humanitarian design

South Africa’s Mankgaile Primary School Doubles as a Thriving Community Center

South Africa’s Mankgaile Primary School Doubles as a Thriving Community Center

The project was sponsored by PetroSA and now is the commanding focal point for the village in the Limpopo province. Replacing a set of basic and dilapidated buildings, the school is now an organized,

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Modular Cardboard Bed Provides Solutions for Emergency Housing

Modular Cardboard Bed Provides Solutions for Emergency Housing

The bed is formed from modular cardboard boxes folded together and then laid side by side. To make the box, two intersecting cardboard strips fold together to form an accordion support system. Then a

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MIT’s $1000 House Challenge Inspires Groundbreaking Designs

MIT’s $1000 House Challenge Inspires Groundbreaking Designs

Chui’s design is a series of repeated L-shaped walls made from earth blocks which are capped with a bamboo and corrugated roof. Each wall section is set 90 degrees from each other to create multiple

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Zambikes: Bamboo Bikes That Help Fight Poverty & Save Lives in Africa

Zambikes: Bamboo Bikes That Help Fight Poverty & Save Lives in Africa

Customized fixies may be all the rage in urban America nowadays, but even the simplest, cheapest bike is a rare sight in rural Africa. Fortunately, the bamboo from which to craft bikes grows on trees –

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7 Designs That Can Improve Your Health

7 Designs That Can Improve Your Health

Here at Inhabitat we believe that good design can save the world - and that includes everything from the environment we live in to personal health. In fact, our favorite designs are those that balance

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Containers To Clinics Provides Critical Medical Care in Haiti

Containers To Clinics Provides Critical Medical Care in Haiti

The containers are more complex than one would guess after a first glance. C2C partnered with Anshen + Allen Architects and Stack Design Build to design and build a prototype, and the team has

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Gigantic Water Harvesting Skyscrapers Could Solve Sudan’s Drought

Gigantic Water Harvesting Skyscrapers Could Solve Sudan’s Drought

Darfur's underground lake covers a distance of 19,110 square miles and has the potential to restore peace to a region ravaged by drought, however providing access to all that water has proven difficult.

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Solar-Powered Split Bathhouses Provide Sanitation for 700 Children in Gansu Province

Solar-Powered Split Bathhouses Provide Sanitation for 700 Children in Gansu Province

The bathhouse is composed of two rectangular buildings connected via a breezeway in the center. This public central space is covered in translucent panels and acts like a greenhouse, while doors on either

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Molo Employee Tests Indoor Emergency Softshelter Made From Expandable Paper

Molo Employee Tests Indoor Emergency Softshelter Made From Expandable Paper

Molo's Softshelter solution is made up of its expandable, accordion style paper room dividers, which it has been selling for many years. The walls are made from 100% recyclable paper with magnetic door

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Simulation Shows Towing an Entire Iceberg to Drought-Stricken Areas is Feasible

Simulation Shows Towing an Entire Iceberg to Drought-Stricken Areas is Feasible

In the 1970's, Georges Mougin was laughed at when he suggested that we should start towing icebergs from the polar ice caps to drought-ridden communities around the world to provide sources of fresh

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Hug It Forward’s New House Made of Plastic Bottles Clears Another Community of Trash

Hug It Forward’s New House Made of Plastic Bottles Clears Another Community of Trash

Hug It Forward brings communities together with a worthwhile goal: to get the project done "as one". It's an inspiring self and community empowering initiative that also has certain environmental

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Backpacks for Kids Get Your Child (and a Child in Need) Ready for School

Backpacks for Kids Get Your Child (and a Child in Need) Ready for School

It's already time to start gearing up for the new school year, and while pencils and pads are on the top of our to-buy list, we've also been on the hunt for right pack to put all these new supplies into.

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MIT Students Install 10,000 Revolutionary Solar Bottle Lamps in Manila Slums

MIT Students Install 10,000 Revolutionary Solar Bottle Lamps in Manila Slums

Currently, millions of Filipinos live without any kind of light source at all, but a band of resourceful MIT students have begun changing that. The students found that a one liter plastic bottle filled

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Japanese Students Build a Pavilion from Thousands of Fish to Support Tsunami Reconstruction Efforts

Japanese Students Build a Pavilion from Thousands of Fish to Support Tsunami Reconstruction Efforts

Like many cities along the eastern seaboard of Japan affected by the tsunami, Kesennuma is struggling. While there are lots of fish still out swimming in the ocean waiting to be caught, the town's

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TOMS and The Row Collaborate on Limited Edition Cashmere and Italian Wool Shoes

TOMS and The Row Collaborate on Limited Edition Cashmere and Italian Wool Shoes

TOMS is venturing out from their comfy canvas haven and teaming up with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's The Row to create a new line of luxury footwear. While keeping with the classic TOMS' aesthetic, the

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Shipping Container Learning Center Lands In Australian Aboriginal Community

Shipping Container Learning Center Lands In Australian Aboriginal Community

The student project was completed through a design/build course at the university as part of the Bower Studio, a program that works with indigenous communities to build the infrastructure. Over their

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Please Help Us Reach Our Goal of Donating $10,000 to Rebuild Japan!

