social design

Exploring the Sustainable City With Harvard’s Ecological Urbanism iPad App

Exploring the Sustainable City With Harvard’s Ecological Urbanism iPad App

A new free iPad app is taking an iconic vision of sustainable cities and making it accessible to millions of tablet users in an interactive format. The Harvard Graduate School of Design has released an

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Studio H Launches Kickstarter Campaign To Build a Shipping Container Classroom at Berkeley’s REALM Charter School

Studio H Launches Kickstarter Campaign To Build a Shipping Container Classroom at Berkeley’s REALM Charter School

Regular readers of Inhabitat are likely to be familiar with Studio H. The high school design/build curriculum, which was founded by friend of Inhabitat Emily Pilloton, creates large-scale community

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Donate to the Buckminster Fuller Institute and Get a Rare 4D Tower Light Projections Poster!

Donate to the Buckminster Fuller Institute and Get a Rare 4D Tower Light Projections Poster!

The Buckminster Fuller Institute, a non-profit dedicated to accelerating the development and deployment of solutions which radically advance human well being and the health of our planet's ecosystems, is

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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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Nacho Carbonell’s Cocoon Seats Encourage People to Socialize in a Playful Way

Nacho Carbonell’s Cocoon Seats Encourage People to Socialize in a Playful Way

Sitting at the main entrance of Eindhoven’s Katrina Kerk cathedral (chosen because churches are strong symbols of communicating and transmitting messages to millions of people) Carbonell’s social

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How to Survive Hurricane Sandy in NYC

How to Survive Hurricane Sandy in NYC

Hurricane Sandy is barreling up the East Coast towards New York, and those in the path of the storm should brace for the worst. If you live in NYC you probably know that you need to stock up on food and

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Hassell’s Sustainable Common Ground Housing Project Honored at the World Architecture Festival

Hassell’s Sustainable Common Ground Housing Project Honored at the World Architecture Festival

International architecture and planning firm Hassell recently won multiple awards and commendations at the World Architecture Festival in Singapore. One of the projects recognized was Hassell’s Common

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56 Recycled Plastic Bottles Illuminate Liter of Light’s Pavilion at the Shanghai Biennale

56 Recycled Plastic Bottles Illuminate Liter of Light’s Pavilion at the Shanghai Biennale

Although they only work during the day, in poor areas where informal housing lacks the daylighting we take so much for granted or the fuel required to generate energy, these liter of light bulbs are

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San Francisco’s Urban Prototyping Festival Showcases 23 Urban Innovation Projects

San Francisco’s Urban Prototyping Festival Showcases 23 Urban Innovation Projects

UP:SF was the second stop on the tour (the festival has already been to Singapore), and it was presented by Gray Area Foundation for the Arts in partnership with Intersection for the

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Extraordinary ‘Bamboo Stalactites’ Sprout Mushrooms in Liter of Light’s Shanghai Biennale Pavilion!

Extraordinary ‘Bamboo Stalactites’ Sprout Mushrooms in Liter of Light’s Shanghai Biennale Pavilion!

Liter of Light's founder Illac Diaz commissioned Stephen Lamb from Touching the Earth Lightly to design their Shanghai Biennale pavilion, and Lamb in turn teamed up with artist Andrew Lord. Inspired to

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El Dorado brings Socially and Environmentally Sustainable Echo Ridge Community to Topeka, Kansas

El Dorado brings Socially and Environmentally Sustainable Echo Ridge Community to Topeka, Kansas

The Echo Ridge Community Center is a multi-zoned public facility designed to be used by the 30 affordable housing units in the Echo Ridge Development. The building has four zones: Community, Food, Kid and

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Rural Studio’s Lions Park Playscape in Alabama is Made from 2,000 Recycled Steel Drums

Rural Studio’s Lions Park Playscape in Alabama is Made from 2,000 Recycled Steel Drums

The playscape is the fifth phase of Auburn University Rural Studio's effort to revitalize and redevelop Lions Park in Greensboro. The colorful, labyrinthine structure is filled with sound tubes and

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Recycled Materials and Innovative Low-Energy Designs Shine at Paris’ Maison & Objet

