humanitarian design

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" tearing through the mountains in

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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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F.L.O.E.! Is Bringing Earthbag Construction to Rural Nepal

F.L.O.E.! Is Bringing Earthbag Construction to Rural Nepal

F.L.O.E.! (For the Love of Earthbags!) is a design project in rural Nepal that is bringing the sustainable building method of earthbag construction to mountain communities. The project is an initiative

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Urban-Think Tank Awarded Silver Holcim Award For Colorful Community Center in São Paulo

Urban-Think Tank Awarded Silver Holcim Award For Colorful Community Center in São Paulo

Although Grotão is located in the center of the city, only one road connects it to the larger circulation systems of Sao Paulo, which limits the residents access to essential amenities. The goal of

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Kéré Architecture Wins Global Holcim Award With a Passive Cooling School in Burkino Faso

Kéré Architecture Wins Global Holcim Award With a Passive Cooling School in Burkino Faso

Kéré Architecture is a German firm with heaps of experience around the globe specializing in beautiful and effective humanitarian designs. Diébédo Francis Kéré and his firm were recently award the

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Smile Squared Launches Its Buy-One Give-One Eco-Friendly Bamboo Toothbrush

Smile Squared Launches Its Buy-One Give-One Eco-Friendly Bamboo Toothbrush

Smile Squared has launched a cool new program that gives an environmentally-friendly toothbrush to a child in need in a developing country for each one sold. Because dental care is an important part

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Alain Gilles’ Nomad Solar-Powered Portable Lamp is Much Safer Than Kerosene

Alain Gilles’ Nomad Solar-Powered Portable Lamp is Much Safer Than Kerosene

Addressing a string of deadly kerosene lamp accidents in slums that have killed hundreds of people and left even more homeless, designer Alain Gilles created a safer alternative called the Nomad solar

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AIA and Architecture for Humanity Team Up To Help Architects Respond To Disasters

AIA and Architecture for Humanity Team Up To Help Architects Respond To Disasters

Last month the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and nonprofit Architecture for Humanity teamed up to launch ArchitectsRebuild.org, a new website that promises to help architects contribute to

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Semi-Finalists for the 2012 Buckminster Fuller Challenge Announced!

Semi-Finalists for the 2012 Buckminster Fuller Challenge Announced!

This year's semifinalists range from familiar topics like Earth Hour and the Living Building Challenge, to a project that produces fuel and fertilizer from agricultural waste in Africa. A couple of teams

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Kony2012, Invisible Children, and Where Your Donations are Going

Kony2012, Invisible Children, and Where Your Donations are Going

If you've listened to the news or checked Facebook in the last few days, you've probably heard of - or watched - the record-breaking viral video called Kony 2012, which was produced and directed by the

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‘Mountain Band-Aid’ Transforms Strip-Mined Mountainside Into a Vertical Eco Village

‘Mountain Band-Aid’ Transforms Strip-Mined Mountainside Into a Vertical Eco Village

Mountain Band-Aid is a plan for a sustainable city designed to help mitigate mining damage in southern China while providing a place for local inhabitants to repopulate the countryside. From a distance,

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Bill Gates Calls on Global Community to Stabilize the World’s Food Supply

Bill Gates Calls on Global Community to Stabilize the World’s Food Supply

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation supports work in education and global development to a degree that few other foundations can claim - and now it's even taking on the problem of global agriculture

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The Fukushima Emergency Project Is a Pop-Up Shelter Providing Housing Relief for Disaster Victims

The Fukushima Emergency Project Is a Pop-Up Shelter Providing Housing Relief for Disaster Victims

Learning from the issues that arose in the aftermath of the Fukushima blast in Japan over one year ago, students at the Architecture School of Bordeaux have developed the Fukushima Emergency Project -- a

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Apple Begins Independent Monitoring of Foxconn and Other Factories in China

Apple Begins Independent Monitoring of Foxconn and Other Factories in China

Apple, the world's most valuable company and hip-technology supplier to the masses, has officially begun an independent monitoring process of the factories where more than 90% of Apple products are made.

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Architecture For Humanity Partners with AIA to Further Disaster Relief Efforts

Architecture For Humanity Partners with AIA to Further Disaster Relief Efforts

If you've ever wanted to get more involved with the good humanitarian work of Architecture For Humanity, there's an even better chance to volunteer now through your local chapters. The American Institute

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Building Trust International Unveils Winning School Design For Child Refugees in Burma

Building Trust International Unveils Winning School Design For Child Refugees in Burma

Through their School 4 Burma competition, Building Trust International aimed to provide a modular educational facility for Burmese child migrants and refugees - and the winners have finally been

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University of Texas Students Integrate Sustainability and Education With Africa’s Promise Village School

University of Texas Students Integrate Sustainability and Education With Africa’s Promise Village School

In the Spring of 2011, graduate students in Professor Garrison's vertical design studio were tasked with the design of a school in rural Tanzania. Seeking sustainable design advice, Dr. Gunn, the

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TYIN Tegnestue Architects Build Beautiful Community Library in Bangkok Using Recycled Materials

TYIN Tegnestue Architects Build Beautiful Community Library in Bangkok Using Recycled Materials

Measuring only 10 feet by 30 feet, The Old Market Library was built in one of Bangkok's poorest areas for only $4,500. Featuring different spaces for different functions, the lower reading room has a

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Klong Toey Community Lantern is a Multi-Use Sustainable Social Center in the Heart of Bangkok

Klong Toey Community Lantern is a Multi-Use Sustainable Social Center in the Heart of Bangkok

Klong Toey (or Khlong Toei) is the largest and oldest area of slum dwellings in Bangkok with more than 140,000 people living in sub-standard housing with little to no rights. With a lack of public

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