strap here is put together with a bit of Velcro.
So if they rip the bag off me,
the strap separates, takes this cord with it.
On the end of the cord is a pin that goes into an alarm inside this bag.
If someone grabs this bag from me, the strap will break
and the pin will pull out.
HIGH-PITCHED ALARM SOUNDS
The alarm will go off. The thief goes off with the bag screaming at 140 decibels.
They can't cut their way in,
they can't open it cos we've got a padlock on top of here, so they'll chuck it.
I follow the sound, pick up my bag, I know the combination and I turn it off.
I reset my strap and off I go with my laptop.
We know more and more people are using bikes to get around.
But the Centre's research showed many people stopped cycling altogether
when their bikes were stolen.
I've had about five bikes stolen.
So have many of my friends.
I'd had enough. I'm a designer.
How can we design different types of bike parking and different bikes that are less likely to be stolen?
The team discovered one of the biggest problems is how people lock up their bikes.
So they came up with a range of stands where the design encourages users to lock more securely.
This is the Camden M stand.
It's called and M stand cos it's shaped like the letter M.
We looked at 8,500 bikes being parked to a Sheffield-type stand
which look like the letter N with a crossbar across here.
We found that 21% of those bikes
locked their crossbar to the stand
cos it's the easiest thing to do when you roll alongside.
If you do that, you can get your wheels taken cos they're not locked to the stand.
Or someone can lift up the whole bike, as thieves will do,
and use the bike as a lever
and twist the bike around against the lock, pop the lock and take the bike.
With this design, the simple idea is there is no horizontal component so they can't lock the crossbar to it.
So it encourages them, the easiest thing to do,
is to lock the bike down here
where you get the wheel and the frame on the stand.
That's the securest way.
A lot of products that are aimed at designing out crime
make the environment look like a fortress.
You see bars, locks, big dogs, gates.
So that's part of our philosophy that you can design out crime.
But you don't have to make the world look criminal in the process.
Games consoles are amongst our most desired products.
The design process behind the consoles and their games is different for each.
The Nintendo DS was released in the UK in 2005.
What was the thinking behind its design?
And how did it change the way games are played?
For a long time, video games had been squarely aimed at 16- to 24-year-old men.
What we saw was the need to expand that beyond that
so for a female audience and also for much older people as well.
We wanted to create a device that could be used whether you're five or 95.
The DS is a hand-held games machine
with a clam shell form factor so you open it to play.
It's got two screens. One is a touch screen
so you can directly control the game with a stylus or bottom screen while watching the top screen.
You can now simply point and touch the item you want to
and we really saw that as being the pivotal feature
and that's why everything of the Nintendo DS was built around that new technology.
It was the first hand-held console to have touch-screen technology.
There'd been experiments with big arcade machines that had touch sensitivity.
But this was the first time anybody had been able to deliver it
in a hand-held machine, which is crucial
because if you're operating something with a touch screen it's much easier if you hold it.
You've also got the option of the microphone
which is still something designers are struggling to find the best uses for.
But anyone who's played something like Nintendogs and experienced calling to their dog
and have it respond knows that it can be hugely intuitive.
With a hand-held console, there are lots of things to consider.
The weight of the device, the size of the device.
Does it fit in your pocket? You have to consider battery consumption.
If it is a portable device to take around with you, make sure it has the capability to be used
in a real world situation.
So we spend a lot of time looking at what materials we use
not least because we have to make sure it's robust.
The first DS was, frankly, a funny-looking thing.
It was squat, it looked a bit cheap,
it wasn't very symmetrical, a bit lumpy.
Didn't fit in your pocket very well.
It wasn't very warmly received.
The Nintendo DS Lite, we tried to make it a little bit similar to Apple
which is a brand that appeals to a very wide audience.
Very gender neutral. Interesting to see technology being made in white and pink and blue,
a wider range of colours rather than everything being silver or black, as it had tended to be before.
You can't really launch a piece of hardware
unless you've got software that benefits from the new features.
