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
It's a complicated but exciting time to talk marijuana in America. The medically invaluable and minimally harmful drug is fast becoming a socially normalized staple crop. But for folks in states where progressive values and massive tax income are less important than ineffective and racist drug policy, the idea of
All of us wear laundered clothes, yet few of us think about where the dirty water coming out of the washing machine goes. But Rachel Miller is a cofounder of the nonprofit Rozalia Project, which deals with marine waste on America's East Coast, and she knows exactly where it goes:
The Enviropur is a portable air quality management system that keeps homes and businesses clean and safe from harmful dust and fumes during a remodel. This all-in-one portable machine combines the functionality of a negative air machine, commercial vacuum, commercial dust separator and commercial air scrubber. Balance worked closely with the inventor to refine his idea for investors, validate the concept, develop a supply chain, and roadmap the future of Enviropur.
An engineer-staffed startup called Skipping Rocks Lab has developed a soft, biodegradable and edible packaging system for water that encases it in a transparent bubble made from seaweed. Their admirable aim is to do away with plastic packaging, and while it's generating a lot of buzz, there are a couple
What uses up the most water in your house: Your shower, toilet, kitchen faucets or bathroom faucets? The answer is, I don't know. And neither do you. Even if you could guess which used the most, there's no effective way to see accurate figures for each fixture. That's because accurately
Biomimicry and bioengineering have lost some of their buzzword luster in design circles, but the IRL applications are still going strong. To continue fighting the shortage of viable organ donations, researchers around the world are experimenting with lab grown options. But some tissues and muscles are harder to synthesize than
This year's Ventura Lambrate themes are Social Design and Cultural Heritage—two very open-ended themes that invite designers to show work that address global change and/or represents their country of origin. We're happy to see most designers bringing thought-provoking work along these lines to the table. Within the two themes, we're
Morticians are a class of unsung heroes in most societies. Mortuary arts dovetail technical medical knowhow, painstaking practical effects, and the excruciating job of trying to please grieving families. Preserving and presenting bodies is particularly difficult in cases where the deceased passed under physically disruptive circumstances. Whether involved in
At the beginning of 2017, IDEO launched a website meant to serve as a guide and resource for designers hoping to support the "circular economy", or, the idea that designers and industries must begin to imbue in their design consciousness that products should be created with the intent of continually
Gilbert Baker, long time LGBT+ activist and designer of the internationally beloved rainbow flag, has passed away. Baker began his life as an artist, performer and organizer in 1972, after being honorably discharged from the army while stationed in San Francisco. His beneficial environment and timing allowed him to learn
The folks at Giphy, that stalwart provider of looping cats and people falling down, are getting slyly socially active. Last week the company added a library of over 2,000 GIFs intended to teach words and phrases in American Sign Language. The project might seem like an odd match, given the
"…The pursuit of happiness" is written right in our Declaration of Independence, but while we Americans pursue it, we're lousy at attaining it. The U.N.-commissioned 2017 World Happiness Report has been released and we're not even in the top ten. The report, put together by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network,
2016 undoubtedly marks a moment in the modern era when the global population was not only blatantly confronted with a number of troubling problems, but also stimulated by a heightened sense of direct responsibility for what the future holds. "This is the age of rebellion," civil rights activist Van Jones
Accessible technology tends to lag behind mass market options, but sometimes it's not about demand, it's about taking a risk. The South Korean design startup DOT has been working hard on making braille-enabled smartwatches a reality for over three years. This month their labor (and awards) finally paid off.
In the U.S. we have a local workforce of 700,000 people that work for less than a dollar an hour. They make eyeglasses, mattresses, clothing, they man call centers, they do farm work and mine. They are federal prison inmates, and they can be legally hired out for labor by
Three years ago we started prototyping a new kind of incubation as a service. Not a building filled to the brim with young guys and their high tech, high growth app-building ventures, but instead, a kind of service that comes to you—and gets plugged into centers, workspaces, labs, makerspaces and
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