humanitarian design

Konbit Super-Adobe Shelters are Helping a Rural Haitian Village Rebuild

Konbit Super-Adobe Shelters are Helping a Rural Haitian Village Rebuild

In January 2010, this group of artists, builders, architects, and engineers asked themselves how they could use their skills and talents to help people in Haiti rebuilt their lives. Settling on the

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GravityLight Is a Cheap, Green Weight-Powered Alternative to Solar Lamps

GravityLight Is a Cheap, Green Weight-Powered Alternative to Solar Lamps

London-based designers Martin Riddiford and Jim Reeves — from Therefore.com – spent four years developing a light that would provide a viable alternative to kerosene and sun-powered lamps for

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Fast-growing Bamboo Keeps Costs Low for Tiny Vo Trong Nghia Housing Prototype in Viet Nam

Fast-growing Bamboo Keeps Costs Low for Tiny Vo Trong Nghia Housing Prototype in Viet Nam

There are two prototypes. One is 22.5 square meters and the other is 18 square meters. The compact design is achieved in part by transferring the kitchen and bathroom outdoors, which will be a shared

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WATERBANK School Harvests Rainwater for Underprivileged Students in Kenya

WATERBANK School Harvests Rainwater for Underprivileged Students in Kenya

A new design for rural schools could revolutionize Kenya's education system. British architects Jane Harrison and David Turnbill worked with Atopia Research to design the WATERBANK school in Nigare Nyiro,

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Pepe Heykoop’s Paper Vase Turns an Ordinary Bottle Into a Contemporary Flower Pot

Pepe Heykoop’s Paper Vase Turns an Ordinary Bottle Into a Contemporary Flower Pot

Dutch designer Pepe Heykoop has created a simple Paper Vase that turns any empty bottle into a contemporary object. Made from white coated paper that is both waterproof and strong, this flat-pack design

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UK Plans to Retrofit Shipping Containers from Amsterdam Into Housing to Help Fight Homelessness

UK Plans to Retrofit Shipping Containers from Amsterdam Into Housing to Help Fight Homelessness

Shipping container photo from Shutterstock Shipping containers offer a surprisingly versatile foundation for small-scale, sturdy homes - they're readily available, relatively inexpensive, and easy to

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Mine Kafon: Wind-Propelled Bamboo Sphere Designed to Clear Landmines

Mine Kafon: Wind-Propelled Bamboo Sphere Designed to Clear Landmines

The toys Massoud and his brother Mahmud built as children were created from a variety of  found materials, but all were propelled by the desert’s string winds. For his final project at the Design

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Waterstudio.nl Proposes Floating City Apps To Aid Slums Affected By Rising Sea Levels

Waterstudio.nl Proposes Floating City Apps To Aid Slums Affected By Rising Sea Levels

Wet slums are slum communities that live in conjunction with the water and many occur around the world. The connection to the water also puts them at risk for climate change and rising sea levels. To aid

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Six Things You Can Do To Help Hurricane Sandy Victims

Six Things You Can Do To Help Hurricane Sandy Victims

Photo via Shutterstock Donate Money to the Red Cross The American Red Cross is the number one disaster relief charity in the US, and it's far and away the most trusted and most popular charity that you

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Design Academy Eindhoven Graduate Asnate Bockis Makes Lifesaving Furnishings to Stay Afloat

Design Academy Eindhoven Graduate Asnate Bockis Makes Lifesaving Furnishings to Stay Afloat

In the wake of the recent hurricane, the significance of disaster management products is increasing steadily, and we are glad to see that young designers are already channeling their endeavors in that

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MiiR Bottles Helps To Provide Clean Drinking Water To Those in Need

MiiR Bottles Helps To Provide Clean Drinking Water To Those in Need

Clean water is a humanitarian issue that doesn't just require design in the form of wells and water systems – but design thinking. The 1 billion people who don't have access to safe water need the kind

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Kasetsart University in Thailand Builds an Innovative Rooftop Garden on Campus

Kasetsart University in Thailand Builds an Innovative Rooftop Garden on Campus

After devastating floods hit Bangkok in 2011 leaving university staff cut off from food, Kasetsart University decided to build an urban farm on the rooftop of their Faculty of Architecture building to not

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The Sustainable Disaster Recovery Conference Comes to St. Louis on Oct 29

The Sustainable Disaster Recovery Conference Comes to St. Louis on Oct 29

Natural disasters are physically, socially, and psychologically devastating to a town. It can be extremely difficult to rebuild civic infrastructures and restore the lives of residents. Where do

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Miller Hull Designs an Airy New Salvaged Center for the Technology Access Foundation in Seattle

Miller Hull Designs an Airy New Salvaged Center for the Technology Access Foundation in Seattle

The TAF’s new home, named The Bethaday Community Learning Space, was a design born from the foundation’s interest in the ScrapHouse project, which was developed by San Francisco-based Public

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Fury and Fragility: A Sustainable Rebuilding Plan for the Town of Ishinomaki, Japan After the Tsunami

