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 …

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  On the other side, in modern industrialized countries, storage or cellar rooms have been replaced by energy wasting refrigerators where much food is stored that doesn’t even require hard cooling, like vegetables, eggs, and marmalade. …

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 …

Method: Making Bottles from Recovered Ocean Plastic

Maker: Method Challenge: “It’s estimated that several million tons of plastic makes its way into our oceans every year, polluting the environment and hurting our marine populations. and the problem isn’t going away anytime soon as more plastic washes up on beaches everyday.” Solution: “With the help of local beach clean-up groups and volunteers, Method has collected more than a ton of …

Watch: Fashion Industry Innovator Paul Dillinger Shares His Story

Paul Dillinger, head of global product innovation at Levi Strauss & Co is challenging fashion industry standards and helping reimagine a new, sustainable design method and business model. In this video by the Aspen Institute, Dillinger tells his story about challenging industry standards, and his current work rewriting the rules for sustainability and design in fashion and at Levis. You can also learn more about Dillinger’s …

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, …

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, while at the same time maximizing …

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 …