Tetra Rex: The World’s First 100% Renewable Carton

Maker: Tetra Pak in collaboration with Braskem Challenge: Conventional packaging is primarily made from fossil fuel derived plastic and unsustainably harvested wood fibers, Solution: “The Tetra Rex Bio-based package, which is manufactured solely from paperboard and plastics derived from plants. All the paperboard used comes from FSC-certified and controlled sources, and is traceable to its origins. The low-density polyethylene used to …

Intermarché: Fight Against Food Waste

Maker: Intermarché Challenge: According to FAO,  approximately 1.3 billion tonnes of the food produced in the world for human consumption is wasted each year—and most of it is fruits and vegetables. Such waste not only adds up to a giant economic loss (about US$ 680 billion in industrialized nations, and US$ 310 billion in developing nations according to FAO). It also amounts …

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 run. “Our research showed that …

The Watercone: Turning Sea Water into Safe Drinking Water

Maker: Stephan Augustin Challenge: People in poor and sunny regions lack access to fresh water, and often have no other choice but to use dirty water for daily use. For coastal dwelling communities, seawater is no solution since most desalination units are cumbersome, need constant technical maintenance, and are very expensive. According to WHO, “By 2025, half of the world’s population will be living in water-stressed …

Read: Using Design Thinking to Eradicate Poverty Creation

In this Stanford Social Innovation Review article, authors Martin Kirk, Jason Hickel, and Joe Brewer challenge the  prevalent development project model for tackling social problems and call for a new, whole-systems approach that puts design thinking in center. “Right now, the question development organizations ask is, ‘How can we eradicate poverty?’ Good design thinking, on the other hand, would tell you to start with the more fundamental question, …

Terracooler: Efficient Cooling and Preservation of Food

Maker: Stephan Augustin Challenge: Over one billion people suffer from hunger worldwide, and one of the causes of this problem is a lack of cooling and preservation of food and crops—especially for those who live off the grid.  On the other side, in modern industrialized countries, storage or cellar rooms have been replaced by energy wasting refrigerators where much food is stored that doesn’t even require hard cooling, like vegetables, eggs, and marmalade. …

Book: Do Good Design—How design can change the world

“Some of us choose to pursue design purely as an exercise in the aesthetic. I know that simply creating beautiful objects or surrounding yourself with beautifully designed things can help create a fulfilling and comfortable life. However, that is only the surface of the potential good and sense of accomplishment you can achieve with your creative skills… Go further: recognize the …

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 the design for the EMPWR …

What is the Circular Economy? This infographic explains the big picture.

As a designer, you have a critical role to play in helping the world close the gap on the unsustainable make-use-dispose cycle. If you’d like to learn the basics of the Circular Economy, here’s a great visual resource to get you started. Created by the New Jersey Institute of Technology, this infographic not only explains what Circular Economy means, it breaks down the key benefits and challenges, including examples of what …

Lillestrøm Bicycle Hotel Promotes Health and Reduces CO2

Maker: Architect Ibrahim Elhayawan and team from Various Architects. Commissioned by Norwegian National Railways and ROM Eiendom AS. Challenge: Encouraging more people in the city of Lillestrøm to use bicycles for their daily commute and general transportation, instead of emission producing cars and other motor vehicles. Solution:  A Bicycle Hotel that offers a safe and economical place for bike storage, conveniently located next to the train …