Cooper Hewitt National Design Awards

Catapult Design Receives Prestigious 2020 National Design Award for Product Design!


Where we focus our efforts and expertise

We imagine a world where everyone has access to well-designed products and services that stimulate and sustain better lives. From concept generation to distribution strategy, our team of designers, engineers, and business strategists have the skills and on-the-ground experience to offer a comprehensive approach to product and service development for low income and underserved customers.
We believe tough problems require creative thinking. We have refined our design approach, methods, and tools through solving complex social problems around the globe—and we want to share what we have learned! Offering workshops, training, and mentorship, we support organizations and groups that want to integrate key design methodologies and a people-centered approach in their work.
We know design can lead to more sustainable solutions for low income and underserved markets. We investigate and disseminate design research focused on the acceleration and accessibility of quality market-based solutions to poverty. We help clients gain a deeper understanding of how design can spur development initiatives. We partner with forward-looking donors to realize new innovations in our prototyping lab and in the field.


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 unconventional markets.

  • “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.”

    James Creel
    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.”

    Madeline McGill
    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.”

    Jocelyn Tsai
    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.”

    Lawrence Kent
    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

  • “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.”

    Whit Alexander
    Burro, LLC

  • “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.”

    Gaurav Manchanda
    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 terms.”

    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.”

    Gary Zeiff
    President and Founder of Dissigno

  • “We had an extremely fruitful collaboration with Catapult to design handwashing stations.”

    Clair Null
    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.”

    Chris Murphy
    Living Goods

  • “We were able to jump into details with Catapult almost immediately due to [their knowledge and understanding of our target clients through] past experience.”

    Jacob Winiecki
    Simpa Networks


Organizations we've teamed up with

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