Fury and Fragility: A Sustainable Rebuilding Plan for the Town of Ishinomaki, Japan After the Tsunami

In Northern Japan, where the rugged coast meets pristine beaches, the town of Ishinomaki has long enjoyed the beauty and bounty of the surrounding sea. But benefit rarely comes without hazard and

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Cassia Co-op Training Centre is a Sustainable School For Cinnamon Farmers in Indonesia

Cassia Co-op Training Centre is a Sustainable School For Cinnamon Farmers in Indonesia

In 2010, TYIN Tegnestue was approached by a French businessman who told them all about cinnamon production in Sumatra, where 85% of globally-consumed cinnamon is produced. As you might expect there is

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Rock-Sette is a Sustainable Disaster Prevention and Education Center for Istanbul

Rock-Sette is a Sustainable Disaster Prevention and Education Center for Istanbul

Designed by Dinkoff Architects and Engineers, Rock-Sette is a self-sufficient and non-polluting disaster prevention and education center for Istanbul, Turkey. The project draws in water from the creek on

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LaunchPad Shipping Container Computer Labs Let South African Students Connect With Mentors

LaunchPad Shipping Container Computer Labs Let South African Students Connect With Mentors

The LaunchPad learning laboratories were designed pro bono by Perkins+Will to serve as a computer lab for students in South Africa to connect with mentors around the world as part of an Infinite Family

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Perkins+Will’s Kenya Women and Children’s Wellness Center Takes National Healthcare Award for 2012

Perkins+Will’s Kenya Women and Children’s Wellness Center Takes National Healthcare Award for 2012

This new wellness centre is a facility made up of multiple interconnected program elements, which provide a holisitic approach to well-being for the people of Nairobi. The main elements of the facility

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The Indlovu Centre is a Fireproof & Bulletproof Community Building in South Africa

The Indlovu Centre is a Fireproof & Bulletproof Community Building in South Africa

Reconstruction of the Indluvo Centre began in 2009 when Architects Without Frontiers went to assess the community's needs. They worked with Zvi Belling and Lani Fender to design the project pro-bono to

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Veilige Veste is a Former Office Building Transformed into a Women’s Shelter in The Netherlands

Veilige Veste is a Former Office Building Transformed into a Women’s Shelter in The Netherlands

The Veilige Veste building was first constructed in the 1970s as a police station. KAW took on the task to recreate the facade with the new diagonally undulating panels in order to help create a better

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Arizona State Students Develop Low-Cost Biosensor to Detect Contaminated Drinking Water

Arizona State Students Develop Low-Cost Biosensor to Detect Contaminated Drinking Water

In the developing world, disease caused by poor sanitation is the second largest cause of death in children under five years old, and according to the World Health Organization, 1.5 million lives are

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US Pavilion at Venice Biennale Focuses on Design Actions for Common Good

US Pavilion at Venice Biennale Focuses on Design Actions for Common Good

Although there are too many interventions to mention in this space, we would like to shed some light on a few of our favorites. Projects such as the Aquaponics Container System address issues of

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MASS Group Wins Zumtobel Award for Locally-Constructed Hospital in Rwanda

MASS Group Wins Zumtobel Award for Locally-Constructed Hospital in Rwanda

The Butaro Hospital, in the Burera District of Rwanda is comprised of a number of buildings set on a hilltop location. Principles of natural ventilation and passive solar design help moderate temperatures

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New Report Lauds Intel, HP, Apple for Manufacturing with Conflict-Free Minerals

New Report Lauds Intel, HP, Apple for Manufacturing with Conflict-Free Minerals

In a world where consumers are becoming increasingly socially conscious, “conflict minerals” are to electronics what blood diamonds are to jewelry. A new report released by Enough Project, a

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1 Liter of Light Project Illuminates Thousands of Filipino Homes With Recycled Bottles

1 Liter of Light Project Illuminates Thousands of Filipino Homes With Recycled Bottles

What if something as simple as an old plastic bottle filled with water could mean the difference between light and darkness? Rudimentary as it may sound, the almost no-cost solution is uplifting the

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6 Ways Artists Are Recycling Guns for Peace

6 Ways Artists Are Recycling Guns for Peace

Transforming Arms into Tools, Mozambique Since 1995, The Christian Council of Mozambique has managed a program that offers tools (such as bicycles, sewing machines and hoes) to those who bring in their

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Bill Gates Awards $100,000 Prize to Caltech for Energy-Generating Solar-Powered Toilet

Bill Gates Awards $100,000 Prize to Caltech for Energy-Generating Solar-Powered Toilet

Bill Gates helped to invent the personal computer and now, through his philanthropic foundation, he plans to help reinvent the toilet. On Tuesday, the billionaire awarded the California Institute of

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Cocoon by Woods Bagot is a Comforting Emergency Shelter for Four

Cocoon by Woods Bagot is a Comforting Emergency Shelter for Four

The competition brief called for structures that provide protection from the elements, in addition to safety, simplicity and elegance. They were also expected to be constructed easily and quickly. Woods

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