humanitarian design

Clever modular mobility aid helps those with disabilities in the developing world

Clever modular mobility aid helps those with disabilities in the developing world

A modular kit of interchangeable mobility aid parts from crutches to walking frames is set to change the lives of some of the world’s poorest people with disabilities thanks to a design engineering

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Brilliant sleeping bag transforms into a tent to provide shelter for homeless

Brilliant sleeping bag transforms into a tent to provide shelter for homeless

Winters for the homeless can be an incredibly challenging time, so Carnegie Mellon University challenged its students to create temporary, economically viable shelters for people living on the streets. A

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Architecture for Humanity headquarters shuts down

Architecture for Humanity headquarters shuts down

Architecture for Humanity, the international nonprofit that addresses global humanitarian problems with sustainable architectural solutions, recently shut down its San Francisco headquarters. The

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Help fund the brilliant Warka Water tower to pull drinking water out of thin air

Help fund the brilliant Warka Water tower to pull drinking water out of thin air

The Warka Water project was inspired by a trip the design team took in 2012 to isolated villages in northeast Ethiopia that lacked access to clean and safe water. Determined to improve the villagers’

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8 Toilet Designs That Could Save Millions of Lives Around the World

8 Toilet Designs That Could Save Millions of Lives Around the World

Ecological Urinal The Ecological Urinal was created as a solution for places like Uganda's capital, Kampala, where on average, 1,000 people have to share the same toilet. The make-shift urinal is an

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Towering Qatar World Cup Memorial raises awareness about immigrant worker death toll

Towering Qatar World Cup Memorial raises awareness about immigrant worker death toll

The tower commemorates the workers who died while constructing the World Cup Stadium for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. As the construction continues, the death toll keeps adding up as more workers are

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IKEA’s extraordinary solar-powered disaster shelters receive honorary design award

IKEA’s extraordinary solar-powered disaster shelters receive honorary design award

In 2013, the formidable team sought to design easily deployable shelters that not only provided for the basic needs of those requiring emergency housing, but that could also provide more than a simple

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Orkidstudio builds passive solar African orphanage using earthbag construction

Orkidstudio builds passive solar African orphanage using earthbag construction

The Nakuru earthbag orphanage stands out from the surrounding architectural typology, which is dominated by stone and concrete homes. The use of local earth as the primary construction material not only

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3 great holiday gift ideas that help protect wild birds

3 great holiday gift ideas that help protect wild birds

If the people on your gift list this year are ardent bird lovers, then you might like to look into gift ideas that also benefit our little feathered friends. Since wild bird numbers have been dwindling

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Disposable Toilet Can Help Grow Crops in Developing Nations

Disposable Toilet Can Help Grow Crops in Developing Nations

It's hard to imagine something as filthy as a toilet being used to grow food. Yet that's exactly what one Swedish architect hopes to do in the developing world. Anders Wilhelmson is working on the Peepoo,

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23-Year-Old Wins Dyson Award With Inflatable Baby Incubator Developing Countries Can Afford

23-Year-Old Wins Dyson Award With Inflatable Baby Incubator Developing Countries Can Afford

James Roberts, a 23-year-old recent graduate of Loughborough University in the U.K., has just been announced as the international winner of  the 2014 James Dyson Award. His winning project was truly

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Help the Homes for Homeless Youth Kickstarter Campaign

Help the Homes for Homeless Youth Kickstarter Campaign

Although most of us are privileged enough to have roofs over our heads, and close friends and family members to support us, this is far from the case for thousands of young Australians who are currently

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Help to Transform Weapons of Conflict into Wearable Symbols of Peace

Help to Transform Weapons of Conflict into Wearable Symbols of Peace

Cambodia has had nearly 3 million tons of bombs dropped on it in the past century, and most of their remains still lie scattered across the country, maiming and killing hundreds of people every year. The

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Simple Clay Stoves are Saving Lives and Preserving Forests Across the Himalayas

Simple Clay Stoves are Saving Lives and Preserving Forests Across the Himalayas

Across the Himalayas, rural farmers and villagers rely on open, wood-fuelled fires inside their homes to cook their meals. The sheer amount of smoke created in these unventilated homes makes thousands

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Help Smart Hydro Power Bring Clean, Green Energy to a Peruvian Cocoa Plantation

Help Smart Hydro Power Bring Clean, Green Energy to a Peruvian Cocoa Plantation

Based in Feldafing, Germany, Smart Hydro Power is a start-up company with an incredible mission: they've been developing a power source that's fuelled by flowing river water. The SMART kinetic hydro

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BFI Announces Seven Pioneering Finalists for the 2014 Buckminster Fuller Challenge

BFI Announces Seven Pioneering Finalists for the 2014 Buckminster Fuller Challenge

The Force Majeure The Force Majeure is a large-scale, holistic response to global warming and accelerated resource exploitation. Created by world-renowned artists Helen and Newton Harrison, the project

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INFOGRAPHIC: You Won’t Believe How Many World-Changing Inventions Came From NASA

INFOGRAPHIC: You Won’t Believe How Many World-Changing Inventions Came From NASA

Everyone knows NASA put a man on the moon - but did you know that the agency's R&D has also led to the invention of water filters, memory foam, and the computer mouse? This great new infographic from

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Can Flying Cars Save Lives in Disaster Zones?

Can Flying Cars Save Lives in Disaster Zones?

Flying cars belong more in a Jetson's episode than in real life, right? Wrong, flying cars are here, but will they take off? The Indigenous People's Technology and Education Center (I-TEC), an

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How Tiny House Villages Could Solve America’s Homeless Epidemic

How Tiny House Villages Could Solve America’s Homeless Epidemic

Could the tiny house phenomenon solve America's homeless epidemic? Andrew Heben, urban planner and professional tiny house builder, says it can. His new book Tent City Urbanism: From Self-Organized Camps

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Segway-esque UPnRIDE Standing Wheelchair Allows Quadriplegics to “Walk” Again

Segway-esque UPnRIDE Standing Wheelchair Allows Quadriplegics to “Walk” Again

Israeli innovation has once again introduced potentially life-changing technology to the world. Dr. Amit Goffer gave millions of paraplegics (paralyzed from waist down) the opportunity to stand upright

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How Sick Plants Can Pinpoint the Location of Deadly Hidden Landmines

How Sick Plants Can Pinpoint the Location of Deadly Hidden Landmines

Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond just discovered an amazing way to save thousands of lives taken by explosive land mines every year. According to a recent study by the

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6 Innovative, Life-Saving Designs for Clean Drinking Water

6 Innovative, Life-Saving Designs for Clean Drinking Water

Water has been prevailing theme over the past few years, especially in the wake of multiple natural disasters that involved polluting our oceans, flooding and access to clean water. Not only is it the

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Kenya’s New Rainwater-Harvesting Soccer Field Can Store 1.5 Million Liters of Water!

Kenya’s New Rainwater-Harvesting Soccer Field Can Store 1.5 Million Liters of Water!

In 2013, PITCHAfrica's Waterbank School in Kenya was named the "Greenest School on Earth." Now another of their projects has just officially opened at the Endana Secondary School in Laikipia, Kenya. The

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PITCHAfrica’s Rain-Harvesting Soccer Field Can Capture Enough Water for 1000 People for a Full Year

PITCHAfrica’s Rain-Harvesting Soccer Field Can Capture Enough Water for 1000 People for a Full Year

Almost one billion people on Earth have no access to clean drinking water, and dirty water and a lack of basic sanitation cause 80% of all disease and kill more people than all forms of violence. Jane

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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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