humanitarian design

Modularflex Disaster Shelters Pop Up Where They Are Needed Most

Modularflex Disaster Shelters Pop Up Where They Are Needed Most

Anyone who has ever struggled to pitch a tent can attest to how difficult it can be to assemble a temporary shelter. Add the stress of a natural calamity, and every second saved by quick and simple

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The Congo Street Initiative Revived a Downtrodden Dallas Neighborhood With Renovated Green Homes

The Congo Street Initiative Revived a Downtrodden Dallas Neighborhood With Renovated Green Homes

Before work began, Congo Street was a collection of small houses in a state of disrepair. Many residents had lived there for years in houses that had been handed down from parents or grandparents, but the

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Scrapped Ambulance Transformed into Inspiring Playground for Disabled Children in Malawi

Scrapped Ambulance Transformed into Inspiring Playground for Disabled Children in Malawi

After clearing the small plot of land adjacent to the hospital, van Baarsen and van Hoeckel livened the space up with some recycled materials turned into an inspiring pseudo hospital. In addition to the

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PureMadi Uses Ceramics and Nanoparticle Technology to Purify Water in Developing Nations

PureMadi Uses Ceramics and Nanoparticle Technology to Purify Water in Developing Nations

In developing nations, access to clean water is a major humanitarian issue - so much so that numerous non-profits and foundations are dedicated specifically to providing access to basic sanitation.

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Kunle Adeyemi Designs a Solar-Powered Floating School for the Flood-Prone Coastline of Nigeria

Kunle Adeyemi Designs a Solar-Powered Floating School for the Flood-Prone Coastline of Nigeria

For the community of Makoko of Lagos, Nigeria life on the water is nothing new. Prone to flooding, residents have dealt with encroaching waters for generations by building houses on stilts and using

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New Jerusalem Orphanage is a Vibrant Shipping Container Home for South African Kids

New Jerusalem Orphanage is a Vibrant Shipping Container Home for South African Kids

Two sisters established the orphanage in 2000 in order to care for children in the Midrand who have been either abandoned or orphaned because of poverty, HIV or other social problems. Due to expansion,

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Two US Students Develop Affordable Ceramic Water Filtration System for Kenya

Two US Students Develop Affordable Ceramic Water Filtration System for Kenya

Two US students from Penn State University have developed an affordable ceramic water filtration system for Africa’s Sub-Saharan countries. The system is based on a design by the non-profit organization

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Project Phoenix: Soccer Stadium Complex To Be Built Over Earthquake Rubble in Cite Soleil, Haiti

Project Phoenix: Soccer Stadium Complex To Be Built Over Earthquake Rubble in Cite Soleil, Haiti

Renderings of a new soccer stadium for Cite Soleil, Port-au-Prince, Haiti have been released as part of the non-profit Project Phoenix’s philanthropic investment for the young people of the

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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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MOMA Exhibit Offers Real Solutions to NYC’s Rising Tides

MOMA Exhibit Offers Real Solutions to NYC’s Rising Tides

The project was sparked by Mayor Bloomberg's announcement last February of the report by the New York City Panel on Climate Change that predicted that New York City would quickly sink under water if sea

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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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