Turtle 1

The First System D Car

in Transfers
Author: Melle Smets
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Th e majority of the world’s population lives, moves about, studies, and works in System D – the ultimate Do-It-Yourself world, where government is largely absent, the living situation is often problematic, and people have to fend for themselves. In our search for System D examples, we stumbled upon Suame Magazine. Suame Magazine (Kumasi/Ghana) is the largest automobile district of Western Africa: 200,000 people work in 12,000 workshops and small factories. Th ey repair, convert, and adapt discarded cars from the rich countries. In this immense open-air automobile factory, cars are transformed into African cars. Simple, strong and cheap adjustments make them suitable for the African road. It is a place where craftsmanship, knowledge of recycling, ingenuity, and self-suffi ciency rule the daily life. Th is is where we decided to research System D, in close collaboration with the local community. In twelve weeks we designed and built the Turtle, a prototype of the African car, in collaboration with SMIDO (Suame Magazine Industrial Development Organization).

Transfers

Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies