social design

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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An Army of Pseudo Bikes Illuminates the Streets of Madrid

An Army of Pseudo Bikes Illuminates the Streets of Madrid

Not only to the Madrid-based designers have a sense of humor, but they definitely have a thing for nighttime guerrilla art. Armed with a pile of translucent fabric "bicycle seats" that easily slip over

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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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The Vissershok School is a Colorful Shipping Container Classroom for Kids in South Africa

The Vissershok School is a Colorful Shipping Container Classroom for Kids in South Africa

Three South African companies, namely Woolworths, Safmarine, and AfriSam, sponsored the Vissershok Container Classroom project which is a boon for the children of farm workers living in the impoverished

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Simple Wheelchairs Made From Reused Plastic Chairs Help Injured People in Rwanda

Simple Wheelchairs Made From Reused Plastic Chairs Help Injured People in Rwanda

In order to make wheelchairs more accessible to people in developing countries, two designers are revamping common plastic chairs with a little bit of creative common sense. By affixing the widely

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Arnold Schwarzenegger & Project Green Light Launch “Sustainia” to Inspire Sustainable Living

Arnold Schwarzenegger & Project Green Light Launch “Sustainia” to Inspire Sustainable Living

Sustainia, an ambitious initiative by Project Green Light to present a virtual realization of a truly sustainable world, was launched March 7 at the University of Geneva by Arnold Schwarzenegger and

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French Vending Machine Dispenses Fresh Local Milk 24 Hours a Day

French Vending Machine Dispenses Fresh Local Milk 24 Hours a Day

Imagine being able to pick up fresh, locally produced milk right from a vending machine? Well that's exactly how some farmers in south-west France will be selling their milk going forward. Dairy farmer

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Paul Elkin’s Mobile Homeless Shelter Is a Refuge Packed with Sustainable Features

Paul Elkin’s Mobile Homeless Shelter Is a Refuge Packed with Sustainable Features

Designing a shelter to meet the diverse needs of the homeless population is a challenge, but Paul Elkin's fantastic concept makes due as both a mobile home and a store packed with goods to help support

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Go Halfsies: Fight Obesity by Giving Half of Your Food to Those Who Need It

Go Halfsies: Fight Obesity by Giving Half of Your Food to Those Who Need It

Go Halfsies is a brilliant social initiative in Texas that solves the tripartite problem of obesity, food waste, and hunger in one fell swoop. When diners visit participating restaurants in Austin, they

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Cradle is a Flat Pack Chair Designed Specifically for Autistic People

Cradle is a Flat Pack Chair Designed Specifically for Autistic People

The thoughtfully designed Cradle is a sustainable rocking chair created by a collaborative effort to aid people with autism and Rhythmic Movement Disorder (RMD). Developed by Richard Clarkson, Grace

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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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Sustainable Products at Tokyo Design Week Bring Aid to Regions Affected By the Earthquake

Sustainable Products at Tokyo Design Week Bring Aid to Regions Affected By the Earthquake

The well-crafted space where Tohoku for the Future presented the products developed in the region. The invited visitors to walk around and discover these collaborations between artisans and designers.

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Geothermally-Heated Thomas Eco House in Washington State is Also Wired for Solar

Geothermally-Heated Thomas Eco House in Washington State is Also Wired for Solar

Located on an 11 acre site in Stanwood, Washington with views of the iconic Mt. Rainier, this striking family home has achieved the ultimate in energy efficiency with high and low technology, and good old

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EcoAfrica Transforms T-Shirt Clippings and Weeds Into Amazing Handmade Paper Crafts

EcoAfrica Transforms T-Shirt Clippings and Weeds Into Amazing Handmade Paper Crafts

When Janice went on holiday to Zimbabwe in 2008, she discovered handmade paper products with texture and colors she had never seen before. She immediately contacted their maker, Walter Ruprecht, who had

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