Geometry Wars - Galaxies - is one DS title.
This retro shooting game was originally made for the X-box
where joysticks were used to control the action.
Developers and designers were asked to make a new version
which embraced touch screen technology.
One aspect of this that makes it so suitable for the console is the touch screen control
because it does such a good job at being like the joystick
on the original version.
The player has complete control over which direction they shoot in
which is key to the game play.
When you're developing a game on the DS,
you're developing straight onto the console.
We have special versions of the console
that allow us to download the data straight to it
so we're able to use the touch screen
and use the DS in the same way, hear the sounds as they should be heard.
The most obvious effect the DS has had is to change who's playing the games and what they're playing.
By changing the kind of games that are possible,
it's really changed the kind of people who've come into the gaming world.
The Panama Canal is one of the biggest engineering projects
ever to be undertaken.
It took almost 35 years to complete
and 28,000 men lost their lives.
It is now one of the most important and busiest waterways in the world.
14,000 ships a year, transporting 200 million tonnes of cargo,
use the canal as a shortcut
between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans,
saving them time and money.
The money the ships pay to use the canal is a valuable income to the people of Panama.
One they can't afford to lose.
The canal itself is composed of three locks in the Pacific Ocean
and three locks in the Atlantic.
The ship gets into a lock,
the water is filled into that lock to the next level
and then it goes from the first lock to the second, to the third lock
like climbing steps until it reaches Gatun Lake.
At the end of its journey,
it has to go down again to reach the oceans.
It is an important route
for the supplies that come from the eastern part of Asia
to the eastern part of North America.
Right now, the amount of ships that can go through the Panama Canal
is up to capacity.
You cannot pass more ships than what it is passing right now.
So we are going to add a new line of locks
in order to be able to pass more ships.
We are building a new lock which is bigger than the existing ones
so that we can put in bigger ships
and that way be able to pass more tonnage and more cargo
to different ports around the world.
The existing gates open like a door.
The new locks are going to have a rolling gate.
Exactly the same system as a sliding door.
Instead of using locomotives, we're going to use tugs
to keep the ships in place
so that we can go from one lock to another.
The whole process is complex and it takes a long time
because there are lots of details.
One of the first things to do is find out if you have adequate water
to be able to supply your expansion.
Then you have to make a design of these structures.
You have to secure the financing.
And then you have at the end all the testing of all the gates,
the filling and emptying system.
We've studied the impact it would have to add more transits
to the quality of the water of Gatun Lake
so that the water will not get salty,
because the water is used for human consumption.
If the ship is bigger, it goes deeper into the water.
To be able to pass a bigger ship, we have to deepen the navigational channel
on both the Atlantic and the Pacific.
We have a lot of wildlife in the area around the canal.
We have a lot of rescue plans for the animals that will be affected.
We're going to build a very, very large project
in a very small country.
We have to look very far ahead.
We're trying to have local labour benefit as much as possible.
We're doing all the training for carpenters, electricians,
drivers, equipment operators, so that we can supply that labour
and that will be of benefit to the Panamian people.
Once it is finished, it will have a huge impact in the shipping industry.
We'll be able to practically double the amount of cargo
that comes through the canal.
By being able to pass bigger ships, we should get the cost of goods to be cheaper
because a ship that pays an amount of money can pass more materials through the canal
than the existing ships.
So it will be felt all over the world.
The Millennium Bridge was the first pedestrian bridge to be built across the Thames in London for 100 years,
connecting the north bank at St Paul's Cathedral to the South Bank at the Tate Modern.
The original design concept of the bridge
was to take the simplest most elegant way of crossing the water. We wanted a straight line
from bank to bank.
We wanted to have the opportunity to look on both sides
without any structure in your way.
We wanted you hovering on a very thin deck.
We started by saying we'll make the bridge out of concrete
and pull steel cables through the concrete
and anchor them on each side.
Then we realised we didn't need the concrete.
