The clichéd gifts for Valentine's Day are always flowers and chocolates, but things have been changing in this holiday business for a while now (Galentine's Day, for example). This year, enter Racket—a grassroots organization aimed at de-shaming menstruation and providing hygiene products to women in need, have written, produced, and
Last week, the head of BlackRock, one of the biggest investment companies in the world, sent a letter to the CEOs of each of the companies in which his own $6 trillion company invests: "Consider the social implications of your business," he said. From now on, BlackRock will be evaluating
Following this gift-giving season, many of us probably have a boatload of cardboard shipping boxes lying around. Instead of breaking them down and tossing them into the recycling, there's an easy way for you to put them to good use. An organization called Give Back Box works together with charities
The Hudson River Greenway, a two-lane bicycle and jogging path along Manhattan's West Side Highway, is one of the best places to cycle in the city, providing car-free cruising and a pleasant breeze off of the Hudson River. It's also the site where terrorist Sayfullo Saipov killed eight people and
For anyone who has experienced it firsthand, a visit to the gynecologist can easily be a dreaded one. Some purport the experience to be so awkward, they skip the opportunity to visit a doctor entirely, which can be seriously detrimental to a woman's overall health. Last week designers at frog
In this tutorial, I'll show you how to make a variety of useful zippered gear bags that are incredibly tough, lightweight and waterproof. This tutorial is intended for someone like me: familiar with rapid prototyping tools like 3d printers and laser cutters, reasonably competent with hand tools, but pretty clueless
Rapid prototyping is a core human-centered design skill. Design that Matters uses prototypes to better communicate with stakeholders across languages and cultures, quickly testing assumptions to efficiently converge on a final solution. This essay includes six examples of insights we gained using prototypes and how we taught these methods to our social enterprise partner, MTTS.
On Wednesday, Earther.com ran an article pointing out that with its power grid mostly destroyed, Puerto Rico has "an opportunity to completely transform the way electricity is generated [locally]." It described a local woman who had solar panels on her roof, granting her with electricity, unlike most of her neighbors
As designers, we naturally think of what systems could be devised to prevent tragedies like the mass shooting in Vegas. Realistically it would require a cocktail of procedures well beyond the scope of mere design, but let's go through some ideas here, some supplied by readers, as a mental exercise.
Google just announced their new Google Pixel Buds, which are way more exciting than they appear. About halfway through Google's product presentation, it was revealed that the buds are live-translating, meaning they allow seamless face-to-face communication between people that speak different languages. The presentation is the only demonstration out at
Humans will always invent mechanical contrivances that help them solve particular problems. By shaping materials and assembling parts in novel ways, these contrivances increased efficiency, whether they're eggbeaters, deli slicers or something more nefarious. Here we're going to look at the bump stock, which Stephen Paddock used to murder 58
As authorities search to find a motive behind Sunday's horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas, others are re-examining security measures. The police now state that 23 firearms were found in Stephen Paddock's suite, and it seems incredible that he was able to transport that amount of guns and hundreds of
There are things that we design to keep us safe from those who would do us harm: Pylons and cordons, bulletproof vests, security checkpoints, facial recognition software, personal firearms, criminal databases. But the tactics used by last night's mass killer in Las Vegas defied all of them. At 10:08pm
Engineer Nigel Gifford, who has completed over 1,000 parachute jumps, had a job you've probably never heard of: As a Captain in the British Army Catering Corps, his job was to feed soldiers in hostile environments. Given his specialty, after retirement he was approached by the British military and asked
Delivering crucial supplies to people on the ground is a logistics problem faced by both military and humanitarian organizations. One way to do it is via air drops, and we showed you some awesome footage of that here. But "The biggest problem we have with dropping relief supplies is, they
Here's your chance to contribute to a Kickstarter where you can not only get some sweet product, but you can also support a company that harnesses the power of design to save babies' lives. Design That Matters, Tim Prestero's nonprofit design firm (which produces our Design Experience That Matters
For the past 16 years, the Danish non-profit INDEX: Design to Improve Life, have been recognizing and supporting design innovations that pave the path towards a more sustainable future. Through education programs, investment and a bi-annual awards program that is not only the world's first sustainable design prize but also the largest monetary design prize, INDEX is a call to action to the design world.
