Paul Polak
The SunWater Project: Advanced Solar Technology for Poor Farmers
Paul Polak on SunWater: a radically affordable solar water pump that will transform small plot agriculture and help bring the world's poorest families out of poverty.

Paul Polak
Transforming Solar Pumping to Eliminate Rural Poverty
Paul Polak explores how we might reduce water shortages by employing solar pumping and eliminating rural poverty.

John Thackara
Venice: from Gated Lagoon to Bioregion
A review of the options that Venice faces in trying to shore up the city.

John Thackara
How To Manage a Constellation
To solve complex and interconnected human-environment challenges, like the death of the Baltic Sea, we need to build ‘social-ecological coalitions’ or ‘constellations’.

Alexandra Lange
Fixing South Street Seaport: Is New Architecture Enough?
Fighting over Ben Thompson's postmodernist landmark Pier 17 at South Street Seaport. Should it stay or should it go?

Alexandra Lange
Architecture Research Office
Interview with Stephen Cassell and Adam Yarinsky on the occasion of their National Design Award

Rachel Signer
Don't Flush Me
Prototype for urban system to detect and prevent sewage overflows

Barbara Flanagan
The Dissing of Summer Lawns
How one Californian was forced (and inspired) to exchange sod for low-water plants.

Barbara Flanagan
Epiphany of an Ocean Swimmer
Essay on in the insights that come with immersion in the deep, cold sea.

John Thackara
Off-Grid Water
Strategies and resources for water conservation.

Josh Wallaert
Google Maps, Give Us Our River Names
No map in history has made us feel more powerful or more present. But there's a little thing missing: the Mississippi River.

Ernest Beck
GlobalTap Update
GlobalTap water station update.

Julie Lasky
Acumen Sexy Sanitation Challenge
Acumen Fund announces winners of its "Sexy Sanitation" challenge.

Ernest Beck
Safe Agua
The first collaboration between Designmatters at Art Center College of Design and Chile’s Un Techo para mi País creates fresh ideas for water usage in a Santiago slum.

Ernest Beck
Ripple Effect Update

Update on the Ripple Effect initiative launched by IDEO, Gates Foundation and Acumen Fund to distribute fresh water in the developing world. Originally published July 30, 2009.

Ernest Beck
Report on prototype for GlobalTap water refilling stations.

Jane Margolies
Rising Currents
Report on "Rising Currents," an exhibition of New York City design solutions to the flooding predicted by climate change experts, which will be on view at the Museum of Modern Art, March 24–August 9, 2010.

Ernest Beck
Report on Peepoobag, a new self-sanitizing, single-use, biodegradable container for human waste.

Ernest Beck
Ripple Effect

IDEO launched Ripple Effect in India to help communities with the arduous process of transporting water.

Observed | October 21

More on ballot design and its many problems. [JH]

Design is the new currency. [JH]

If Hillary is elected, “...you’re going to have taco trucks on every corner”, warned Latinos for Trump’s Marco Gutierrez. Lana Rigby designs a citywide fleet of taco trucks that double as voter registration booths. [JH]

“Design is the art and science of improving the interface between human beings and their environment.” A new design incubator at MIT. [JH]

Observed | October 20

“Ignore the fads and go back to the typographic principles of print — keep your type black,” says Kevin Marks. More from Cory Doctorow on the web’s “plague” of grey type. [JH]

The Wall Street Journal on design books as eye candy. [JH]

The New Yorker on urban housing, inequality, density, democracy—and Le Corbusier. [JH]

Observed | October 18

Could bad buildings damage your mental health? [MB]

Dutch Design Week! Here’s the program. [JH]

Observed | October 17

Wine labels—and how their design impacts what we want to buy. [JH]

From India, a story on design mistakes for startups. [JH]

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Zur Farbenlehre (“Theory of Colors”), 1810. [MB]

A call to action for design justice. [JH]

The eerie secret apartments of the New York Public Library system [MB]

“Not knowing what you’re doing is a skill you can’t teach.” An interview with Richard Turley (ex-Businessweek, ex-MTV) on his move to Wieden+Kennedy. [MB]

Observed | October 14

“How do you approach an art empty of figures and evident narratives?,” asks New York Times art critic Holland Cotter, writing about the late minimalist painter Agnes Martin. "How do you find out what, if anything, is in it for you? What do you do to make it your own?” To which Martin herself was known to reply: “You go there and sit and look.” A retrospective of Martin’s work is on view at the Guggenheim Museum in New York through early January. [JH]

Magenta debuts! A new online source for design, cultural criticism, and more. [JH]

David Bowie had a vast collection of Memphis furniture. [MB]

Observed | October 13

Non-car designer designs non-car. [JH]

Democratic design—between cultures. [JH]

A day in the life of Tobias Frere-Jones. [MB]

Louise Fili, Goddess of typographic splendor! [JH]

Observed | October 12

Ice cream! Complimentary slippers! And design awards for a check-in counter! Highlights of service design for those traveling to (and from) Japan. [JH]

Philanthropists donate 8.1 billion for a new design center at Colorado State University. [JH]

Can happiness be designed? More evidence pointing to the fact that this is possible. (Bear in mind that “design” is used rather loosely, here—but is strategically positioned as an antidote to technology.) [JH]

Spy is back! [MB]

In a landmark patent case, Supreme Court Justices use Volkswagen Beetle as cultural shorthand for design brilliance. [JH]

Observed | October 11

Design in the age of globalization: what China does. [JH]

Today—for the first time in over a century—a design case reaches the Supreme Court. NPR reports. More from Reuters and from Bloomberg. [JH]

Mexican polymath Gabriel Orozco branches out—literally—into horticulture. [JH]

Jobs | October 24