As far as we're concerned, BioLite has got the best products on the market for turning firewood into energy. That's why we gave their BaseCamp stove a Core77 Design Award last year. BioLite's cooking stoves improve combustion efficiency, reduce smoke and generate electricity, a triple win. Now a sort
Lots of designers want to change the world. Buckminster Fuller did, at least representationally, by conceiving of the following image: Might've taken your brain a second to recognize that particular chain of islands. Fuller's Dymaxion Air-Ocean World, as he called it, presented the world from a different perspective. Rather than
Imagine the moment a baby is born. In a complications-free birth, the infant is delivered to the safety of its mother's arms where it feels the mother's heartbeat, rises and falls with the mother's breath, snuggles into and smells the mother's skin, and hears the mother's voice. Several medical studies
After missing her train and showing up fashionably late, Youtube sensation and self proclaimed robotics comedian Simone Giertz recently spoke to students at Brown University about the importance of building useless things. Held by Brown's Humanity Centered Robotics Initiative, Simone's lecture spoke in a humorous way to the initiative's goal
After months of the top 19 full-system design project entries competing head to head for victory, the 2016 Buckminster Fuller Challenge has officially come to a close. Finalists proposed thoughtful projects ranging from solutions to over populated cemeteries to better designs for harvesting water—it's a wonder the panelists could come to a final decision.
This month we're reporting from Indonesia, a country in Southeast Asia comprised of thousands of tiny islands. Of these islands, the beauty of Bali is legendary but as we found out when we arrived, it shares at least one thing in common with other island destinations—an enormous amount of waste
A pregnant acquaintance of mine related the following story, about how "Grandmas of Harlem continue to come to my rescue." As she boarded a bus, "This grandmother, sitting in an interior seat of the bus, saw me and flagged me over. The young man sitting next to
Remember our discussion on one-handed cutting boards awhile back? Well one student has a new solution, and it's already earned him IKEA's attention… and a James Dyson Award! Loren Lim, an Industrial Design student at the National University of Singapore, has isolated several types of kitchen discomfort that people experience
This past weekend over 700 people gathered in Providence, Rhode Island for Better World by Design. In it's ninth year, the conference held between adjacent college campuses Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University, brings creators, innovators and professionals of all types together for a three day long gathering
Designers and consumers have an urgent challenge to confront in the current discussion around sustainability. How can we distinguish between goods which seem eco-friendly, but actually contribute to a culture of waste, and those that are truly green? Designer Danielle Trofe had to challenge herself to look at every aspect
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,
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