Cansu Akarsu

"Community Prototyper for the Women's Safety Challenge"

Hi there! I am the Community Prototyper for the Women's Safety Challenge! Together we will iterate and build on each other's ideas and I will reach you about tips and tricks for prototyping to propel an idea forward.

I am a young industrial designer from Turkey, working and traveling with a focus on philanthropy. Loving the flexibility of working in new contexts and settings, I have spent my past five years studying bachelor design degree in Turkey (Istanbul Technical University), the Netherlands (TUDelft), and South Korea (KAIST) with a graduation in 2012. Meanwhile, I have worked in Denmark at Designit, in India and in Uganda for short periods.

My latest project, Happy Baby, is leading my multidisciplinary team and developing the process of field research, design process and the pilot study of an affordable and comfortable baby carrier, aiming to be produced and used in the rural areas of developing countries. We are currently in the piloting phase of the project taking place in Nkokonjeru, a rural town in Central Uganda. Prior to this position, I was awarded by INDEX: Design to Improve Life and UNICEF with my school projects on developing products to improve sanitation in rural schools. The experiences I have had in my short career helped me set the concern of having a positive social impact as a primary goal in my profession.

Thank you for creating this great platform and bringing design activists together!

Recent Contributions View all contributions

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‘Hey, over here!’

I have been curious - what state of mind does an attacker get in, which leads him to do sexual...
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Say 'NO' Day

​Say 'NO' Day is a campaign for the right of women to speak up! In low-income setting...
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The Conversation You Must Have With...

Do you remember calling your son out when you discovered he was using the word "slut"...

My Recommendations

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Pierce Gordon

April 07, 2014, 05:19AM

My name is Pierce Gordon, a PhD student at the University of California, Berkeley. As a member of a group in a course at the Information School, we're running a study upon the innovative OpenIDEO community about the user experience.

We found you're a select designer of the OpenIDEO system that has been highly active in the system in many ways. We have selected you because of your active involvement, and expert opinion upon the use of the OpenIDEO website.

Would you like to participate in an online focus group of the website? If so, we would love to participate in a Google Hangout discussion with you, and a collection of up to five other active designers, upon the user experience of the OpenIDEO website.

All of our information will be disemminated to OpenIDEO engineers for the sake of bettering the community you have worked so hard to contribute

Please contact me at, or the OpenIDEO profile, if you are interested. Hope to hear from you soon!


October 13, 2013, 05:37AM
Given you've been such an OpenIDEO champion, we'd love it if you might join our quest to walk millions of miles for wellness, together:


June 07, 2012, 22:13PM
Congrats to Cansu on her winning Start-up Wallet concept in our Web Start-up Challenge!


April 30, 2012, 00:25AM
Cansu was selected for our monthly Featured Ideator series. Check it out:


March 29, 2012, 22:46PM
Cansu arrived on our Voting Challenge in full force! She was a stellar collaborator + visualiser and her Let the Vapp Suggest concept was selected a s winner. We were impressed with her agile refinement moves and hope she'll be back to collaborate on future challenges.

Cansu Akarsu

March 30, 2012, 19:11PM
Thanks a lot, I really enjoyed the process:)) I will be as active as possible, and now that my friends saw my passion, I will bring more people along me.

Borja Capella

April 18, 2012, 14:04PM
Congrats not just on your winning concept which I loved from the beginning but also on all your other contributions in the concepting phase. I particularly liked the one with the marbles, because while it doesn't tackle directly on the accessibility issue it is a whole new way of understanding what voting and specially counting the votes means. Great job overall! Hope to contribute again to more of your concepts!

Cansu Akarsu

April 18, 2012, 19:57PM
Wow thanks Borja:) I am glad you could follow the other concepts as well, thanks for all the support! Hope to be a virtual team in the coming challenges.

Vincent Cheng

March 28, 2012, 21:36PM
Congrats on your winning voting challenge concept Cansu!

Your initial core idea of an intuitive, easy-to-use guide to meet diverse voter needs was brilliant.

But I was even more blown away by your thoughtful & extensive updates, and convincing visual & audio presentation that brought it all to life!

Certainly hope to see you & your great designing back on future challenges =). Also, given your recent work on a sanitation project, thought you might be interested in this past OpenIDEO sanitation challenge ( ), which has already been realized with 80 toilets with plans to scale to 10K!

Cansu Akarsu

March 28, 2012, 22:32PM
Hi Vincent thanks! I have read about that challenge, I am definitely a bit sad that I saw too late, and still so great that it has been realized. My work has been on creating a hand washing habit and also on creating sustainable menstrual protection methods. I wonder if the voting challenge ideas would also be realized. Great to have met you and developed the concept with your feedbacks.
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