Parlour Guides to Equitable Architecture

When striving to make a difference for the Sustainable Development Goals, we should also look inwards at what we can do differently in our own profession and practices. Parlour is one such organization that’s taking a deeper look, asking the question: How can we make architecture a more equitable profession?  On Parlour’s website you can find a collection of resources …

Zipline: Using Drones to Improve Access to Urgent Medical Supplies

Maker: Zipline  Challenge: For people living in remote places with difficult terrain and infrastructure deficiencies, getting access to emergency medical supplies is a major challenge. According to Zipline, “more than two billion people lack adequate access to essential medical products, such as blood and vaccines.” Solution: Zipline improves access to urgent medical supplies with on-demand drone deliveries to remote clinics. Health workers order supplies …

Deterra: The World’s First 100% Bio-Based Jacket

Maker: Tierra  Challenge: Even the fashion industry is dependent on planet harming fossil fuels, which are used for everything from  transportation and production process to the product materials themselves. Solution: To address the problem, Tierra has developed the Deterra® Jacket. The world’s first 100 % bio-based jacket, made from materials like castor beans, wool, corn, Tencel, cotton, and corozo nuts. …

Tool: The SDG Compass for Aligned Business Action

As a designer or architect, there’s a good chance you also drive or work in a business or organization. If you’re serious about integrating sustainability into the core of your business strategy, we recommend taking direction from the SDG Compass. Developed by GRI, United Nations Global Compact, and WBCSD, the SDG Compass is a free tool and guide that aims …

Watch: Introduction to Life Cycle Thinking

This video, by Autodesk Sustainability Workshop, provides a six minute introduction to Life Cycle Thinking as it relates to whole systems design. It explores how opportunities for saving resources, like materials and energy, can often be uncovered early in the design process, by identifying the right problems to solve before engineering begins. Learn more: https://sustainabilityworkshop.autodesk.com/products/whole-systems-and-lifecycle-thinking      

Watch: Using Nature’s Genius in Architecture

In this Ted talk, architect Michael Pawlyn describes and gives examples of three habits of nature that can transform architecture and society: radical resource efficiency, closed loops, and drawing energy from the sun. “If we could learn to make things and do things the way nature does, we could achieve factor 10, factor 100, maybe even factor 1,000 savings in resource …

Alleviating Poverty and Disability with a Hand-Operated Tricycle

Maker: A team of industrial design students from Carleton University Challenge: An estimated 5-6 million people in Uganda are living with disabilities, and studies reveal that those living with disabilities are most likely living in poverty as well (source).  As a result, these individuals not only face the challenge of providing basic necessities for themselves, but they also “face the cultural stigma …

Q&A with InfoDesignLab: Designing Understanding to Spark Action and Change

  Angela Morelli and Tom Gabriel Johansen are award-winning information designers and the founders of InfoDesignLab—an organization whose goal is to empower professionals, designers, scientists, and journalists to turn complex information into meaningful narratives, beautiful visions, and understandable messages. As friends of the Oslo Manifesto, Angela and Tom were happy to do a Q&A with us. Here we talk about what …

Transmaterial Next: A Catalog of Materials that Redefine Our Future

This book is a valuable resource for architects and designers who want to implement innovative and sustainable materials in their work. Written by architect Blaine Brownell,  Transmaterial Next  catalogs sustainable materials “that redefine our physical environment.” Materials which not only have low to no environmental impact, but also deliver when it comes to performance and applicability. The catalog also exists digitally, as a …