The Water We Eat: An Infographic Story

Maker: Info Design Lab Challenge: Fresh water is one of our most valuable and critical resources. We need to make sure there is enough for everyone on our planet, and we need to put solutions to work now if we want to avoid a water crisis. When it comes to improving our global consumption habits, most people don’t realize that about 92% of consumption actually …

Jets Pearl: The Vacuum Toilet That Uses 90% Less Water to Flush

Maker: Jets Challenge: Increasing volumes of sewage worldwide that requires sanitation, coupled with traditional gravity water toilets which demand far too much of our precious energy and fresh water resources to function. Solution: The Jets Pearl vacuum toilet uses 90% less water than the conventional toilet—which comes out to less than 1 litre (1/4 gallon) of water per flush. This toilet, and Jets’ other vacuum systems, use …

Fairphone: The World’s First Ethical, Modular Smartphone

Maker: Fairphone Challenge: The average smartphone contains materials that are obtained through unsustainable and hazardous mining practices. Including dangerous working conditions, the utilization of child labor, and the degradation and pollution of the environment. Solution: A phone made from conflict-free minerals and recycled materials that is modular, open, and easy to repair; and improves the supply chain with social values. Results: Improved working …

+ POOL: The World’s First Water-Filtering, Floating Pool

Maker: PlayLab, Inc.  Challenge: The water in New York City’s East River is too dirty and contaminated for the city’s 8 million plus people to swim in. Solution: A floating, plus-shaped community pool with a layered filtration system to remove bacteria and contaminants without the use of chemicals or additives. Results: This is a solution that helps ensure the sustainable management and sanitation of …

Felyx: Urban E-Scooter Sharing System

Maker: Felyx  Challenge: Finding a sustainable and affordable solution for people who get to the city by car, as well as a car alternative for city dwellers looking for a complementary mode of transportation. Solution: A citywide electronic scooter sharing system. System users locate and pick up scooters via an app, pay for only the minutes they use, then park the scooter wherever they want. The scooters are emission and …

Modvion: Removing Barriers to Wind Power with Cost-Efficient, Modular Designs

Maker: Modvion Challenge: According to the USDA Department of Energy, we could triple the amount of energy generated from wind turbines if we increased their height from 80 meters to 14o meters. However, attempts to build at such heights are met with significant barriers when it comes to both transportation, and the cost of construction. Solution: A patented module technology allows sections of the tower to be stacked together for more efficient transportation, …

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 be charged with 4-8 hours of direct …

OutDry Extreme Eco: The Environmentally Friendly Rain Jacket

MAKER: Columbia CHALLENGE: Conventional rain jackets repel water by incorporating synthetic compounds known as PFCs. PFCs have been used for decades as Durable Water Repellent (DWR) treatments on the surface of outdoor clothing, equipment and footwear… Due to the incredible strength of this bond, PFCs don’t break down readily in the environment. They have even been found to be bio-accumulative in animals …

Peepoople: Design Solution for Sanitation & Food Security

MAKER: Peeopoople CHALLENGE: Today, more than 2.6 billion people lack access to basic sanitation. At this moment, 40% of the world’s population lack access to even the simplest latrine. SOLUTION: Peepoo is a personal, single-use, self-sanitising, fully biodegradable toilet that prevents faeces from contaminating the immediate area as well as the surrounding ecosystem. After use, Peepoo turns into valuable fertiliser that …

The Ocean Cleanup: Capturing Plastics with Passive Design

MAKER: Boyan Slat and the Ocean Cleanup Foundation  CHALLENGE: Millions of tons of plastic are collecting in our oceans, resulting in damaged ecosystems and corrupted food chains. The Great Pacific garbage patch, located within the North Pacific Gyre, is estimated to be as much as 15,000,000 square kilometers in size. A traditional cleanup approach is estimated to take thousands of years to complete and billions of dollars. SOLUTION: Boyan Slat …