We'd take the concrete out and just leave the steel cables.
We chose steel for the bridge for two reasons. First of all,
the cables have to be strong enough to resist the loads
of all the people who will stand on the bridge and the winds that'll blow the bridge.
The structure mustn't break. Second, it's a very stiff material.
When all the people stand on the bridge, we don't want it to bend like a ruler
and move a long way.
Steel is fantastic. It's very stiff.
The bridge opened on June 10 2000.
There was a sponsored walk that day. It was incredibly crowded.
When we got very large groups of people walking over,
there'd be sideways movements, maybe about 50 millimetres,
in either direction.
I was on the bridge when this happened, so I could feel this movement.
And it was a shock.
I was looking and watching how it was moving
and discussing it with the other engineers in the team.
What was happening was that the crowd were walking normally onto the bridge
and then adjusting their steps to be in time with that tiny movement
that they sensed beneath them.
The more they adjusted their steps to be in time with the bridge,
the more the bridge moved.
It was a feedback effect
and the movements gradually grew as a result.
We looked around very quickly
to see if we could find any information about it, and we could.
We found two or three papers which mentioned the effect
but they didn't quantify it.
We could nowhere where they'd measured the force
and decided how, specifically,
to design against it.
So we decided to carry out our own tests.
The best way to replicate what happened on the bridge
was to do exactly the same thing again
and then measure the way the bridge moved as they crossed it.
Once we had this, we could go about designing a solution
to stop the movements.
We came up with a damping solution.
Dampers are like the shock absorber on your car.
They're a cylinder of oil basically
which is very thick and there's a piston
which pushes through that fluid, like pulling a teaspoon through honey.
What happens is that the damper is fixed to the bridge
so that when the bridge moves, tiny movements of less than a millimetre,
as pedestrians walk over it,
the energy from the pedestrians is absorbed in those dampers.
We've installed the dampers right up underneath the deck
so you can't really see them from the side.
The Millennium Bridge behaved exactly as predicted
for all of the forces that we predicted.
We didn't predict, because we didn't know about,
this particular sideways effect, the feedback effect.
What we wanted to do when we finished
was make sure that everybody else could learn
from all the research we've done.
It has changed the way that bridges are designed all over the world.
I'm proud to have been part of the team that worked on this bridge.
It's a privilege to be able to take something
right from the beginning, from the very early concepts,
through the design and the analysis, through drawing it,
working out every single piece, making prototypes and doing tests,
right to the end when it's finished.
When we look at the sketches that we came up with back in 1996
they look very similar to what's over the river now. I loved it.
It's been very exhausting, very stressful
but I'm really proud of the result.
It's getting harder and harder to get from A to B.
The pace of life is getting faster and faster
and people are demanding to get to places quicker and quicker,
clogging up our transport networks.
Something needs to be done, and it needs to be done fast.
The congestion problem arises because we're short of capacity.
There isn't enough room on the transport networks.
The answer to that is to build new high-speed railway lines.
Our fastest trains travel at 200km an hour, pretty good.
High-speed trains travel at 300km an hour or even faster than that.
Fast, efficient, one city to another, non-stop,
no messing around, very reliable and very quick.
The great advantage is you're starting again.
We can have much longer, bigger trains
as well as faster and more energy efficient.
So we can design the whole thing with today's objectives in mind.
The thing about speed is,
it means more people will use it.
We need to persuade people who say, "I'll take the car, the easy option." No.
Electric high-speed rail is a much better option in terms of carbon and global warming.
If we look around the world, the French started back in 1982.
In Japan we have the bullet train.
In China, we have a system that does away with the track and wheels.
The train actually floats above the trackway. It's new technology
and it's expensive!
We've tried very hard in this country to make the best use of what we've got.
We've taken our existing railway lines and made trains tilt
to take bends faster. That's been our approach rather than building a new line.
We've got High Speed 1.
One fast line from this station, St Pancras,
Eurostar services to the Channel Tunnel and nothing else.
