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Humanitarian Design Bureau

Innovative solutions specific to humanitarian aid

The solutions developed by Humanitarian Design Bureau include industrial products and the way they are used at every stage of the humanitarian aid process.

They simplify humanitarian organisations’ operations, enhance the performance of humanitarian interventions as defined by financial backers, and foster new markets for manufacturers, all the while adapting to and respecting the local cultures and the environment of the communities served.

These solutions rely on technologies already deployed in the field and on the latest technical innovations, as well as on local traditions and know-how.


The vast majority of the tools, products, and services that are deployed in the field by humanitarian stakeholders come from the developed countries’ traditional supply channels. As a consequence, their conception takes into account neither the specificity of their use nor their life cycle within the particular constraints of the humanitarian sector and areas of intervention. Some of these tools, products, or services could be inappropriate and might even prove detrimental over the medium or long term.

The humanitarian industrial design

The design assists stakeholders in the humanitarian sector so they can fulfil their missions in the best possible conditions.

The conception of the products and their intended usage must fall within a complete project life cycle, while taking into account the geographical, climatic, religious, cultural, legal, and normative constraints specific to the humanitarian sector or to the various concerned areas of intervention.

Impact of the industrial design

The creation and adaptation of products specific to the humanitarian sector will help enhance the living conditions of a significant portion of the global population facing emergency, post-crisis, and development issues.

A better conception of the products and of the underlying systems, as well as the recycling and programmed reuse of waste into new materials or tools, can help humanitarian aid workers give comfort to those who need it the most.

Sustainable social and environmental solutions

Developedproducts are part of solutions that take into account the social reality of areas of intervention and foresee the recovery or the development of local economic activity and transfer of technology.

The proposed solutions take into account the environment of areas of intervention and its preservation.

Solutions designed for all

On one hand Humanitarian Design Bureau offers a design skill to humanitarian organizations in order to improve products and services they consume. To do so Humanitarian Design Bureau translates constraints and needs of humanitarian organizations into specifications applicable by industries.

In an other hand Humanitarian Design Bureau offers to industries a possibility to externalize a part of their R&D especially linked to to humanitarian organizations uses. Therefore industries can reduce their expenses in R&D while improving their products as per customers’ requirements and so increase their market shares.

By knowing the constraints of humanitarian organizations and the constraints of industries Humanitarian Design Bureau is the actor able to study and translate the needs of humanitarian organizations into industrial specifications via design solutions.

The purpose is to make industrial products match humanitarian needs while reducing costs for humanitarian organizations and their suppliers integrating social and environmental impact of the proposed solutions.

Solutions take into account:

  • The strategy of intervention
  • The raw materials
  • The transport and storage
  • The distribution
  • The primary use
  • The secondary use
  • The reuse, recycling, and disposal
  • The cultural and social constraints
  • The environmental reality

The "triple life®" of a solution:

  • Its life cycle
  • Its life from the emergency situation through to the development issues
  • Its financial impact on the humanitarian aid process