Mech425 D-Lab Project
The Assignment[edit | edit source]
Surviving on a Loony a Day
This assignment is based loosely on the D-Lab at MIT's Practicing Poverty assignment.
The average Haitian citizen has $1.39 to spend each day, in India the average is $1.23.
It is difficult to imagine what this is like, so your assignment is to experience it directly. Around 1.2 billion people live on less than $1 a day and 2.8 billion people live on less than $2 a day. See this for some additional idea of what this is like: 
In order to gain more insight - until Friday, limit your spending to $1 per day. Minimize your reliance on pre-existing resources such as relationships you have established (e.g. eating your room-mates leftovers or using your student pass to take a shower at the gym). Do not use items you have already purchased like food in your pantry. You can use items that you currently have on your person or that would effect your other courses/work. Do not utilize any of the social safety nets available in Canada. Do not do anything illegal. Do not beg.
While it is true that the cost of living is higher here in Canada, you will also have access to resources that are unavailable to most citizens in developing countries that you do not have to pay for on a daily basis (drinking fountains that provide safe water and central heating in public buildings). This project should give you some preliminary understanding of what you are doing when you attempt to engineer and 'design for extreme affordability'.
Write about your experience – and how you were able to survive (or not). Expected ~1 paragraph – no more than 1 page. Bring it to class on Friday and prepare to discuss the project...