High Speed 1 is considered to be the project of the century in the UK.
We think about the railway connecting point A to point B.
But what really matters is what the railway does in-between.
It connects communities and cities.
The real engineering challenges
were the fact that 25% of the route was in tunnels - big tunnels.
And we had to construct 150 bridges.
One of the 150 was the largest spanning high-speed railway bridge in the world.
When we had to go under the QE2 bridge,
the technique we used was called "push launch".
You construct the bridge in segments
and you push the segments out
across into the end positions.
We used the technique to be able to push our bridge
over one motorway
and then under the bridge
without having to stop the traffic or cause any disruption.
Extremely efficient, very safe,
and very, very high quality.
That was quite a remarkable piece of construction.
The tunnelling was incredibly exciting and challenging.
We were forming the largest tunnels ever formed under London.
These were 8.1 metres in diameter
and we formed 40km of these tunnels.
We used state-of-the-art tunnel boring machines
and these machines are absolutely fantastic pieces of technology.
The tunnelling takes place 24 hours a day
and is a process of supreme logistics
in terms of being able to get the men and materials to the front
and to get the spoil, the soil, away from you.
We do need a long-term plan.
It would be silly to do this piece-meal without thinking ahead.
This is something that's gonna last not ten, 20 years,
50 years, 100 years and so forth.
In my view, we need to think about building
at least one north/south high-speed line, almost certainly two.
And we do need to link them in to what we've got.
That's the carbon-friendly way
of thinking about European travel in future.
For almost 2,000 years,
the City of London has stood on the banks of the River Thames.
But the relationship between London and its river has not always been an easy one.
In 1953, 300 people died when a tidal surge caused the Thames and east coast to flood.
Almost 30 years later, the Thames barrier was eventually completed.
Built to protect London,
it keeps the water out in times of storms and high tides.
Our climate is changing. Sea levels are rising.
So how long will the Thames Barrier keep London safe
and what are the alternatives?
We have an expanding population and those people need somewhere to live. In the Thames Estuary,
there's a target of between 140 to 200,000 homes.
Most of those need to be built on brown-field sites
and much of those are in the flood plain.
Previously, the approach is to hold back water.
The difficulty with that is that as over time our sea levels rise
how high do we continue to build?
Through climate change, there's an increased risk to the homes from flooding.
As designers we try to look at that holistically,
looking at the architecture, looking at water consumption
and looking at how to create beautiful places to live.
We've taken our influences from a number of sources.
For example, in the UK we have houses built on stilts
and in the Netherlands we have houses which are floating
and amphibious houses, a combination between a land-based house
and houses that float on water.
A really good example of floating amphibious houses is in the Netherlands in Maasbommel.
The reason this technology emerged in the Netherlands
is more than 60% is below sea level.
There's always the possibility that there will be a flood.
One of the major aspects is the floating construction.
The floating construction consists of concrete pontoons
which give buoyancy to the construction
which was in fact used as the basement for the dwelling.
In normal times, in dry times, they rest on dry land.
So on the outside, you can't see it's a floating construction.
But it starts to float as soon as water enters the area.
From the outside, it's a very normal building.
To prevent the whole structure from drifting away when there's a flood,
we placed two big piles in the middle of the construction.
In a floating home, or amphibious home, everything is moving.
When a flood wave comes into the area,
the whole dwelling starts to float.
So the utilities, the piping system, should be flexible.
Also the walkway needs to be flexible.
One of the major challenges is that when there's a major flood in that area,
people are isolated
for up to perhaps two weeks.
We're looking at a number of things simultaneously.
First, we're looking to make space and room for the river.
One of the underlying facts in the design that we do is continuity of daily life.
We want people to be able to go to school, to work, every day.
All the things a community needs plus the houses.
We try to locate those out of the flood plain.
In a small flood, the water is channelled into the canal paths
which are located above the village green.
This is much like a traditional village green
used for recreation or sports.
