The Circular Design Guide

IDEO and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation have gathered an extensive stockpile of action-oriented methods, mindsets, and thought starters and put them all in one place for the purpose of giving designers and innovators the “creative confidence” and resources they need to develop solutions for the circular economy. “Traditional manufacturing is wasteful, because it focuses exclusively on the end user. The …

The Exhale Chandelier: Purifying Indoor Air with Living Microalgae

Maker: Julian Melchiorri Challenge:  Given all the time we spend indoors on a daily basis, maintaining good indoor air quality at home, work, and school is highly important. Solution: Exhale is the world’s first living Bionic Chandelier, containing living micro algae in each of its leaf modules. Results: When exposed to light, each of the microalgae-containing leaf modules is stimulated to grow …

The Untapped Value of Organic Waste in Construction

What if instead of sending our organic waste to the landfill, incinerator or compost pile, we could give it another life as bricks, panels, carpets or insulation? Arup, the design and engineer firm, says this is not only possible, it’s a very valuable opportunity. In their latest report, The Urban Bio Loop, Arup aims to demonstrate a different, circular paradigm for …

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. …

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 …

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      

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 …