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What humans need to survive

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Philosophy
Wordcount: 2023 words Published: 16th May 2017

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While doing research for this paper I learned a lot about myself that you will not necessarily know about. For this assignment I had to dig deeper to fine answers and be able to give feedback on my findings. I discovered what the world depends on and how the hierarchy of needs are evident in our everyday lives. This project clearly explains my opinions on the human needs and wellbeing of the world and myself. Many questions are asked and answered from many perspectives, including my own.

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In this project, it explains mostly about the needs of people and how designers have influenced these needs to meet the needs of humans. I researched the shopping trolley and interesting facts about the shopping trolley and how it is a metaphor for my life and myself. I mention the world and myself on how we as humans have a status that we have to maintain, and a style and taste that comes with it.


In this research paper I will discuss what humans in this world need in order to survive. As a designer I will look at how the designer’s hierarchy of needs satisfies problems we as humans face on a daily basis. We as designers need to be able tackle a problem and find a rational solution. I will also discuss how we as designers meet the needs of humans across the globe, as well as the history of the trolley. In our everyday life, humans all have a very different personal perception about certain things, for example “taste” and “style ” and “status”. All humans have different opinions on these topics and throughout my research paper I will explore all these opinions as well as my own. I will also discuss my perception of this project and how it has opened my mind to different things as well as learn certain things about myself I did not know.


To consider other people, their needs and wellbeing, understanding the role of designers in relation to needs and the world, understanding the effects of psychology branding and media manipulation in design and to explore the phenomena of “taste” and “status” in the world.


• What do we need to survive?

• Are designers meeting these needs?

• What is the effect of design on human needs?

• How did the shopping trolley come into existence?

• Who designed it?

• Why does the trolley look the way it does?

• What else is the trolley used for, other human needs?

• Is ‘taste’ a personal perception?

• What constitute ‘style’?

• Why do people crave ‘status’?

• What is your perception/view about the above questions/ discovery?

What do we need to survive?

From looking at Maslow’s ideas as well as many of my own I have come to a conclusion of what I need in my everyday li8fe in order to survive. These are the things that I need for my survival on every level of the Maslow pyramid in both the needs of a person and a designer’s needs. Breathing, food, water, sleep, homeostasis, excretion, internet, coffee, cigarettes, money, petrol, shelter, electricity, car, TV, inspiration, phone, friends, family, safety of employment, resources, morality, health, property, no crime, insurance, love, knowing myself, caring for other people, being a good person, self-esteem, self-confidence, a sense of achievement, self-respect, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, lack of prejudice, acceptance of facts and happiness and individuality.

Are designers meeting these needs?

Designers have a role in society to make things usable, colourful, attractive to the naked eye, to create value, beauty, new possibilities, empower people to do more and be better. I believe that designers do meet these needs. That is one of the many reasons that marketing and advertising is so influential and why people give into advertisements so easily. Designers make things look enticing and very appealing. Using neuromarketing and propaganda designers get hold of the viewer’s senses making the product irresistible and a must have in the viewer’s eyes. Designers do indeed meet these needs as we are always satisfied with our needs and the presentation of these needs.

What is the effect of design on human needs?

The effect of design on human needs, makes life for human a lot easier by creating different product that can help those certain needs; this can help people with achieving and bettering their needs. This allows people to understand and help others meet their own needs and design effect human needs drastically because it creates opportunities for people and helps them understand that they needs can be meet but they need to be willing to achieve they needs in many ways.

For example designers play with our senses, our insecurities and our minds. An alarm system is only pleasing because it plays on our insecurities as South Africans that there is crime and this might stop it from affecting us.

Many products are generally picked by the most exciting packaging and the most popular branding, like clothing and many other products we buy on a regular basis without really giving it any thought at all. Even food is judged for its quality by its name brand and its packaging.

How did the shopping trolley come into existence?

The shopping trolley is a cart supplied by a shop, usually a super market such as Pick n Pay or Checkers, for customers to put the items they wish to purchase in. this helps them to not have to juggle all their items in their hands.