Recycled Materials and Innovative Low-Energy Designs Shine at Paris’ Maison & Objet

One of our favorite finds, COLORS' Chiba is a Japanese take on classic Danish LEGO bricks made from recycled coffee beans, tea and wood chips—and it smells great!. Ground coffee was pretty big at

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Lorin Symington Uses Solar Power To Cook Food and Generate Energy for the Developing World

Lorin Symington Uses Solar Power To Cook Food and Generate Energy for the Developing World

Solar thermal devices with complex and beautiful designs like this one are cooking food, drying coffee and generating electricity in developing countries. To avoid the cost of large parabolic mirrors,

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SPAINLAB Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale Celebrates Innovative Approaches to Architecture

SPAINLAB Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale Celebrates Innovative Approaches to Architecture

Untitled by Sancho-Madridejos Architecture Office(SMAO) SMAO’s exhibit revolves around the exhaustive efforts taken by their office to bring a design from concept stage to construction. The

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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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David Chipperfield Masterminds 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale on Topic of ‘Common Ground’

David Chipperfield Masterminds 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale on Topic of ‘Common Ground’

Whether common ground is defined as a foundation for mutual understanding, interest, agreement, relationship or discussion, it can easily be defined by famed British architect David Chipperfield as this

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Lernort Natur: A Living, Growing Garden Center Springs Up at Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport

Lernort Natur: A Living, Growing Garden Center Springs Up at Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport

Lernort Natur offers a variety of outdoor activities, but if the weather's too cold or rainy, a repurposed shipping containers and glass pavilion -- topped by a solar-panels roof -- will kindly shelter

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“I am Kenyan” Photography Project Aims To Promote Peace and Unity During the 2013 Kenyan Elections

“I am Kenyan” Photography Project Aims To Promote Peace and Unity During the 2013 Kenyan Elections

Peace and unity through photography -- that's the idea that the I am Kenyan project aims to promote. Their goal is to avoid similar incidents as those that hit Kenya during the 2007 presidential

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Good Eggs: New Online Hub Connects Locavores and Local Foods

Good Eggs: New Online Hub Connects Locavores and Local Foods

A new online marketplace launched July 26 promises to bring together consumers and providers of local foods worldwide. The site is called Good Eggs, and it provides storefronts and e-commerce capabilities

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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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One-Sqm-House: World’s Smallest House is a Single Square Meter in Size!

One-Sqm-House: World’s Smallest House is a Single Square Meter in Size!

The world's smallest house is finally here. For real. Compared to the One-Sqm-House by Van Bo Le-Metnzel of Hartz IV Möbel, all of the other teeny weeny little dwellings we have featured over the years

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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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Perkins+Will’s LEED Gold College Campus To Help Revitalize Downtown New Haven

Perkins+Will’s LEED Gold College Campus To Help Revitalize Downtown New Haven

As a key element to New Haven Connecticut's Neighborhood Revitalization Campaign, Gateway Community College is getting a new LEED-NC Gold certified campus right in the center of the city. From 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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Bright-Red U-Shaped Salburua Social Housing Sells Excess Energy in Spain

Bright-Red U-Shaped Salburua Social Housing Sells Excess Energy in Spain

This is a mixed-use development that clusters all the services (such as waste and energy generation) in one central space to ensure maximum efficiency. Each apartment is positioned for maximum solar

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Berlin’s Wagendorf Lohmühle is a Hidden Self-Sufficient Caravan Village

Berlin’s Wagendorf Lohmühle is a Hidden Self-Sufficient Caravan Village

Wagendorf Lohmühle's recycled and hand-made mobile shelters use solar panels to transform the sun's energy into free electricity. Some wagons, like this geometrical wooden one, were built on-site from a

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Help Kickstart the Hariyo Chowk Community Garden in Kathmandu, Nepal!

Help Kickstart the Hariyo Chowk Community Garden in Kathmandu, Nepal!

A community in Kathmandu, Nepal, has begun building an urban garden and outdoor art space for public enjoyment and education. The project is a collaboration between CATALiST design, a newly-founded

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