humanitarian design

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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Olafur Eliasson’s Little Sun Solar Lamp Provides 5 Hours of Continuous Light

Olafur Eliasson’s Little Sun Solar Lamp Provides 5 Hours of Continuous Light

While the Tate Modern may be a far cry from the Little Sun lamps eventual destination, it is in some respects a natural location for Olafur Eliasson to launch and promote the innovative endeavor. In 2003,

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Up-Stream is a Foot-Powered Washing Machine Made From Recycled Materials that Costs Just $4!

Up-Stream is a Foot-Powered Washing Machine Made From Recycled Materials that Costs Just $4!

Aaron Stathum and Eliot Covena, two industrial design students from Philadelphia University, have designed and constructed the Up-Stream - a prototype low-cost washing machine for the developing world

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Who Gives A Crap: Crowdfunded Toilet Paper Company to Donate 50% of Profits to Improve Sanitation in Developing World

Who Gives A Crap: Crowdfunded Toilet Paper Company to Donate 50% of Profits to Improve Sanitation in Developing World

In just a few short days, a small group of entrepreneurial designers and engineers has raised over $50,000 to fund Who Gives a Crap, a business that will offer sustainable, comfortable toilet paper and

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‘The Sync’ Provides a Platform to Bring Social Innovations to Life In Thailand

‘The Sync’ Provides a Platform to Bring Social Innovations to Life In Thailand

Do you know where to turn if you have an idea that will make society better? We are many who dream of change in our society, but turning those dreams into reality might prove to be a tricky deal. Soramist

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CO2 Bambu Brings Low-Cost, Low-Carbon Bamboo Housing to Nicaragua

CO2 Bambu Brings Low-Cost, Low-Carbon Bamboo Housing to Nicaragua

In 2011 CO2 Bambu was awarded with a historic contract to build 82 bamboo-based homes in Rosita, Nicaragua as part of the Hurricane Felix reconstruction effort. Up until then, the options available to the

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FLOAT Beijing Monitors Air Quality With High-Flying Kites!

FLOAT Beijing Monitors Air Quality With High-Flying Kites!

FLOAT Beijing is an interactive, community driven art project that uses kite making and kite flying to activate dialogue, map and record air quality in Beijing, China. Urban air quality is a serious issue

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Google’s Crisis Response Map Tracks Over 50 Western Wildfires, Provides Evacuation Alerts, Pinpoints Shelters

Google’s Crisis Response Map Tracks Over 50 Western Wildfires, Provides Evacuation Alerts, Pinpoints Shelters

The West is going up in flames – there are so many fires right now it’s hard to keep track of them all. By now you’ve probably heard about the Waldo Canyon “super fire”

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Smart Hand Pumps Could Provide Clean Water To Rural Communities

Smart Hand Pumps Could Provide Clean Water To Rural Communities

  Mobile phone technology is being incorporated into water pumps in order to benefit rural communities across Africa. A team from Oxford University has placed data transmitters inside the

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James Ewing Photographs Make it Right’s Green Homes in New Orleans

James Ewing Photographs Make it Right’s Green Homes in New Orleans

Shigeru Ban, BiLD, Hitoshi Abe, and Adjaye Associates are among the designers who have volunteered their time and services to bring the Lower 9th Ward back to life, as well as Ewing's favorites. Albeit

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Pick Up a Hammer for Habitat for Humanity’s National Women Build Week

Pick Up a Hammer for Habitat for Humanity’s National Women Build Week

INHABITAT: Can you tell us a little bit about National Women Build Week and what prompted Habitat for Humanity to start the event five years ago? Lisa Marie: Habitat’s Women Build and Lowe’s

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FlyingFlips’ Cool Artist-Designed Flip Flops Give Back to Those In Need

FlyingFlips’ Cool Artist-Designed Flip Flops Give Back to Those In Need

Summer is right around the corner, and if you're one who hates crowded toes and sweaty feet, we've got a great set of flip flops that will help your tootsies beat the heat. FlyingFlips, a new project

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