As the founding director of Parsons' Transdisciplinary Design program, Jamer Hunt has been championing the possibilities of a systems-based, postindustrial design approach to social innovation and service design for over a decade. Using New York City as an academic laboratory, students work to, "define the next phase of design practice
A San-Francisco-based company called MycoWorks has made an incredible advance in materials: They can now grow leather from the mycelium in mushrooms, using a process that's renewable, CO2-negative and customizable. That latter part means they can predetermine what the leather looks like--cow, elephant skin, snakeskin--and most intriguingly, can grow it
It may slip our minds from time to time, but the overall objective of design should be to create a better world. Driven by the desire to approach problem solving holistically, eight years ago engineers from Brown University and designers from Rhode Island School of Design formed a partnership and
Sly Lee doesn't just want to save the oceans; through the technology non-profit The Hydrous, he is recruiting an army of citizen scientists from across the globe to join forces with him, collaborating on a mission to revitalize the coral reefs.
"If you design a car," ID professor Bruce Hannah used to tell us at Pratt, "someone will use it to rob a bank." The context: A discussion of how we industrial designers should (or shouldn't) be concerned with how end users might misuse things that we designed.
For her Masters Thesis at the SVA MFA Products of Design program in New York City, Natsuki Hayashi undertook a year-long pursuit to investigate how design could respond and contribute to the increasing legalization of assisted suicide in the United States. In the conversation below, she talks to Allan Chochinov,
It's incredible to think that Gordon Murray, the man who designed this [McLaren F1 photo] has now designed this: [OX photo] That's the OX, a low-cost vehicle designed to be shipped, flatpack-style, and assembled on-site (with tools included in the kit). The target market is the complete opposite of the wealthy McLaren F1 owner;
In space-tight Tokyo, it occasionally happens that a tall building needs to be done away with. Real estate markets shift, local needs change and anti-earthquake building technologies improve, making structures obsolete. But how do you get rid of a 40-story building surrounded by residents? That was the problem faced by
Industrial designers can be petty, and I'm no exception, so I'm always thrilled when an architect defects to our "side." But this one takes the cake. Sustainability-minded Benjamin Uyeda co-founded ZeroEnergy Design, an architecture firm that creates houses that produce more energy than they consume. Homes like that would be
Over the past few months, designers and healthcare providers from around the world have been collaboratively working on reimagining the end of life experience—one of the most critical challenges facing our aging populations. Each year around 55 million people worldwide and over 2.5 million in the United States face
It won't be long before our Cottonelle toilet paper and Bose headphones fall out of the sky and onto our front lawns. But it's heartening to see that, whether out of the developers' philanthropy or being stymied by current FAA regulations, the poor will benefit from the technology first.
While traditional for-profit enterprise is rewarded for investing in visions of the future, social entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders are only rewarded for reacting to problems that already exist. While it is crucial that the social sector continues to react to the problems of today, we must also advocate for an
According to UN Habitat, more than one third of the global urban population lives in informal or unauthorized settlements. The lack in documentation of informal communities leads to unprecedented political, social, and infrastructural challenges. Ahmedabad, the 7th most populated city in India, has the second largest informal population in the
It might not occur to you that a deep-sea fishing trawler can simply dump their old, worn-out fishnets over the side. After all, no one is watching them out there. And as those nets sink, they can continue to trap ocean life and stay on the ocean floor for centuries,
Is there a way to design for death? Through their online open innovation platform, IDEO is extending the question in the OpenIDEO Challenge, asking participants: How might we reimagine the end-of-life experience for ourselves and our loved ones? Aiming to design solutions for the unmet needs of the 40
One day during my recent trip to Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, I got back to my guesthouse, hopped into the shower and I noticed that my face was black—almost entirely covered in dirt. I hadn't done anything extraordinary though, just spent a day walking around the city. Later
The series of violent events that have rocked the United States in just the past few months have exposed deep rifts in our social fabric that are rooted in history, injustice and a sense of isolation. From the mass shootings in Orlando to the targeting of police officers by snipers
Design is about crafting solutions to problems, whatever they may be. It's about more than the aesthetic of homewares and futuristic cars. Design doesn't happen in a bubble, it happens as a response to the events around us. The goal of is always improvement, to create a better future in
Take a look at this picture – what do you see? A bunch of guys standing around a cookstove – fairly unremarkable, right? To me, it's revolutionary. I've spent the last 11 years studying the complexities of developing and distributing clean cookstoves across households living in energy poverty. Three billion
Now in its ninth year, the Buckminster Fuller Institute announced the Semifinalists for the 2016 Fuller Challenge—19 projects that are using design for worldchanging social good. The Fuller Challenge takes inspiration from Bucky, honoring organizations that employ a whole systems approach to solving some of the most challenging of issues—human
Natural experiences, especially in hospital settings, serve as positive emotion boosters. When patients are having fun, it’s easier for them to learn and to heal. But natural materials are dangerous for kids with weak immune systems who can’t be exposed to germs and bacteria. Katie Stoudemire, founder of Wonder Connection, a program with a mission to bring the natural world to pediatric patients, envisioned a product that lets hospitalized kids get their hands dirty. From her work in environment
The SMART Brailler is unique in its multi-function, multi-sensory output using the standard braille keyboard. Fitted with a proprietary electronic device that displays large print, simulated braille images and audio output, the SMART Brailler allows non-braille users to access what is being typed. Because the device is built around a Next Generation Perkins Brailler®, hard copy braille is also generated simultaneously. It not only functions as a mechanical brailler, it allows a student to save a
Throughout the years, as technology and manufacturing bloomed and prospered, mankind's imprint on the planet, similarly, grew exponentially. Initially very little was understood about the adverse effects of pollution and waste, and even as information came to light, it was often met with indifference. Recently though, particularly the last few
A transradial prosthetic arm for the sport of rock climbing. Currently, almost all prosthetics are designed for general use, with a ‘one does all’ outlook. This product aims to turn disability into ability by designing specifically for the task. SCALO is fully mechanical and modular, aiming to be as economical
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