humanitarian design

New Contraceptive Implant Could Give Women Wireless Control Over Their Own Fertility

New Contraceptive Implant Could Give Women Wireless Control Over Their Own Fertility

While corporations like Hobby Lobby have been battling to take away women’s choices when it comes to contraception, the Gates Foundation and MicroCHIPS Inc. strive to give women full control over their

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Life-Saving Boot Can Detect Active Landmines from 6.5 Feet Away

Life-Saving Boot Can Detect Active Landmines from 6.5 Feet Away

Bogota-based design firm Lemur Studio has designed a life-saving boot insert which can detect landmines from a distance of 6.5 feet. SaveOneLife was created with soldiers in mind, but civilians and

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KIDmob Helps Superhero Cyborg Kids Prototype Their Own Prosthetics

KIDmob Helps Superhero Cyborg Kids Prototype Their Own Prosthetics

Imagine being able to design your own super-cool body part, in whatever shape or color you could dream up. Thanks KIDmob, a group of children with a diversity of upper limb capabilities were able to

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GA Collaborative’s Masoro Village Project Builds Community (and Earthbag Homes) in Rwanda

GA Collaborative’s Masoro Village Project Builds Community (and Earthbag Homes) in Rwanda

Emerging from a research project and seeing how low-income areas were not considered for a planned housing program, GA Collaborative began working with Masoro village in 2008 to design housing and public

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Anna Leschinger’s “Given Coat” Provides Warmth and Comfort in Troubled Times

Anna Leschinger’s “Given Coat” Provides Warmth and Comfort in Troubled Times

When disaster strikes, one of the first items that's handed out as a means of humanitarian aid is a blanket. Not only will it keep the recipient warm, but also gives a protective hug to the wearer, which

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Beautiful Woven Refugee Tents Get Their Power from the Sun

Beautiful Woven Refugee Tents Get Their Power from the Sun

Drawing inspiration from traditional basket weaving techniques and the flexibility of snake skin, the designer uses weatherproof fabric drawn between durable, curved plastic tubing. This creates a

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Design Build Bluff Creates Inspiring Solar-Powered Green Home for Navajo Mother of Four

Design Build Bluff Creates Inspiring Solar-Powered Green Home for Navajo Mother of Four

With a footprint of just under 1,000 square feet, the new house was constructed using clay, sand, straw, and water bricks clad in recycled sheets of aluminum, and then accented with recycled shipping

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Amazing Pop-Up Solar Power Station Delivers Energy Anywhere it’s Needed

Amazing Pop-Up Solar Power Station Delivers Energy Anywhere it’s Needed

Ecosphere Technologies' latest product combines several of our very favorite things in one easy-to-transport package: shipping containers, off-the-grid solar power, and clean drinking water generation.

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35 Pound Foldable Compact Shelter Provides Lightweight Disaster Housing in Under Two Minutes

35 Pound Foldable Compact Shelter Provides Lightweight Disaster Housing in Under Two Minutes

The Compact Shelter is made out of a UV stabilized polypropylene, a durable, weather resistant and thermally insulative material. After passing rigorous testing standards, which are set by various aid

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New Super Bananas With Orange Flesh Could Slash Vitamin A Deficiency in Low-Income Communities

New Super Bananas With Orange Flesh Could Slash Vitamin A Deficiency in Low-Income Communities

Genetically modified foods get a lot of negative attention, but sometimes GMOs can be a good thing. New genetically engineered bananas may soon be grown in low-income communities in order to prevent

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Lebanese Students Build an Emergency Shelter Out of Plastic Crates

Lebanese Students Build an Emergency Shelter Out of Plastic Crates

Third year architecture students at the Lebanese American University were to build temporary structures for an assignment conceptualized by their instructor Richard Douzjian. These were supposed to be

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Giuliana Gentile’s Adorable Richie the Hedgehog Brush Helps Children in Need

Giuliana Gentile’s Adorable Richie the Hedgehog Brush Helps Children in Need

This adorable hedgehog hairbrush is not just a clever piece of design - it was created to help a humanitarian cause. Giuliana Gentile designed her Richie the Hedgehog Brush to help raise funds for

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NASA Architect Designs Tiny FireFly Camping Trailer for Adventure and Disaster Relief Applications

NASA Architect Designs Tiny FireFly Camping Trailer for Adventure and Disaster Relief Applications

Designer Garret Finney drew upon his experience working as a senior architect for NASA's Habitability Design Center (HDC), where he designed small, ergonomic habitats for astronauts. After leaving NASA in

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Socially-Minded PUBLIC Journal Brings Big Voice to Public Interest Design Movement

Socially-Minded PUBLIC Journal Brings Big Voice to Public Interest Design Movement

Inhabitat’s very own design writer Andrew Goodwin launched a new socially-responsible journal this month with his partner Matthew Linden. After a year of planning, the pair debuted PUBLIC Journal - a

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UNICEF’s Clever LEGO-Inspired Bricks Provide Food, Water, and Shelter to Disaster Victims

UNICEF’s Clever LEGO-Inspired Bricks Provide Food, Water, and Shelter to Disaster Victims

Providing food and shelter to victims of a natural disaster is one of the first priorities for emergency services, but the process can often generate a lot of unnecessary waste. To help tackle this