David Rockwell is one of America's most acclaimed interior designers. His firm, Rockwell Group, has designed large-scale immersive environments for hotels and restaurants around the world, not to mention its sets for the Academy Awards and several Broadway musicals. But Rockwell's latest project is one of his smallest yet, and not something typically associated with high-end hospitality—a grill.
Artist Mike Mitchell actually created this back in May, but it's suddenly more relevant now that our President has waffled on whether to denounce neo-Nazis and white supremacists. "Here's a high res copy which I'm allowing for personal use (signs, shirts, buttons)," Mitchell writes. "Spread it far and wide."
A gent named Kjell Inge Røkke is one of Norway's richest men, worth some $2.6 billion. He made his fortune in the shipping and offshore drilling industries. "The sea has given me great opportunities. I am grateful for that," Røkke told Aftenposten. "I will give back to the community the
Here's an example of solving an impossible problem using clever design. First off, the arena in which the problem exists: Roughly 25% of the world's population have no access to electricity. In these areas using kerosene lamps for lighting is common. The potential for fires and burns from these lamps
As part of NYCxDesign, the students of the MFA in Products of Design at the School of Visual Arts presented TRIAGE, an interactive exhibition that reframed contemporary political urgencies through the lens of design. The work debuted at WantedDesign Manhattan, and welcomed visitors from all over the world. TRIAGE consisted
The Kinkajou Microfilm Projector is a teaching tool for nighttime adult literacy courses in rural communities without books or electric lighting. It was DtM's very first projected, started back when the company founders were still graduate students at MIT. It's been more than a decade since the Kinkajou pilot in
If you own your home, it may make sense for you to invest in kitting it out with solar power. But for the millions of folks who rent, it's not possible to go green in this way. That will change if SolarGaps, a system of solar-panel-laden Venetian blinds, work as
When was the last time you choose the harder, more expensive approach to solve a problem? That is the reason why the adoption of the Design Sprint practice has been skyrocketing worldwide. But before backing up that claim, let me set the stage with some foundation for the reader that is unfamiliar with the term Design Sprint
Did you know that Lowe's had a robotic innovation lab? Well you've been missing out. While we've been hand wringing over creepy new cyberdogs and oddly graceful rollerskaters Lowe's has calmly been rolling out a robot exosuit for its human employees. The Lowe's Innovation Lab started its human+ journey
When sifting Coroflot for interesting projects and design thinking to highlight, we usually skew towards work that has at least made it to prototyping. Conceptual ideas are important, but they're like [a rude analogy]: everybody's got them. That said, the AR Cane concept caught my attention by answering a familiar
Like most school work, project topics for Product Design students aren't always terribly exciting (though it's a field where we get hype about tire tread patterns and tea kettle shape... so maybe I'm the jerk). So when a cool prompt gets met with both enthusiasm and sharp thinking, I get
It is ironic that those of us who can most afford to buy sunglasses probably need them the least. Using a pair of Ray-Bans to prevent glare whilst driving one's Porsche towards a sunset is not the same level of need as that experienced by someone toiling in a sunny
Steven M. Johnson's "Patent Depending" series of inventions range from social commentary to plain ol' bizarre, and they always give us a laugh. So we've contracted him to let us publish one every week.
Planetary Power HyGen is a hybrid generator that combines high-efficiency technology with integrated lithium-ion batteries, providing a vital communication link to outlying populations. It is a cost-effective, sustainable, and reliable alternative to conventional generators for use at off-grid telecom towers. HyGen’s engine runs at variable speeds and only operates to charge its batteries, making the batteries the primary power source. Fuel consumption is reduced by 60%, extending the refueling
Fabrication is always a blast, second only to field research in the hierarchy of excellent things about working in social impact design. It's an opportunity to escape our desks, and trade the abstractions of post-it notes and design frameworks for the satisfaction of creating tangible, physical things. At the
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