social design

The Biomimicry Manual: What Can Super-Organisms Teach Us About Collaboration?

The Biomimicry Manual: What Can Super-Organisms Teach Us About Collaboration?

  When I think of monkeys, I don’t think of them living in the desert, namely because primates love trees, water, big juicy leaves, and fruit. In fact, only two primates have even

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Disposable Toilet Can Help Grow Crops in Developing Nations

Disposable Toilet Can Help Grow Crops in Developing Nations

It's hard to imagine something as filthy as a toilet being used to grow food. Yet that's exactly what one Swedish architect hopes to do in the developing world. Anders Wilhelmson is working on the Peepoo,

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SXSW Eco Announces Winners of the 2014 Place by Design Competition

SXSW Eco Announces Winners of the 2014 Place by Design Competition

Rather than pick one overall winner, SXSW Eco selects three winners for the categories of Community Impact, Global Potential, and Transformative Design. Libros Libres, a literary and community design

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Meet Nixie, the World’s First Wearable Drone

Meet Nixie, the World’s First Wearable Drone

The selfie just went airborne thanks to Nixie, a drone you can wear on your wrist like a watch! According to the inventor, with just a simple gesture, the drone takes off, turns its camera to you to snap

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ADJKM Unveils Updated Designs for Venezuela’s Simon Bolivar Complex for Social Action Through Music

ADJKM Unveils Updated Designs for Venezuela’s Simon Bolivar Complex for Social Action Through Music

Located near the northern boundary of Los Caobos Park in the cultural heart of Caracas, the complex will empower the city's disadvantaged youth through musical training. ADJKM Arquitectos divided the

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BFI Announces Seven Pioneering Finalists for the 2014 Buckminster Fuller Challenge

BFI Announces Seven Pioneering Finalists for the 2014 Buckminster Fuller Challenge

The Force Majeure The Force Majeure is a large-scale, holistic response to global warming and accelerated resource exploitation. Created by world-renowned artists Helen and Newton Harrison, the project

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20 World-Changing Semifinalists Announced for the 2014 Buckminster Fuller Challenge!

20 World-Changing Semifinalists Announced for the 2014 Buckminster Fuller Challenge!

Algal Turf Scrubbing After spending years studying natural solar bio-energy in Caribbean coral reefs, Walter H. Adey, PhD. developed Algal Turf Scrubber, a biomimetic system that generates a fast-growing

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8 Ton Volkswagon Beetle Sculpture Joins 400 Other Objects in an Artificial Reef in Mexico

8 Ton Volkswagon Beetle Sculpture Joins 400 Other Objects in an Artificial Reef in Mexico

Although typically associated with the more benign variety of consumer, the Beetle is nonetheless a popular icon that evokes memories of our rapid commercial development. Called Anthropocene, the 8 ton

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Your Future Smartphone May be Charged by Sound

Your Future Smartphone May be Charged by Sound

Imagine walking down Fifth Avenue in the heart of Manhattan while the sounds of the city surround you: the cabbie is honking his horn, the store owner is blasting music, and construction workers are

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Fuel-Saving Wonderbags Keep Cooking Food Long After You Turn Off the Heat

Fuel-Saving Wonderbags Keep Cooking Food Long After You Turn Off the Heat

So how does the Wonderbag work? It couldn't be more simple. Users simply put their pot of food on the stove - it can be a stew, rice, maize meal, or other staples. Once it has been brought to a boil, the

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Camper Kart is a Tiny Home That Pops Out of a Shopping Cart

Camper Kart is a Tiny Home That Pops Out of a Shopping Cart

Kevin Cyr recognizes that although some people choose to construct tiny houses out of a deep love for the environment, hundreds of thousands of people around the world don't have the resources to build

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Housetrike Bike Camper is a Tiny Shelter on Wheels That Empowers the Homeless

Housetrike Bike Camper is a Tiny Shelter on Wheels That Empowers the Homeless

The Housetrike is essentially a bike equipped with a small front-loaded camper that slides open and serves as a warm and comfortable bed for one person. The camper is a sliding box that opens to almost

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Solar-Powered OnTop House Can be Added to the Top of Almost Any Urban Home

Solar-Powered OnTop House Can be Added to the Top of Almost Any Urban Home

The team from University of Applied Sciences Frankfurt am Main took a unique approach to this year’s Solar Decathlon by trying to solve urban housing issues. OnTop is a modular unit that can be

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World’s First Mosquito-Repelling Newspaper Boosts Print Sales 30% in Sri Lanka

World’s First Mosquito-Repelling Newspaper Boosts Print Sales 30% in Sri Lanka

A Sri Lankan newspaper may have just found a a way to sustain the struggling print business - and it's helping to stop the spread of mosquito-borne diseases at the same time. Mawbina newspaper teamed up

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Which U.S. Cities Have the Best Quality of Life?

Which U.S. Cities Have the Best Quality of Life?

