social design

PHOTOS: Inhabitat Celebrates PARK(ing) Day Coast to Coast!

PHOTOS: Inhabitat Celebrates PARK(ing) Day Coast to Coast!

Inhabitants Mike Chino, Diane Pham, Philip Proefrock, and Lea Bogden happily spent part of their Fridays pedaling around their cities looking for these impromptu green spaces. Definitely a day of

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Old Cigarette Vending Machines Repurposed to Dispense Books

Old Cigarette Vending Machines Repurposed to Dispense Books

German publishing company Hamburger Automatenverlag found a brilliant new use for old cigarette vending machines — instead of icky cigarettes, the re-purposed “machines” carry a series

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Green-Walled Living Pavilion Garden Sprouts on Governors Island

Green-Walled Living Pavilion Garden Sprouts on Governors Island

This past April we got excited for this year's FIGMENT Festival after taking a sneak peek at the design drawings and plans for the event's Living Pavilion. Now that the annual festival has come and gone,

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VIDEO: Architecture for Humanity is Helping Haiti Rebuild

VIDEO: Architecture for Humanity is Helping Haiti Rebuild

Architecture for Humanity is network of over 40,000 design professionals around the world who donate their services to helping to improve lives of people in need. Every year they build buildings and

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Africa’s Largest Slum Will Watch World Cup on Solar-Powered TV

Africa’s Largest Slum Will Watch World Cup on Solar-Powered TV

Swiss not-for-profit Solafrica has provided a portable solar power station that runs a large donated TV where residents of Kibera, Africa's largest slum, can gather to watch the World Cup.

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Mobile Smart Cart Farms Bring Urban Agriculture to Chicago Residents

Mobile Smart Cart Farms Bring Urban Agriculture to Chicago Residents

Photo by Mason Pritchett Fresh food is on the move and may be coming to a neighborhood near you – if you live in Chicago. Our friends at The Architects Newspaper tipped us off to Archeworks latest

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Seed-Sprouting Flower Grenades Explode in the UK

Seed-Sprouting Flower Grenades Explode in the UK

The typical seed bomb explodes in slow motion -- the ball of compost, mud, and seeds dissolves as the plants sprout and colonize the bomb site. These flower grenades from suckUK explode very literally.

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DIY Kite Photographs the Gulf Oil Spill to Map its True Size

DIY Kite Photographs the Gulf Oil Spill to Map its True Size

The news media has been snapping photos of the destruction that the oil spill is causing as it floats toward shore, but recently the government and BP have been restricting aerial photographs of the spill

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World Cup 2010: South Africa’s Top 5 Stunning Green Stadiums

World Cup 2010: South Africa’s Top 5 Stunning Green Stadiums

At number five is the elegant Green Point Stadium. Since it is situated at the foot of Signal Hill between downtown Cape Town and the Sea Point neighborhood, the high-profile location demanded a very

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The 2010 Buckminster Fuller Institute 2010 Challenge Winner!

The 2010 Buckminster Fuller Institute 2010 Challenge Winner!

Buckminster Fuller was an amazing visionary of a man: architect, engineer and one of the first true “green designers” of the modern era, so it should come as no surprise that we’re big

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Buy It Now! Project H’s Design Revolution Road Show Airstream

Buy It Now! Project H’s Design Revolution Road Show Airstream

Project H's Design Revolution Road Show Airstream trailer is now up for auction on eBay! The shiny silver rig just finished its 9,500-mile, 36-city trek across the country promoting humanitarian product

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Brilliant Favela Paintings Energize Neighborhoods!

Brilliant Favela Paintings Energize Neighborhoods!

Check out these cheerful candy-colored buildings! Murals are a fantastic way to sugar-coat concrete and brighten up otherwise drab buildings. Artists Haas and Hahn have adorned several concrete

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Project H Design Launches Education Initiative, Watch Them in Action!

Project H Design Launches Education Initiative, Watch Them in Action!

One our favorite design organizations Project H just launched their latest initiative which focuses on transforming the educational landscape through design. An organization founded by former Inhabitat

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First Seedbomb Vending Machine Lands in San Francisco!

First Seedbomb Vending Machine Lands in San Francisco!