But in this scenario, it has an added benefit.
As the river expands, the village green becomes the village blue!
In a large event the river can expand right up to the houses
and into the gardens.
The houses are elevated sufficiently high enough
so that water does not come in to the homes.
What is clear
is climate change is with us.
We need to change the way in which we design and the way in which we live.
If we don't, flood events like those in Boscastle, Tewkesbury
and more recently in New Orleans
will be more prolific and will affect our everyday lives.
The idea was to try and develop a system that would make the collection of water
a lot easier and a bit more fun
because collecting water from a river or dam is hard work.
We wanted to put something light into it
and we came up with the idea of a play pump, a roundabout.
This is our play pump system.
It's a children's merry-go-round
and as the children spin on this thing,
it pumps water from a bore hole it's bolted on top of, right here.
This goes round and round, the pump goes up and down.
The water's been tested. It's safe for human consumption, to World Health standards.
It works both directions.
No matter which way the kids spin, it still pumps water through pipes
into this pipe here
and pumps into the top of this 2,500 litre storage tank.
This pipe is on the top of the tank. This is the overflow.
So if the kids fill the tank,
it overflows down this pipe and back into the bore hole.
Then this is the outlet from the bottom of the tank
that goes over to this tap-stand here.
The tap-stand is very simple. Nice and sturdy
so it doesn't get damaged by cattle or over-enthusiastic children.
It has a very simple tap
and the water's stored in this, so as you turn the tap on,
there's plenty of water.
Africa doesn't need high-tech. It needs low-tech. That's what we need.
Computers they break down and make good seats.
There's nobody to fix anything.
We keep it as simple as possible. It's only got two moving parts.
With keeping it that simple, the reliability of it is increased dramatically.
The immediate impact is that the kids attend school.
Especially the girls.
The task of water collection is usually forced to women and girls.
Not just in Africa, but in every rural country.
They have a disproportionate disadvantage because of their gender.
They're expected to collect water.
Boys like to play on the pump.
They never got involved in water collection before.
The boys like so spin faster and get people to fall off
and indirectly we're changing the gender responsibility from boys to girls.
We try and install the play pumps at primary schools,
combined schools, creches, anywhere where there's a lot of children
that congregate and are in the right age group - six to 14 years is perfect for us.
We try to avoid putting them into communities.
Mainly because it's unknown as to how many kids are around.
So we prefer to put them in schools.
I just want to show you the water supply to this creche
and the school and the church and the community had
prior to us putting in the play pump.
It's an open well.
The access to water is using a rope
and a bucket.
By throwing it down like that into the water.
The problem with this is this area's called Winterveld
and the water table is very shallow.
The problem with shallow water tables
is that the water is always very polluted from all sorts of things.
People throwing dirty water out under the surface
but mainly from these pit latrines which are only in 1.5 metres.
One there, two behind this building. A couple more here.
What happens is that the waste, the liquid and solid waste, human waste
leeches into the surface water and it's in here.
The kids used to get really sick. Diarrhoea and vomiting, all sorts,
before we put the play pump in. School attendance has increased dramatically.
For me, that's a great success.
Two of the billboards are commercial.
The funds we get for the adverts pay for the maintenance of the system.
The other two boards we put public service announcements.
At present we're in Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, Zambia.
We're about to enter into Malawi
and then we've got another five countries to go to.
The need in those countries is far, far greater
than it is in South Africa.
The play pump is an African solution to an African problem.
That's what it is.
The Western Harbour in Malmo, Sweden,
is home to two landmark housing developments: Bo01 and Bo02.
With a focus on energy efficiency, sustainability and cutting-edge design,
Western Harbour could be the City of Tomorrow.
Bo01 area started out as a demonstration area
where we wanted to show the best example of a sustainable city possible.
And we received a lot of government money
to make this possible.
We tried to think, in the design team,
what places in Europe that people would visit
simply just to enjoy the city life, the urban spaces,
and we came to the conclusion that it was mostly medieval cities.
