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October 18, 2011

The second in a series of themed exhibitions by the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum that demonstrate how design can address the world’s most critical issues, "Design with the Other 90%: Cities," opened this past week at the United Nations in New York City. Organized by Cynthia E. Smith, the museum’s curator of socially responsible design, the exhibition features more than 60 projects from 22 countries around the globe and explores design solutions to the challenges created by rapid urban growth in informal settlements (a.k.a. slums). The exhibition is free to the public and runs through Jan. 9, 2012. Here's a glimpse at some of the projects on view, from a "favela painting project" in Rio de Janeiro to Floating Community Lifeboats in Bangladesh, which provide space for solar-powered schools, libraries, clinics and community centers in response to rising waters and extreme density.

The Incremental Housing project in Iquique, Chile, and Monterrey, Mexico produces half-finished houses that are completed by the residents and contain only the essentials of a built home—bathroom, kitchen, structure and roof—in order to stretch resources
The Incremental Housing project in Iquique, Chile, and Monterrey, Mexico produces half-finished houses that are completed by the residents and contain only the essentials of a built home—bathroom, kitchen, structure and roof—in order to stretch resources further to meet the rapidly growing demand for housing. Concrete, brick concrete, wood panel houses by architects Alejandro Aravena, Tomás Cortese, Emilio de la Cerda, Andrés Iacobelli, and Alfonso Montero, Elemental (Chile). Iquique, Chile, 2003-4. Photo courtesy of Elemental.
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An "after" photo of Incremental Housing, after the residents have filled in the rest of the structure, expanding their own living spaces.
An "after" photo of Incremental Housing, after the residents have filled in the rest of the structure, expanding their own living spaces.
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Praça Cantão Favela Painting project in Santa Marta, Rio de Janeiro, where artists engaged community members to paint the building exteriors in their neighborhood, calling international media attention to their need for improvement. Photo courtesy Austr
Praça Cantão Favela Painting project in Santa Marta, Rio de Janeiro, where artists engaged community members to paint the building exteriors in their neighborhood, calling international media attention to their need for improvement. Photo courtesy Australfoto/Douglas Engle.
Courtesy of 
© Douglas Engle 2010
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The Integral Urban Project in the neighborhood of San Rafael-Barrio Unido in Caracas, Venezuela, upgraded the extremely vertical settlement with an improved network of stairs that integrate drainage, sewage and clean water infrastructure. Photo courtesy o
The Integral Urban Project in the neighborhood of San Rafael-Barrio Unido in Caracas, Venezuela, upgraded the extremely vertical settlement with an improved network of stairs that integrate drainage, sewage and clean water infrastructure. Photo courtesy of PROYECTOS ARQUI 5 C.A.
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"Yerwada Slum Upgrading Project," SPARC Samudaya Nirman Sahayak (SSNS) and Pune Municipal Corporation, with SPARC (Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centres), NSDF (National Slum Dwellers' Federation), and Mahila Milan, Shack/Slum Dwellers Intern
"Yerwada Slum Upgrading Project," SPARC Samudaya Nirman Sahayak (SSNS) and Pune Municipal Corporation, with SPARC (Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centres), NSDF (National Slum Dwellers' Federation), and Mahila Milan, Shack/Slum Dwellers International (SDI) affiliates. Yerwada slum, Pune, India, 2008-present. Photo courtesy of SDI.
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Floating Community Lifeboats in Bangladesh provide space for solar-powered schools, libraries, clinics and community centers in response to rising waters and extreme density. Photo courtesy of Abir Abdullah/Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha.
Floating Community Lifeboats in Bangladesh provide space for solar-powered schools, libraries, clinics and community centers in response to rising waters and extreme density. Photo courtesy of Abir Abdullah/Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha.
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The Jiko ya jamii (Community Cooker) is a large-scale oven that uses trash as fuel to power a communal cooking facility in Kibera, Nairobi. Photo courtesy of Community Cooker–Jiko Ya Jamii.
The Jiko ya jamii (Community Cooker) is a large-scale oven that uses trash as fuel to power a communal cooking facility in Kibera, Nairobi. Photo courtesy of Community Cooker–Jiko Ya Jamii.
Courtesy of 
Peter Greste
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The School on Wheels in Pune, India is a mobile and adaptable classroom, 2000–present. Photo courtesy Vijay Gondi.
The School on Wheels in Pune, India is a mobile and adaptable classroom, 2000–present. Photo courtesy Vijay Gondi.
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The Digital Drum in Kampala, Uganda is a solar-powered information access point made from two durable, low-cost oil drums welded together, rugged keyboards, solar panels and low-power tablets. Photo courtesy UNICEF Uganda/2010/Jean-Marc Lefébure.<br /><b
The Digital Drum in Kampala, Uganda is a solar-powered information access point made from two durable, low-cost oil drums welded together, rugged keyboards, solar panels and low-power tablets. Photo courtesy UNICEF Uganda/2010/Jean-Marc Lefébure.

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The Incremental Housing project in Iquique, Chile, and Monterrey, Mexico produces half-finished houses that are completed by the residents and contain only the essentials of a built home—bathroom, kitchen, structure and roof—in order to stretch resources
The Incremental Housing project in Iquique, Chile, and Monterrey, Mexico produces half-finished houses that are completed by the residents and contain only the essentials of a built home—bathroom, kitchen, structure and roof—in order to stretch resources further to meet the rapidly growing demand for housing. Concrete, brick concrete, wood panel houses by architects Alejandro Aravena, Tomás Cortese, Emilio de la Cerda, Andrés Iacobelli, and Alfonso Montero, Elemental (Chile). Iquique, Chile, 2003-4. Photo courtesy of Elemental.

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