Soccer Ball for the Third World

How do you take a mature and standardized first-world product - a soccer ball - and adapt it for the third world?  The One World Futbol Project found that it takes a little rethinking: instead of a standard inflated ball that would quickly pop on a rocky makeshift soccer field, they designed a "virtually indestructible" solid foam ball that never needs a pump. The effort has all the other hallmarks of a good-for-everyone design: sustainability (the ball far outlasts normal ones, reducing waste), a buy-one-give-one program for first-world patrons, no child labor; heck, even Sting was involved. It's good to see that not all the design effort is being put into the newest state-of-the-art World Cup championship ball - good design can make more of a difference here than there.
[via Core77]

Parental Product Design #1: Diaper Genie

It's been a while since the last new post here on Unpressable Buttons, but there's a good reason: I'm a new father! That also means a lot more coverage of parenting products, so let's start with a doozie: the Diaper Genie. This strikes me as a design that's fairly mature, seeming to have been refined over many iterations in a few short years. It's ended up packing some impressive features (and from the drawing above, heavily-patented features) into a pretty low-cost product: the continuous "tube" of bagging to simplify liner-changing; the well-located and obviously-childproof cutter to shear the bagging when removing a load; the two-stage sealing doors that work like an air lock to keep poopy smells in; and of course, the foot pedal, because you don't have any extra hands when changing a diaper. It's satisfyingly efficient, functional, no-nonsense - and unlike many baby products, non-cutesy. That's fine, though - the baby herself is plenty cute for me!