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 …

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, …

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 …

What is Human-Centered Design?

If you want to create successful solutions and real impact through your designs, keep the people you intend to serve at the heart of your process, every step of the way.  This is what Human-centered design tells us. As defined by IDEO.org, an international design and consulting firm working to improve people’s lives through design, Human-centered design is a three-phase process all about “building a deep empathy …

Biomimicry: Adopting Proven, Sustainable Solutions Inspired by Nature

What if the sustainable solutions we’ve been seeking have existed in front of us all this time? According to biomimicry, that’s exactly the case. All around us in our environment and its systems, in the plants and animals and insects, we see evidence of perfectly executed, and perfectly sustainable, design, architecture, planning, and engineering. The Biomimicry Institute is a superb resource for learning …

Handbook: The Basics of Using Natural Dyes

The synthetic dyes widely used in the fashion industry are hazardous for the environment, consumers, and the people who work with them. According to the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, making the switch to natural dyes is a unique opportunity. “Natural dyes open up possibilities for a more diverse and locally derived colour palette for design practice and one which is not dependent …