Architecture and urban planning have been proven to be incredibly useful tools in combatting the negative effects of climate change on the city level. Could design thinking be the answer to mitigating the epidemic of loneliness in our urban centers, as well? PhD researcher Tanzil Shafique set out to discover if it was possible with his M.Arch students at the Melbourne School of Design and the answer is a resounding yes (view student work ).
Welcome to NewIstanbul
Istanbul’s newest airport, aptly called “Istanbul New Airport,” partially opened this past October and aims for complete functionality by the end of the year. It boasts historically-inspired architecture (for example the control tower is inspired by Turkey’s national flower, the Tulip), 22 LEED-certified buildings, a slew of child play areas, holistic “wellness” centers, and a size larger than Manhattan. No word on baggage claim efficacy.
Bad Acoustics Are A Killer. Here's What Designers Can Do About It.
Noise is all around us, whether we like it or not. We're only now beginning to understand the detrimental effects loud sounds can have on our health. Luckily, we can mitigate those effects with design thinking.
Tomorrow's french fries may be just as fattening and delicious as they are today, but their packaging may feel very different. A trio of Italian designers devised a form of packaging, called Peel Saver, made from recycled potato skins. Aimed at reducing waste from food truck and other cheap eats places, Peel Saver is cheap to produce and fully biodegradable.
Black Widows May Be Deadly But Their Silk Could Save Lives
Scientists at Northwestern University and San Diego State University may have unraveled the mysteries of the Black Widow's super-strong web. MRI and NMR imaging revealed the molecular structure of the glands that make the spider's silk, which could be extrapolated to synthetically reproduce this stronger-than-steel material at scale. Everything from bridges to bulletproof vests could one day be impervious thanks to one of the world's deadliest spiders.
Poured Concrete Flooring Eliminates Disease in Bangladeshi Homes
An acronym for architecture for health in vulnerable environments, believes design can help combat disease. A recent pilot project confirms the belief. In 2014, the nonprofit launched Health From the Ground Up, an initiative to improve conditions for the disadvantaged in Southeast Asia. Upon learning that thousands of Bangladeshi children die due to parasites harbored in the dirt floors often used in their homes, the team focused on a single basic element: new flooring material. They chose poured concrete, not only easy to maintain and less likely to transmit disease but also able to be installed by local masons. A month after installation in 10 homes, post-construction surveys revealed no new infections in the children living there.
You've heard of , you've heard of , now get ready for the Mannequin! This stunted (or is it dismembered?) humanoid cushion features extra-long arms, a h torso, and what looks like a cauterized neck that somehow combine into a comforting presence for millennials caught in the spiral of urban loneliness. Designed by Aseptic Studios, the Mannequin's neck can be used to correct posture and its arms can guard against heat expelled by laptops. With those perks, why even bother going on Tinder?
Meet the First Commercially Available Passive House Prefab
Homes built to the Passive House standard have been gaining popularity in recent years, and with the UN's latest dire warning about climate change, that popularity may see a bona fide boom. For people looking to do their part for the planet, German company Lofts to Go offers a solution: the Coodo, a prefab structure that adheres to this rigorous environmental standard. The units can be used as both residential and commercial spaces, and developments are in place to take the Coodo completely off the grid.
Save the Birds with LEDs!
Countless birds have succumbed to ill-fated collisions with airplanes, but a recent study from Purdue University provides a possible solution to this tragic reality: LEDs. In their experiment, the team demonstrated that birds, specifically the brown-headed cowbird, consistently avoided flying through a hole in a board that was surrounded by red or blue-emitting LEDs. This provided some hope that in the future airplanes could be outfitted with LEDs to help birds steer clear while in the air.
Over the Earth's 3.8 billion-year history, plants and animals have come up with ingenious design solutions to keep them alive and thriving. Today, the idea of looking to nature to improve the functionality and sustainability of humanity’s creations is gaining steam in the architecture, design, and engineering industries. It's called biomimicry and it's here to stay.
Women Are Finally Having Their Moment in Architecture
Since antiquity, architecture has remained in the realm of "men's professions." A handful of female architects made dents, but their accomplishments went virtually unrecognized by professional institutions and the public at large. But women architects are finally getting their due credit and professional barriers are incrementally lifting, enabling several women to make lasting contributions to some of the world's most design-forward cityscapes.
Moscow's Metro Is a Design Kaleidoscope
Moscow's Metro has been around since the 1930's, a time before the hegemony of any one style in public spaces came to be the accepted norm. Because of this, each station in the Russian capital treats urbanites to a vast array of architectural and artistic motifs that today would be extraordinary to imagine a government endorsing. Architectural historian Nikolai Vassiliev has been documenting the stations in hopes of preserving them.
Researchers in England have discovered that carrots may soon emerge as a sustainable—and affordable—way to strengthen concrete. When combined with ordinary cement, nano platelets extracted from root vegetable fibers can greatly reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions associated with manufacturing. This discovery could have a huge impact, especially considering how cement production accounts for around 8% of the world's total carbon dioxide emissions.
Direct-to-Consumer Online Paint is Finally Here
Shopping for glasses and mattresses has moved from brick-and-mortar to online marketplaces, and now, finally, paint is following suit. Launched by entrepreneur Nicole Gibbons, Clare is a sample-first, buy-later paint company with a carefully curated collection of 55 colors and one finish. An online quiz and algorithm help indecisive buyers discern exactly which color they need.
New Disposable Cup Modernizes Traditional Gourd Containers
People around the world, particularly in Africa, Asia, and South America, have used gourds as beverage containers for centuries. Jun Aizaki of Crème Design took that knowledge and used it to develop a gourd-based disposable cup that is completely organic. Aizaki hopes to find large commercial backers that can help transform the incredibly time-intensive process of growing a gourd into something that can happen fast enough to meet today's consumption demands.