The first shopping trolley was introduced in June 1937 by Sylvan Goldman who was an owner of the Piggly Wiggly supermarket chain in Oklahoma City. Goldman saw the need for a way for his customers to move around more groceries which lead to him developing the idea of the trolley. Since Goldman’s first idea of the shopping cart others have progressed it to better suit society. Goldman’s first idea of how the shopping trolley should look was a wooden folding chair, a basket on the seat and wheels on the legs. Goldman and one of his employees, Fred Young, began to better the invention which lead to a metal frame that held two wire baskets. Others have tried to better Goldman’s invention however have not succeeded. Goldman became a multimillionaire with this idea and continued to modify it such as making it bigger and better.

(Unknown Author, 24 April 2007)

Who designed it?

In 1936 a man by the name of Sylvan Goldman designed the trolley with help from a friend of his, named Fred Young, he was a mechanic, there was another shopping trolley invention at that time and it was invented by.

(Unknown Author, 24 April 2007)

Why does it look the way it does?

Most trollies in society today are made of metal or a combination of metals and plastic.(Unknown Author, 24 April 2007) They also come in many shapes and sizes. Designers have made modifications over the years to suit a variety of different customers. For example some shopping carts have been designed to carry a child. You also now get electric mobility scooters with baskets designed for the elderly or disabled.

Due to the fact that children have been injured while in a shopping trolley some have been made with seats that resemble those of a car seat that a child can be strapped into. This enlarges the usage as it can carry your child and your groceries, leaving your arms free to shop.

A trolley usually has for wheels and typically the two in front are swivel wheels in order to make pushing the trolley around easier. This helps to turn the trolley in the direction of your choice.

What else is the trolley used for, other human needs?

The trolley is used in the physiological need and people need food and the collection of food is done in a trolley, people use them to carry items for example a hobo, uses it to carry all of his personal belongings for his that trolley fulfils a basic need. Trollies are used for recreational uses, as a racing car, a trolley is changed into a car that can be pushed down hills, for some people that fulfils a basic need of exercise and entertainment

Is ‘taste’ a personal perception?

Taste can be seen in two completely different ways. Taste is when you taste food but taste is also your personal taste in anything physical. Fashion is a good example of someone’s taste. I believe taste is a personal perception because everyone sees things differently and thinks different looks and styles are attractive and exciting.

What constitutes style?

Style is someone’s own personal funk and style mixed with their personality. It is the look and feel of a person and how they act and react to different situations.

Why do people crave ‘status’?

All people in the world wish or believe to be better than the person next to them, so we as human beings all crave “status” in some way or form. There are many types of “status” which are: luxury good we all think we need better cars, or the most expensive brand or the most expensive watch or anything that is top class luxury, we are falling into the trap of the status seeker. When you feel better than everyone else- depends on where you come from, people that believe they are tough and give off that whole style that is a status. There are many was that can be defined as a “status” these are the most that people feel, the way they feel and the way they act determined they “status”.

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What are my perceptions on the above questions?

While answering these questions, I realised that many people have many different perceptions, I also realized that people disregard individuality, but it is individuality that drives design and creation of new ideas. Although we all have some needs in common which can be regarded as basic needs for humans. We also have other needs which may be very important to one person and not very important to another.

My discoveries:

I discovered many things on my journey through this assignment. Every person has their own views and personality which creates individuality. This makes them the person they are and we must respect each other’s differences because although we have the same basic needs these are still interchangeable from person to person. Each person is completely different to the next as a result of many factors including nature and nurture.

Furthermore, designers are very influential in the world we live in today and help to make our needs more appealing and they help to create some new needs for us as well. Designers do their job outstandingly. I also learned to think outside the box which is very necessary as a designer to open up creativity.

Indeed, it can be seen that I am much like a trolley in the way that trolleys have changed their look and even their shape over time much like I have grown and changed as years of my life have passed since my birth. I will continue to change and expand my knowledge and possibilities much like the trolley has and will continue to do. I am who I am because of many factors including nature and nurture and these factors will continue to mould me for the rest of my life. I will move around and help people carry their burdens and I will continue to try and help people in the best way that I can.


In conclusion to this project I have found out that many people have excluded Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and have rather switched from the basic needs to the more material objects. Designers have made it possible for us to use our needs to the best of our advantage and use them to help us, for example they have design a transport system, this allows us to get financial stability and they have created stable houses which allowed us to live in good houses and have shelter.


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