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Philippe Starck Unveils an Awesome Pop-Up Multimedia Library for Refugees

Philippe Starck Unveils an Awesome Pop-Up Multimedia Library for Refugees

According to PSFK, Patrick Weil, the Chairman of Libraries Without Borders, never worked with a designer before, but has heard of Philippe Starck. So he sent a letter without much hope and the French

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Buy a Stylish Peace Bicycle and You’ll Also Donate Towards Buying a Bike to A Child in Need

Buy a Stylish Peace Bicycle and You’ll Also Donate Towards Buying a Bike to A Child in Need

In the United States cycling is often perceived as a leisure activity for kids or a highly competitive sport, but things are much different abroad. Everyone rides bikes in cities like Copenhagen and

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Shigeru Ban’s Kirinda Housing Project Helps a Sri Lankan Village Swept Away by the 2004 Tsunami

Shigeru Ban’s Kirinda Housing Project Helps a Sri Lankan Village Swept Away by the 2004 Tsunami

After consulting with locals about the preferred layout of their new micro homes, Ban designed the 31 square meter homes with a bathroom and kitchen that is separated by the living area. This last

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Isidore Electronics Recycling Gives Ex-Cons a Second Shot at Life

Isidore Electronics Recycling Gives Ex-Cons a Second Shot at Life

Kabira Stokes has always been troubled by the things our society sees as disposable; she hates watching toxic heavy metals in used electronics being tossed into landfills, and she hates seeing people

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Help Reaction Housing Send Stackable Exo Emergency Shelters to Refugees in Syria!

Help Reaction Housing Send Stackable Exo Emergency Shelters to Refugees in Syria!

The Exo Shelter is inspired by the humble coffee cup - a sturdy, stackable, insulated object that is easily transported and utilized to deliver life-saving sustenance. Turn that coffee cup upside down and

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Stylish Halo Belt Keeps Bikers, Pedestrians Safe with Tron-like LED Lights

Stylish Halo Belt Keeps Bikers, Pedestrians Safe with Tron-like LED Lights

Bright orange reflective vests might keep bicyclists and pedestrians safe at night but they don't exactly scream cool, which often discourages their use. Enter Halo Belt 2.0 -- the glowing LED, USB

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Leapfrog Project: Living Art Installations Could Bring Light and Hope to Typhoon-Ravaged Philipines Town

Leapfrog Project: Living Art Installations Could Bring Light and Hope to Typhoon-Ravaged Philipines Town

The Leapfrog Project is an initiative to rebuild the city of Tacloban, Philipines, which was destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. Initiated by Atelier Lira Luis, the project seeks to set up ten

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paraSITE Inflatable Shelter Uses Excess HVAC Air to Keep the Homeless Warm

paraSITE Inflatable Shelter Uses Excess HVAC Air to Keep the Homeless Warm

Artist Michael Rakowitz designed a smart urban shelter that uses excess heat from building HVAC systems to keep the homeless warm. Inspired by Bedouin tents that respond to different kinds of desert

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Mobile Network in a Backpack Restores Communication After Disasters

Mobile Network in a Backpack Restores Communication After Disasters

One of the most frightening aspects of a natural disaster can be the toll it takes on communication infrastructure. The inability of survivors to contact friends or family, call for help, or give details

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Swedish Machine Turns Sweat into Perfectly Good Drinking Water!

Swedish Machine Turns Sweat into Perfectly Good Drinking Water!

You probably never thought you could go to the gym and then rehydrate at the end of a grueling session with your own sweat, but that possibility now exists. Inspired by NASA astronauts, who are required

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XStat Gadget Can Seal Gunshot Wounds in Just 15 Seconds

XStat Gadget Can Seal Gunshot Wounds in Just 15 Seconds

Oregon-based Revmedx developed a small syringe that can seal gunshot wounds in just 15 seconds! The patent-pending XStat works by releasing small rapidly-expanding sponges into the wound that exert

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IKEA Launches Program to Bring Solar-Powered Light to 10 Million Refugees

IKEA Launches Program to Bring Solar-Powered Light to 10 Million Refugees

There are nearly 10.5 million refugees around the world, and nearly half of them are children. When the sun sets, many of these people displaced by either environmental or political catastrophe live in

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GalimotoCar Creates Working Cars From Recycled Materials in Tanzania

GalimotoCar Creates Working Cars From Recycled Materials in Tanzania

GalimotoCar is a small business in Tanzania that creates functional vehicles from trash and recycled materials! The GalimotoCar mission is to promote Uhuru (freedom) throughout Africa by building a

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$100 3D-Printed Prosthetics Offer Hope to Amputees in War-Torn Sudan

$100 3D-Printed Prosthetics Offer Hope to Amputees in War-Torn Sudan

Back in 2012, Time magazine published an article describing the plight of a 14-year-old boy named Daniel Omar, who lost both hands to a bomb dropped by his own government. One reader, Mick Ebeling, CEO of

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One Laptop Per Child Unveils Two New Kid Tablets at CES 2014

One Laptop Per Child Unveils Two New Kid Tablets at CES 2014

The 2014 edition of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is showcasing all kinds of intriguing electronics this year. But one of the most anticipated socially-conscious projects comes from the

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