Cultural Appropriateness


Incorporating opportunities for choice and the expression of individual preferences

The Hippo Water Carrier was designed to address the needs of low income people in developing regions and displaced persons in temporary camps. Supplying a household with water often requires a substantial investment in time to travel to and from the water supply location and wait for one’s turn. The Hippo water container is a fat hollow plastic wheel that has a long U-shaped handle fastened at the axle. Individuals can pull the carrier behind them while it rolls on the ground. The photo shows the carrier in use juxtaposed with a woman carrying a bucket on her head. The carrier reduces the effort required to carry water significantly, and, as the photo illustrates, allows an individual to carry much more water at one time which also reduces the number of trips needed to maintain a household on a weekly basis.

Universal Design (UD) is an approach to design that increases the potential for developing a better quality of life for a wide range of individuals. It is a design process that enables and empowers a diverse population by improving human performance, health and wellness, and social participation (Steinfeld and Maisel, 2012). It creates products, systems, and environments to be as usable as possible by as many people as possible regardless of age, ability or situation.