This sidewalk-based key & lock guy repurposes his space by hanging keys, doorknobs, and other trade items from the window behind him (along with his sign, claiming he fixes any and all kinds of locks and also repairs, buys, and sells safes). Consider how the space for an informal sidewalk-based business is valued, and the factors that affect that space's value. Like other, more formal businesses across the world, such space is partially judged by more widely recognized metrics such as visibility to pedestrians, amount of usable space available, and so on.
What does this wallet convey about its owner/designer's constraints? Lack of pockets in a longyi is one factor that drove this user to seek a lighter money-carrying solution. Unpredictable weather could also plays a role - leather wallets tend to rot with surprising speed during monsoon season, and also fail to protect their contents during a downpour. Besides not protecting the inside's contents from the elements, they also fail to protect clothing from the unfortunate side-effects of a permeable container filled with dirty pieces of paper being soaked over the course of a typical-length rain shower, when leather wallets turn into unintended "money laundries".
Note: It occurs to me that Posterous's censorship gremlins probably nixed this picture on account of this man's liberally-sized chest. I can assure you: this IS a man, and he is very, very proud of his liberally sized chest. Being what Americans would consider "overweight" has very different cultural implications here in Myanmar. Fat is a sign of success for both sexes, and in women, a sign of beauty (although outside cultural influences are slowly beginning to change that view). Now that I've thoroughly derailed what the post was originally about, you can view the connected photo - it will be the last photo posted on my Facebook album: Square Inch Anthro: 10.11.11-05.18.12
A medicine bottle, upended and suspended from a spike atop this metal gate by a length of repurposed electrical cable. Both cable and bottle are repurposed in concert to fit over where the gate's lock rests when the gate is shut, sheltering the lock from the rust that the monsoon rains would otherwise inflict.
Using a truck bed's shape for umbrella storage, (imminent) velocity for umbrella drying, and isolation from the passenger compartment as a means of separating wet umbrellas from dry passengers. How does a product's design accommodate users living in a country with a monsoon season, particularly when the more common reaction to a monsoon in terms of behavior is umbrella-carrying (as opposed to raincoat-wearing)?
Most street restaurants in Yangon use the same kid-sized plastic chairs for both their affordability and portability. Sidewalk-based restauranteurs must insure their establishment is mobile so they can transport it home with them each day - unless they live on the sidewalk along with their restaurants (which costs extra, of course). During a particularly intense downpour, these chairs have evolved to serve at least two purposes:
1) Preventing the rain from creating as large a splash radius when it hits the sidewalk, as this pot is positioned under the natural drainage point off of the tarp overhead.
2) Harvesting the rainwater itself, as being a mobile restaurant means that clean(-ish) water for cooking, dishwashing, tea-brewing, etc., is a scarce resource. Most daytime street restaurants find ways to get negotiate around the fact that they have no running water or electricity, or, as in this case, find clever ways of generating their own.