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Inspiration Projects

GreenWave: Creating Jobs and Mitigating Climate Change with 3D Ocean Farms

Maker: GreenWave Challenge: Billions of people depend on the food and services the ocean provides for their livelihoods. However, current ocean and land-based human activities are contributing to over-fishing, ecosystem destruction, pollution, and eutrophication. According to UN Sustainable Development, “subsidies for fishing are contributing to the rapid depletion of many fish species and are preventing […]

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How to Transform the Textiles Economy

It’s high time we shake up the destructive take-make-dispose textile model and transform it into a circular one that’s better for people and environment. This report tells us how. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, textile production contributes 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year—more than international flights and maritime shipping combined. Add […]

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Inspiration Projects

The Net Zero Elementary School: Modeling Sustainability for Kids and Design Community

Maker: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) Challenge: Compared to other municipal buildings within New York’s five boroughs, schools account for 40% of emissions—amounting to a significant impact on the city’s carbon footprint. Solution: SOM architects designed an energy efficient school on Staten Island, The Kathleen Grimm School for Leadership and Sustainability, which generates all of its […]

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How School Building Design Can Support Better Learning

A report by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) confirms that good design has the power to impact far more than appearances. After studying school building performance and interviewing teachers, architects, and academics, they found that good design can support better learning outcomes for students,  increased teacher productivity, and even make schools more cost-effective to […]

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The Empowerment Plan: Breaking the Homelessness Cycle with a Coat

Maker: The Empowerment Plan Challenge: “Veronika Scott was inspired to start The Empowerment Plan when a class at The College for Creative Studies in Detroit challenged her to create a product to fill an actual need in her community. Veronika took to the issue of homelessness and began spending time at a nearby warming center where […]

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BRIGHT: On a Mission to Light Up the World

MAKER: BRIGHT CHALLENGE: According to BRIGHT, there are about “1,3 billion people living without access to electricity in Africa, Asia and South America.” A number which includes millions of refugees and displaced communities. SOLUTION:  BRIGHT’s solar LED lamps, SunBell and SunTurtle, are designed to fulfill the universal human need for light. They feature rechargeable batteries that can […]

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What Does Landscape Architecture Have to do with the SDGs?

Quite a lot, actually. More than the creator of beautiful outdoor spaces, a landscape architect employs systems-thinking on a daily basis— designing spaces that maintain balance and harmony between the built and natural environments while at the same time fulfilling the myriad of objectives stipulated by their design briefs. An engaging botanical garden which restores an abandoned city lot, […]

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The Hippo Roller: Increasing Access to Water and Empowering Women

MAKER: Hippo Roller, a social enterprise CHALLENGE: Water scarcity and impoverishment in Africa. According to Hippo Roller, “In Africa, 40% of the poorest households do not have piped-in water, and more than half of its population lack access to improved water sources such as boreholes, wells, or taps.” This challenge necessitates that women and children must […]

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What is Human-Centered Design?

If you want to create successful solutions and real impact through your designs, keep the people you intend to serve at the heart of your process, every step of the way.  This is what Human-centered design tells us. As defined by IDEO.org, an international design and consulting firm working to improve people’s lives through design, Human-centered design is a three-phase process […]