Warka

Problem to be solved: Water Production

As water shortage is a serious issue in many parts of the world, a means of efficiently harnessing
safe drinking water from thin air without the need of expensive infrastructure could be a real
lifesaver. Warka Water will sport a canopy that offers shade to people drawing the collected water.

Impact:

Warka Water mainly uses local natural and biodegradable materials. The tower can be easily built
and maintained by the local communities using simple tools. With training and guidance, the
locals can easily build and maintain the Warka tower.

Designer: Warka Water, Inc.
URL: Warka Water
Country: Italy/Ethiopia
Year: 2015

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Desolenator

Problem to be solved: Water Desalinating

Desolenator is the world’s first easy-to-use, low cost solar powered water desalination system.
It turns salt water and contaminated water into pure drinking water. Desolenator is robust,
energy independent and has no moving parts. During its lifetime Desolenator will desalinate
water at a lower cost per litre than any system at this scale available on the market today.

Impact:

These small mobile units could provide 15 litres of pure water a day for up to a billion people
living in coastal and water stressed areas, using the power of the sun alone.

Designer: William Janssen
URL: Desolenator
Country: Netherlands
Year: 2015

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High Line New York

Problem to be solved: Eco-Friendly Architecture

By using a decade’s old elevated steel railroad track as a canvas, historical preservation and
great architecture can turn around an industrial wasteland. The imaginative landscaping and
creative architecture, creates a unique aesthetic that combines cold industrial steel with the
warmth of lush greenery via immaculately designed gardens to create a harmonious balance.

Impact:

The parks resurgence has also infused life into the neighboring communities, what was once
empty old warehouses have given way to shops and even fashion studios. The success of the
park has inspired other cities to look at urban renewal as an option, as opposed to demolishing
old infrastructure.

Designer: James Corner Field Operations & Diller Scofidio + Renfro
URL: The Highline
Country: USA
Year: 2015

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Bamboo Bicycle Modules

Problem to be solved: To Design Affordable Bicycles

By training rural Ghanaian communities in the art of bamboo bicycle manufacturing to provide an economic freedom, the root of Booomers lies not only innovative design but a social conscience with climate conscience with climate change mitigation and rural poverty alleviation among their primary goals.

Impact:

With a workshop building, about 20 young Ghanaian people were trained. The local bamboo is used for the frames. And all gains in Ghana are reinvested in social projects in the local communities. To produce high quality, affordable bamboo products which have both economic and social benefits to customers.

Designer: Booomers International
URL: boooomers.com
Country: Ghana
Year: 2012

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Ideas Boxed

Problem to be solved: Making Libraries Accessible

Humanitarian crises cause urgent needs for food, shelter and healthcare. At the same time, refugees are deprived of information, culture, education and professional training. The Ideas Box provides the tools to read, write, create and communicate. Each box unfolds to create a customized library and media center, with internet access and its own power source.

Impact:

Easily transportable, sturdy, and simple to set up, the Ideas Box empowers communities to construct an informed civil society and to pave the way for a self-reliant future. The community ownership of the device and its crucial support in education and child protection are already a certainty.

Designer: UNHCR and the creator Philippe Starck
URL: ideas-box.org
Country: USA
Year: 2006

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Sandbag Houses

Problem to be solved:

The project replaces traditional brick-and-mortar foundations with a less costly two-story structural frame made from timber combined with sandbag construction as fill for the walls. The design borrows from indigenous, mud-and-wattle building techniques that keep homes cool in summer and warm in winter.

Impact:

Building of the house turned into a community project, with local women pitching in. Inhabitants constructed houses that utilize locally available materials and that can be expanded according to necessity.

Designer: Luyanda Mpahlwa
URL: sandbaghouse.com
Country: Germany
Year: 2007

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Meu Rio

Problem to be solved:

Meu Rio (My Rio in Portuguese) is a digital interface for civic engagement. Anybody living in the city can log on to the website and denounce a problem and launch a campaign to fix it. The issues are usually targeted and very local, such as the price of a ferry ticket or the cutting of a tree on a specific street. It combines online tools and experiences with online and offline political organizing and public mobilization to bring Cariocas (people of Rio) closer to the democratic decision-making processes of their city.

Impact:

Meu Rio (My Rio in Portuguese) is a digital interface for civic engagement. Anybody living in the city can log on to the website and denounce a problem and launch a campaign to fix it. The issues are usually targeted and very local, such as the price of a ferry ticket or the cutting of a tree on a specific street. It combines online tools and experiences with online and offline political organizing and public mobilization to bring Cariocas (people of Rio) closer to the democratic decision-making processes of their city.

Designer: Alessandra Orofino

URL: http://www.nossascidades.org/

Country: Brazil

Year:

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