Improving the quality of life of underserved communities through accessible and innovative design.
Where we focus our efforts and expertise
For projects of all scales and sizes, we begin by identifying strategic direction. This includes framing the problem, understanding the challenges and opportunities as well as ensuring that project indicators: vision, objectives, progress, project considerations, and focus areas are well understood at the outset of any work. This provides the high-level design direction that guides each project.
We imagine a world where everyone has access to well-designed products and services that stimulate and sustain better lives. From systems mapping to concept generation and distribution strategy, our team of designers, engineers, and business strategists have the skills, experience, and networks to offer a comprehensive approach to developing products and services for low-income and underserved communities.
As we know, the role of the designer is constantly evolving, and we want to ensure that our clients, partners, and end-users are well versed in our design ethos, tools, and methods. We believe tough problems require creative thinking by all stakeholders, beginning with the communities they are meant to serve. In all our engagements, we offer workshops, training, and mentorship.
We investigate and disseminate design research focused on the acceleration and accessibility of quality market-based solutions to inequalities. We help clients, partners, and end-users gain a deeper understanding of how design can spur their initiatives.
We research and identify underlying causes of inequality and injustice, and we employ participatory prototyping to find and test solutions with underserved communities. We take that data and experience, formulating policy recommendations for local governments and funders.
Recent projects we've worked on
Catapult’s work is rooted in our people-centered approach. We help our partners think about old problems in new ways to spur novel solutions. Our multidisciplinary team has applied their decades of experience designing solutions towards a wide range of unique social challenges in over 14 countries with foundations, organizations, and social entrepreneurs. What makes us different? We’re accustomed to the unique challenges of resource-constrained environments and we understand the cultural, social, and financial lenses that must be considered when introducing new products and services into markets that design has too long overlooked.
Catapult has an innate ability to understand the needs of their clients, the expertise to provide impactful solutions, and the flexibility to pivot as needed in real time. It's not only the services they've provided to ASME ISHOW, but the services/consultations they've provided to our annual ISHOW cohort of social entrepreneurs as well. Anywhere from re-design, refinement of DFM specs, BOM analysis, to providing marketing assets, package design, and instruction manuals, Catapult's breadth of knowledge and capabilities help deliver top notch services to their clients.
American Society for Mechanical Engineers
The best part of Catapult is how quickly they worked with us to create a polished and effective product. They asked the right questions, demonstrated a high level of cultural competence, and helped us work within a tight timeframe to create something we are proud to use as a part of our programs.
The Rural Utah Project
Catapult has a lot of engineering experience on projects for low resource conditions. Working with Payan was very helpful for us because he had a rapid prototyping site in Kenya. This allowed us to understand what was available in-country and directly test the device in pit latrines. People in Catapult are also easy to work with when development goals shifted. If there were questions that arose with deliverables or payment, they were resolved quickly.
North Carolina State University
Catapult Design and Burro worked together in an effective, timely, smart, systematic, and practical manner. The result is fantastic and promising: a roaster that reduces firewood use by 56% while increasing output/hour by 89%. And a manufacturing and distribution and sales system in place.
Catapult exceeded our high expectations time and again, demonstrating nimble flexibility to adapt our plans to new insights, and consistently going the extra mile to provide Burro the expertise and high-quality outputs we needed to bring the Elephant to life. We got far more from our partnership with Catapult than we had ever hoped possible, and the results will benefit thousands and thousands of rural households across Ghana and beyond for many years to come
Catapult Design actually took the time to come to Rwanda to talk to all of our micro franchisees and myself to understand the challenges we were facing with the previous product. Their communication and proactive thinking allowed a smooth transition for the prototype to be built. Thanks again for all your help
Henri Nyakarundi, ARED
(African Renewable Energy Distributor Ltd.)
Working with Catapult Design and the Autodesk suite of software served as a catalyst for the product development, market research, and even branding ideas that One Degree has been developing over the last few years. Thanks in large part to the support that our Product Team received from this project, we should be on pace to launch several new products and improve hundreds of thousands of lives in communities that lack access to electricity.
One Degree Solar
I consider Catapult Design a critical and invaluable asset to our organization. I am continually impressed with the Catapult team, their creative insights, strategic guidance and co-design ethos. Catapult consistently delivered a high degree of client commitment, innovative ideas and hands-on support. I recommend the team in the highest terms possible.
Iana Aranda Asme
Engineering for Change
Catapult understood the constraints of working in our market due to past experience. This saved us time and resources. Instead of educating potential partners as to the parameters of our community and market, Catapult’s prior experience working in emerging markets enable them to get up to speed quickly for our project. This enabled us to work together quickly and efficiently.
President and Founder of Dissigno
We had an extremely fruitful collaboration with Catapult to design handwashing stations.
Innovations for Poverty Action
Catapult was essential in our ability to provide solar power to Nyange Health Center in a culturally sensitive, inclusive manner. If it wasn’t for them, we would not have known the key questions to ask to ensure that the system addressed the needs of the health center. Our mission includes providing technical support to projects developed by people living in developing communities. We have been able to maintain our mission through our collaboration with Catapult.
Dr. Wendy Leonard
The Ihangane Project
Overall, working with Catapult was the highlight of my year.
We were able to jump into details with Catapult almost immediately due to [their knowledge and understanding of our target clients through] past experience.