Design without Borders (DWB) was founded in Norway in 2001. As a child of the design, its ideological traditions has had strong impact on its aims and enterprises. However, its sphere of operation and financial conditions have been those of development aid. These facts have directed its work both ideologically and practically, and thereby also the results.

The idea of development aid goes back to the era of Colonialism. A sense of guilt towards what this conception has led to has rightfully been established. There has been little focus on the altruistic side of the idea of the idea. The ideological aim of the design community to contribute to a better human life, is also related to this idea.

The investigation consists of an analysis of DWB's ideological background and its achievements, seen at the backdrop of its origin in the ideas of development aid and its way of financing. Two of the projects are used as case studies and a comparative analysis in order to uncover effects and possible improvements. The article is an “insider view,” through which its history and two examples are reported.

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