We have old villages in the UK,
places like Venice or Siena,
and what do they have in common?
Narrow streets, small houses,
and not knowing what's behind the corner.
The architects were asked to try to use strong colours,
different designs, to get a diversity.
If you get good designs, you love living here
and then you take care of it.
So in order to get long-living and long-lasting houses
you need really good architectural designs.
The most important contribution to sustainability
is the energy production system in the area
because it's 100% renewable energy locally produced.
So it's a zero carbon dioxide area
which makes it quite sensational.
There are parts of the Bo01 establishment that don't work
as well as we'd have wanted.
For instance, most of the houses are very expensive to buy.
So it's mostly high income people who can afford to live here.
When assessing the area, the energy usage is a lot higher than we expected it to be.
The computer scenario predicting the energy usage was unrealistic.
And the buildings weren't very thoroughly built
so there were leakages in the facades.
Bo02 was the next phase after the Bo01 project.
Here, we were supposed to build affordable housing
with high sustainability.
The difference in the process was that we formed a very close collaboration group
with all the developers involved
from the very start so they took part in making the local plan
and all the different features for sustainability were discussed
and decided together with the developers.
We did learn some lessons from the Bo01 area.
For instance, we worked more with the social sustainability
so we have playgrounds and meeting places.
All the buildings here are being thermal photographed
and also we test their airtightness
when the construction work is finished
in order to make the buildings more energy efficient.
We didn't get any government money
to obtain the sustainability in the Bo02 area.
Here, everything is done on market conditions
and whatever has been done here can be achieved anywhere else in Sweden.
We don't need any extra money from anywhere to do it.
There are plans to use the knowledge from the Western Harbour
in other projects in Malmo and elsewhere in Sweden.
It is a full-scale laboratory for sustainability.
Of course the knowledge should be used elsewhere.
I run a small team of multi-skilled researchers.
We have psychologists, 3-D modellers, games designers.
What we do is exploit the mainstream software
that comes with games from the high street
and add our own content to deliver serious training and education
for defence, surgery and a variety of other applications.
We share a lot of our technology with the outside world
so we spin into the military from civilian games
and we spin out to serious games in the civilian sector.
For example, we exploit a lot of the mainstream games software
that power a game like Half-Life 2, Far Cry 2, and what have you.
But when we do work for the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine,
we can spin that out into the National Health Service surgical training programmes.
We've designed games to train the Royal Navy Dillon Minigun, a powerful Gatling gun,
individuals who may be suffering post-traumatic stress,
right down to allowing school children to fly a small submersible
around wrecks off the south-west coast of the UK.
The starting point for developing a serious game is to get the end-user involved.
It's key for us to involve the end-user at all stages of the design.
Otherwise, we could go away for months and come back with something useless.
OK, guys, a quick introduction to Subsafe.
'We spend time in the field, working with them, seeing what their training task needs.'
Then we do a storyboard and convert that information into something we can program into the game's engines.
I'll hand over to Chief McGowan now who'll set you a few tasks
just for you to try the simulation software out.
We talked about the HPS system this morning and servicing the submarines...
Once we've done the initial work with the end-user, we sit down and construct the virtual world.
Virtual objects and scenarios themselves.
Then as we build the objects, we convert them into a form
that's acceptable by the games engines - the powerful software that runs these things.
It allows you to interface using a X-box controller, mouse or joystick.
Once we've designed the game, we go back to the end user
and carry out evaluation trials with them to make sure what we've delivered is fit for purpose.
I'd like you to locate the emergency blow valve.
The Subsafe project came about as a result of a concern within the Royal Navy
for the training of future submariners.
We needed a software program
that would allow the students to practise finding the valves as they would on board.
It has to be as close to the real thing as possible.
Welcome to HMS Trafalgar, UK SSN.
We're currently based in Devonport in Plymouth.
First thing to learn is hatches and how to escape from the submarine.
Second thing to learn about is where the fire-fighting equipment is.