Nonprofit initiative Data Driven Detroit (D3) recently released its latest One D Scorecard. The addictively interactive online scorecard charts and compares various indicators of quality of life in 54

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Lebanese Students Build an Emergency Shelter Out of Plastic Crates

Lebanese Students Build an Emergency Shelter Out of Plastic Crates

Third year architecture students at the Lebanese American University were to build temporary structures for an assignment conceptualized by their instructor Richard Douzjian. These were supposed to be

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Giuliana Gentile’s Adorable Richie the Hedgehog Brush Helps Children in Need

Giuliana Gentile’s Adorable Richie the Hedgehog Brush Helps Children in Need

This adorable hedgehog hairbrush is not just a clever piece of design - it was created to help a humanitarian cause. Giuliana Gentile designed her Richie the Hedgehog Brush to help raise funds for

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Socially-Minded PUBLIC Journal Brings Big Voice to Public Interest Design Movement

Socially-Minded PUBLIC Journal Brings Big Voice to Public Interest Design Movement

Inhabitat’s very own design writer Andrew Goodwin launched a new socially-responsible journal this month with his partner Matthew Linden. After a year of planning, the pair debuted PUBLIC Journal - a

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Affordable Housing in America Finally Catches up with Europe

Affordable Housing in America Finally Catches up with Europe

The categories of the program included: Excellence in Affordable Housing Design, Creating Community Connection Award, Community-Informed Design Award and Housing Accessibility – Alan J. Rothman Award.

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Students Build $150 Braille Robot to Help Combat Illiteracy Among India’s Visually Impaired

Students Build $150 Braille Robot to Help Combat Illiteracy Among India’s Visually Impaired

Two 20-year old students in India are working on a device that will help combat illiteracy among the visually impaired on the Indian subcontinent. Spotted over at Fast Co.Design, Project Mudra is an

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Guedes Cruz’ Social Complex in Alcabideche is a Comforting Green Haven for Seniors

Guedes Cruz’ Social Complex in Alcabideche is a Comforting Green Haven for Seniors

The Social Complex in Alcabideche is comprised of 52 houses and a support building spread over a well-planned 10,000 square meter site. Guedes Cruz Arquitectos write that “Portugal is not a

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Makkink & Bey Builds Bizarre Cheese Maker Tower With Recycled Kitchen Materials to Empower Indian Women and Children

Makkink & Bey Builds Bizarre Cheese Maker Tower With Recycled Kitchen Materials to Empower Indian Women and Children

Dutch studio Makkink & Bey created a weird and wonderful Cheese Maker in close collaboration with craftsmen from India. The new imperfect design was inspired by a mix of Dutch cheese making and

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Tiny Bamboo Shelters in Abandoned Factories May Provide Relief to Homeless in Hong Kong

Tiny Bamboo Shelters in Abandoned Factories May Provide Relief to Homeless in Hong Kong

Hong Kong has earned the dubious distinction of being the world's most unaffordable major city, in large part due to its housing shortage. AFFECT-T's Bamboo Micro-housing project proposes an inexpensive

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Pedal-Powered GiraDora Washer Needs No Electricity and Costs Only $40

Pedal-Powered GiraDora Washer Needs No Electricity and Costs Only $40

In developing countries that lack electricity or the funds to buy expensive machines, taking care of laundry the old-fashioned way requires an enormous amount of time and effort.  That's why Alex Cabunoc

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Self-Cleaning ‘Cyclean’ Handle Could Drastically Reduce the Ick Factor of Public Trains and Buses

Self-Cleaning ‘Cyclean’ Handle Could Drastically Reduce the Ick Factor of Public Trains and Buses

Throngs of people use public transportation every day in urban centers, and touching the handles or straps on buses and trains can expose you to a myriad of germs. To combat this problem, a group of young

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INFOGRAPHIC: How to Create Community Through Quality Public Spaces

INFOGRAPHIC: How to Create Community Through Quality Public Spaces

Here at Inhabitat we often focus on specific buildings - but the urban fabric that connects people and places is equally important. Well thought-out public spaces can create a sense of community, raise

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“A Liter of Light” Aims to Illuminate 1 Million Homes With Plastic Solar Bottle Bulbs

“A Liter of Light” Aims to Illuminate 1 Million Homes With Plastic Solar Bottle Bulbs

Just one project under the My Shelter Foundation's good deeds, A Liter of Light uses simple technology originally conceived by Alfredo Moser from Brazil and modified by MIT students for the Philippines to

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Buy One of These Fabulous ‘Stax’ Shelves on Kickstarter to Help Support Studio H’s Eighth Graders!

Buy One of These Fabulous ‘Stax’ Shelves on Kickstarter to Help Support Studio H’s Eighth Graders!

An initiative of the nonprofit Project H Design, Studio H is a design/build class for middle and high school students based in the Realm Charter School in Berkeley, CA. Studio H students are given the

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Portable BRCK Router Could Revolutionize Internet Connectivity in Africa

Portable BRCK Router Could Revolutionize Internet Connectivity in Africa

At the recent Design Indaba conference in Cape Town, Kenyan technology firm Ushahidi unveiled a lightweight and portable internet router designed to work anywhere in the world - even in places with

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The Biomimicry Manual: What Can Crows Teach Us About The Sharing Economy?

The Biomimicry Manual: What Can Crows Teach Us About The Sharing Economy?

Mother Nature doesn’t give her information for free. Her minions cloud their enemies’ judgement with devilish deception, and make plain the truth for their friends. Birds flock and fish school,

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