Please Help Us Reach Our Goal of Donating $10,000 to Rebuild Japan!

YOUR CLICK COULD BE THE ONE THAT GETS US $10,000 TO REBUILD JAPAN! If you've been wanting to do something to help the thousands of victims of the natural disasters that tore through Japan a few months

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Chulha Stove Could Help Stop 1.6 Million Smoke Inhalation Deaths

Chulha Stove Could Help Stop 1.6 Million Smoke Inhalation Deaths

The Chulha is a low-tech stove for healthy indoor cooking designed through Phillip's Philanthropy By Design program. The stove has undergone many iterations since the project began and the project has

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The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Plans to Make a Waterless, More Sanitary Toilet

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Plans to Make a Waterless, More Sanitary Toilet

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is looking to reinvent the classic commode. Two and a half billion people in the world -- about 40% of the population -- don't have access to a safe and sanitary way

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SODIS: PET Bottles Can Serve as Cheap Solar Water Disinfection Systems

SODIS: PET Bottles Can Serve as Cheap Solar Water Disinfection Systems

1.2 billion people worldwide lack access to a clean water supply, and nearly 2 million children die each year just from diarrhea (which is often water-borne). SODIS solar water disinfection systems offer

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REBUILDING JAPAN: Architecture for Humanity Raises Hikado Marketplace from Tsunami Rubble

REBUILDING JAPAN: Architecture for Humanity Raises Hikado Marketplace from Tsunami Rubble

It's only been 3 months since a devastating earthquake and tsunami ripped through Japan, but the horrifying images have already begun to fade from the news and the public's mind - a situation that

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Japanese Robo-Suit Enables Paralyzed Man to Visit France

Japanese Robo-Suit Enables Paralyzed Man to Visit France

A 49-year-old Japanese man who has been paralyzed for 28 years since he was involved in a car accident is set to embark on a trip to France with the aid of this super high-tech robotic suit. The

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Haiti Simbi Hubs by Aditya Aachi Wins 2011 Foster + Partners Prize

Haiti Simbi Hubs by Aditya Aachi Wins 2011 Foster + Partners Prize

Each of the hubs scattered throughout Port-au-Prince have a series of facilities that ensure high sanitation standards even during natural disasters. Each facility provides space for hand and foot

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MIT Fab Lab Helping Villagers Build DIY Wireless Internet Networks With Found Materials

MIT Fab Lab Helping Villagers Build DIY Wireless Internet Networks With Found Materials

Here's an incredible story about upcycling and human ingenuity to brighten your weekend: the MIT Fab Lab is teaching people in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Kenya how to make their own DIY wireless internet

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Rice University Uses Graphite to Make Water Filtering “Super-Sand”

Rice University Uses Graphite to Make Water Filtering “Super-Sand”

Having clean water is a luxury that's only available to a portion of the global population - approximately one in eight people lack access to safe water supplies, and 3.575 million people die each year

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Pure Air: Prius Solar Power Ventilation System Modified to Clean Air in Huts

Pure Air: Prius Solar Power Ventilation System Modified to Clean Air in Huts

Witmer's inspiration from the idea came from his many camping trips where he cooks over open fires. Even though he cooks outdoors, the smoke from the fire still burns his eyes and irritates his lungs,

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Rapid Prototyping Brings ‘Ideas for Good’ to Life at CMU

Rapid Prototyping Brings ‘Ideas for Good’ to Life at CMU

Toyota's Ideas for Good challenge began just seven months ago when the company opened up five of its most innovative technologies and asked people to come up with ways they could be used outside of cars.

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Moonlight Solar Night Lights Eliminate Dangerous Kerosene Lamps In Cambodia

Moonlight Solar Night Lights Eliminate Dangerous Kerosene Lamps In Cambodia

As Mathieu Young was traveling around Cambodia he met two employees of KamWorks by accident outside a guesthouse one night, who introduced them to their work and the Moonlight. Young was able to visit

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Fábrica Social Helps Indigenous Mexican Women Preserve & Promote Their Crafts

Fábrica Social Helps Indigenous Mexican Women Preserve & Promote Their Crafts

Fábrica Social (social factory) is a Mexican non-profit NGO focused on promoting creative and economic liberty for female textile artisans through the development of sustainable co-ops. Founded in 2006

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Design Collective Suhab Works With Mexican Artisans to Promote Sustainable Living

Design Collective Suhab Works With Mexican Artisans to Promote Sustainable Living

Suhab’s broad range of eco-products are helping users shift easily towards sustainable habits through smart and sexy products with minimum environmental impact. The Mexican brand describes their work as

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