This is an escape scuttle. There's lots on board.
The evaluation part of serious games design is crucial.
Even if it's unsuccessful, that is a result for us so we don't waste any more money.
If the evaluation is successful,
we have to look outside of the university,
outside the defence community for companies who will take the prototype we've developed
and convert it into a real product.
We have to educate the games company
not to program things into their game because they can.
Everything that goes into a serious game must have some significance
to the training of the end-users.
If they start putting in wild-type special effects,
you'll distract the end-user and the training content won't be uptaken.
We're in the forward escape at the front of the sub.
Here we have the main vents.
As you open the main vent, the air comes out the top,
water comes in the bottom and you dive the submarine.
I've been working in the virtual environments arena for over 25 years, now.
It's great to look back 12 years ago when the things my team were doing
would have cost at least £250,000 for a graphic super-computer.
Today, we're doing things on laptops that cost £400.
The software is available free
and it's very accessible to the end-users as well.
It's been an absolute revolution
in delivering serious games to those who can benefit most.
Our projects in the main have been commercial projects.
Hotels, offices, universities.
This is our first school.
Hazelwood School is for children from two to 19.
All the children at this school have a sensory impairment.
Some are blind, some are partially sighted.
Some of our children have a hearing impairment as well.
Before Hazelwood started, the children who now attend here
were at two other schools in Glasgow.
Both of the buildings were very old
and in a state of disrepair.
In one school, some of the rooms were upstairs which made it very difficult
for our young people with physical difficulties to access areas of the school.
That was really good. Well done!
I worked with the architects looking at the needs firstly
of the children.
So the architects visited both schools.
They looked at how children and young people used the building.
They looked at the needs of staff.
They looked at our storage needs.
And then we sat down together.
We talked to a lot of other people. It was very much a group consultation.
And we came up with the design of Hazelwood.
There were a number of people involved. Clinicians and charities
that didn't always have similar kinds of needs
and had different attitudes about how you should design
an environment such as this for children who are blind or deaf.
We had to separate various sometimes contradictory opinions
and take on board what was absolutely relevant.
We had to stop at a particular time or we'd never have got the school designed.
The brief is crucial in actually trying to understand
what the clients' requirements are and crucial in producing a good design.
All good architecture starts with a good brief.
The children need an environment that's accessible.
We need an area where they find their way around the building easily.
We decided after having done a series of exercises about the size of the building and its width
that the best way to minimise the impact and be sensitive to the site and the needs of the children
was to make a building which sat very low into the site.
Quite a few of the children are disabled
and there should be accessibility to all parts of the school.
The materials we chose because they have a tactile quality.
They're nice to touch and the children can use them as an aid to find their way around.
Some feel warm against their skin, some feel more cool.
Even to the extent of using wood so there's a smell given off.
The classrooms are all north-facing because we wanted to increase the ambient light coming in.
For some of the children, direct sunlight is a problem.
One of the things we did is go to a school in south Glasgow.
We put on sight inhibitors which only gave us 5% sight.
We tried to find our way round that school environment.
We found out because of that process that colour can be really important.
Colour used as a strong element against what is a neutral background
could enable children with five or ten per cent sight
to recognise that wall within its surroundings
and use it as a visual clue.
They have many more opportunities in terms of the curriculum.
We have spaces for art, spaces for cooking,
a hydrotherapy pool.
Because the building is very easy to navigate around,
the pupils are much more independent.
Their mobility skills are much improved.
That, for me, is the success of the building.
They find it an interesting place to be and a comfortable place to be.
They're not alienated by it. It's not institutional.
I think this building has a very warm and welcoming ethos.
I think that's partly due to the design. The minute you enter the building,
you are aware of the fact there are children in this building,
that it's a school and you're immediately welcomed and drawn to the building.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media - 2009
An insight into the world of design through 12 stories, shot across a range of countries, ranging from product design to world class feats of engineering and design projects which have a social impact.