Guerrilla gardeners in San Francisco have some new ammunition with the recent installation of the city's first seedbomb vending machine! Designed by L.A.'s Common Studio, the re-purposed gum-ball machine

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TOMS for Charity: Water Limited-Edition Shoes Provide Clean Water

TOMS for Charity: Water Limited-Edition Shoes Provide Clean Water

In need of some funky new footwear to make the best of the endless amounts of summer fun you’ll be having in just a few weeks? If you answered 'yes', you'll definitely want to get your hands on a pair

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THE GUYANA PROJECT: Students Turn South American Rainforest into Design Studio!

THE GUYANA PROJECT: Students Turn South American Rainforest into Design Studio!

The lucky group of graduate students constructed their projects in the Liana Cane factory, an ethical working environment using only renewable, non-timber rainforest materials. Liane Cane's owner, Jocelyn

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Persian Gulf Harnessing Microbes to Transform Desert into Farmland

Persian Gulf Harnessing Microbes to Transform Desert into Farmland

The United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait are in the midst of a massive project to re-landscape their deserts and transform them into fertile farmland, providing food security for their future. The

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5 Social Smartphone Apps That Can Save the World

5 Social Smartphone Apps That Can Save the World

Apps, apps, apps! Smartphone apps are getting a lot of attention these days and for good reason: new, innovative applications are allowing us to make connections between the virtual and physical worlds

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San Francisco Launches First Crowd-Sourced Tree Census

San Francisco Launches First Crowd-Sourced Tree Census

Last week the city of San Francisco announced the first-ever tree census. Joined by the California Department of Forestry and the local nonprofit Friends of the Urban Forest, the city unveiled Urban

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BOOM! A Political Statement in the Form of Chocolate

BOOM! A Political Statement in the Form of Chocolate

Mexico is one of the largest producers of cacao in the world, cultivating this ancient currency for over three millennia. But while it’s the birthplace of chocolate, any production of this lucrative

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Electronic Nose Can Detect Asthma in Patients

Electronic Nose Can Detect Asthma in Patients

The trend in medicine is to rely on technology in order to make procedures easier, more reliable and less invasive for patients. To that end, researchers have been trying to create an electronic nose to

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British Supermarket Installs Bee Hotels

British Supermarket Installs Bee Hotels

Everyone wants to help save the bees –  even British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s, who will be installing eight bee “hotels” on the land around its Gloucestershire supermarket.

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Scientists Grow Human Bones from Liposuctioned Fat

Scientists Grow Human Bones from Liposuctioned Fat

Growing plants can be tricky enough, but growing bones seems altogether impossible. Yet that's exactly what scientists at Columbia University recently accomplished. A group led by Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic

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Pre-Packaged Vertical Gardens Give a Green Glow to Urban Spaces

Pre-Packaged Vertical Gardens Give a Green Glow to Urban Spaces

We live in a world where pre-packaged items have begun blur the lines between what is natural and what is not. So why should our outdoor gardens be any different? Taking note of the lack of green spaces

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New Tsunami Generator Can Help Designers Create Wave-Proof Buildings

New Tsunami Generator Can Help Designers Create Wave-Proof Buildings

The recent earthquakes and tsunamis sparked a slew of research into designing disaster-proof infrastructure. The latest tech to boost scientists' understanding how these disasters work is a

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Modular Neuroid: A Personal Pollutant Sensor

Modular Neuroid: A Personal Pollutant Sensor

What if your five senses included the ability to detect carbon monoxide, methane gas and smoke? What if you could record and upload your exposure to these elements to a network of other users? What if

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Greenaid Installs Seedbomb Vending Machines to Beautify Our Cities

Greenaid Installs Seedbomb Vending Machines to Beautify Our Cities

Inhabitat reader dnl.phillips tells us about his Greenaid project, which installs “Seedbomb” vending machines in urban spaces to enable average city dwellers to become modern day Johnny Appleseeds. By

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New Video Game Teaches Cambodian Kids How to Avoid Real Land Mines

New Video Game Teaches Cambodian Kids How to Avoid Real Land Mines

Instead of showing kids how to kill, a new video game instructs them on how to stay alive. A group of students and their professor at Michigan State University recently launched a video game that aims to

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Beautiful Bamboo Flow Lights are Powered by the Wind!

Beautiful Bamboo Flow Lights are Powered by the Wind!

How do you create effective lighting when there’s no way to get to the grid? Leave it to a couple of ingenious designers to come up with a beautiful and self-sufficient bamboo lighting system! Designed

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